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  • Writer's picturesallyinstpaul

30 Wears: Black Cheshire Tank

There are approximately 8.13 million ways to track your wardrobe. I use a few Excel spreadsheets to record various aspects of my wardrobe because I am a data geek by nature, training, and profession. The one that I rely on the most tracks data on purchases, wears, and cost per wear.

For a few years now, I have adopted the 30+ wears / <$1 cost per wear (CPW) ideal for my wardrobe. I own a lot of clothing and accessories so getting the 30 wears is a particular challenge. That struggle is compounded by the fact that my weight has not been stable (i.e., has been on an upward trend) for the last 10 years, leaving a relatively small window of wearability for clothing before the garments no longer fit. The under $1 CPW target is easier because I have a lot of second-hand purchases and sale/clearance items in my wardrobe that were bought at a low price.

But despite taking an interest in the 30+ / <$1 concept for a while, it's really only been the last couple months that I have gotten serious about hitting these metrics as a goal. The pandemic year of March 2020 to March 2021 involved a lot of online shopping for me, partly because it was a thing to do, sure, but mostly because there were so many terrific sales, which is one of my weaknesses. And apparently this world of my own is also a kind of Opposite Land because my weight stayed steady over that period, meaning I added new items but did not need to remove any due to no longer fitting. So I now have a fuller closet than I have in some time (and it was already full enough). Unless I want to have another closet collapse due to excessive weight on the clothing rails, requiring the apartment maintenance folks to come reinstall them (yes, that actually happened and yes, it was as embarrassing as you are imagining), I need to hold the line on new purchases. And once I saw how bad my wardrobe inventory numbers are (which we can discuss another time), a focus on working toward the 30+ / <$1 target with my current inventory seemed like a good idea.

I recently started more regularly reading the blog Away from the Blue, and I was struck by the posts Mica writes about items in her closet that have hit the 30 wears target, such as this black and white striped tank last month. She inspired me to start posting about my (sadly few!) items that have both 30+ wears and <$1 CPW.

I knew right away which item I wanted to start with first! If you have read my blog's origin story, you know that I love the Lewis Carroll Alice stories and am particularly obsessed with the 1951 Disney animated "Alice in Wonderland" musical. And although I don't want to pick favorites among the many marvelous characters in the Alice universe, I definitely have a soft spot for the Cheshire Cat, a prototypical chaotic neutral trickster figure. So I was delighted to purchase this Cheshire Cat tank top from Kohls as part of their merchandise tie-in with the 2016 "Alice Through the Looking Glass" movie. For me, $24 is a lot for what is basically a knit tank top, but I do not regret the purchase one bit!

Black Cheshire tank - Disney Alice/Kohls - XL - $24.00 - 5/2016

Total wears: 30

Cost per wear: $0.80

Still going strong!

Since I only wear this top on the weekends, and only in warmer weather, opportunities for wearing it are a bit more limited than with some of my other items. But like the protean Cheshire Cat himself, this tank has proven to be quite versatile. For example, despite having a distinct palette of black, grey, aqua, and pink, it somehow shade-shifts to coordinate with just about any other colors. Also in keeping with the shrinking-and-growing Alice theme, the cut of the top makes it accommodating across a range of body sizes: it is more fitted around the top but very flowy otherwise. This means that though it is a smaller size than I would normally wear now (XL), it still fits just fine! Being sleeveless, it's a great top to wear underneath older, smaller cardigans I have that are a bit tight in the arms for layering sleeves under but that otherwise fit OK.

Unlike Mica, I cannot show you the 30 ways I have worn this Cheshire tank. My adherence to taking daily outfit photos has been pretty hit-or-miss until recently, and I often don't bother with weekend outfit photos (though I'm trying to get in the habit of it these days). But I can show you a couple variations on the Cheshire theme.

In this OOTD from 10/19/2019, I wore the black/grey/aqua/pink Cheshire tank with a red and navy check shirt (I mean, what?) and bridged the color gap with a white bird scarf incorporating a heck of a lot of colors. In my mind, this shouldn't work at all and yet, it does. Such is the magic of the Cheshire!

Now let's jump forward to about a month ago, 5/29/2021, when I wore the top with a more obviously color-matched set of items: a lightweight under-sized black cardigan, mint skimmers, orchid flats, and a polka dot scarf with all these colors in it. It's funny, the cat's ears are pink, not orchid, but I wear these flats with this top a lot (about 43% of the last 16 times I've worn the top; my data on what items I've worn together is very spotty prior to mid 2018 and only fully complete since the start of 2020).

Do you track your wears and/or cost per wear? Do you have any targets for your individual items or your wardrobe overall?

I link up with:

Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge (Mondays; 3rd Thursday)

Mica at Away from the Blue (Mondays)

Debbie at My Random Musings (Mondays)

Leelo at Beauty by Miss L (Mondays)

Roxanne at Glass of Glam (Mondays)

Claire at Claire Justine (Mondays, Weds, Fridays)

Laura at I Do deClaire (Tuesdays)

Emma at Style Splash (Tuesdays)

Jess at Elegantly Dressed & Stylish (Tuesdays)

Gail at Is This Mutton? (Wednesdays)

Shelly at The Queen in Between (Wednesdays)

Carrie at Curly Crafty Mom (Thursdays)

Ada at Elegance and Mommyhood (Thursdays)

Jacqui at Mummabstylish (Thursdays)

Suzy at The Grey Brunette (Fridays)

Nancy at Nancy's Fashion Style (Fridays)

Michelle at My Bijou Life (Fridays)

Erika at A Little Bit of Everything (Fridays)

Rena at Fine Whatever (Saturdays)

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