spring cleaning

You Only Wear 20 Percent of Your Wardrobe Regularly

Photo: Ocean/Corbis

Find yourself passing over your new jeans, morning after morning, in favor of your old faithfuls? Have the perfect dress for a party you’ll never be invited to hanging in your closet with the tags still on it? Join the club. Only 20 percent of the clothes in the average person’s closet are worn on a regular basis, according to the chief design officer for California Closets, interviewed in The Wall Street Journal. Everything else wasn’t perfect when you bought it but you keep holding onto it with the hopes that it’ll magically become office-appropriate. “Generally you like it, but it’s a little tight or a little baggy. And you think ‘Oh well, it’s a minor flaw. It won’t bother me in the long run.’ Then, that turns out to be the very thing that keeps you from wearing it,” consumer psychologist Miriam Tatzel told the Journal. “You think you might have a use for it in the future, but that day never comes.” As for how to avoid filling up your closet with more low-rotation duds, a 2008 report in the Journal of Marketing Research found that in the long term, you’re most likely to regret passing up a splurge in favor of something practical or less expensive. (You’re welcome.)

You Only Wear 20 Percent of Your Wardrobe