I’ve been tracking my clothes usage for the past 11 months to see if I wear 20% of my closet 80% of the time. Not once had I personally reached 80% in any individual month, at least, not until coronavirus happened. Now, I finally see that:
I wore 20% of my clothes 81.68% of the time during a one-month period from April 15, 2020 to May 14, 2020. My monthly average during the 11-month period was 70.80%. Over the course of the entire 11-month period, I wore 20% of my clothes 59.90% of the time.
During this unique period in our lives, I did, in fact, wear 20% of my clothes 80% of the time. That’s pretty wild to think about. And I’ve got the Excel spreadsheet to prove it.
Let’s start with the results, and then dig a little deeper into what it all means…
My 11-Month 80/20 Results: By the Numbers
The dates of my 11-month study are from June 15, 2019 to May 14, 2020.
I tracked two different sets of data during that time:
- The results from each individual month, so there are 11 different results.
- The results from all 11 cumulative months, resulting in one final number.
My 80/20 Rule Number for Each Individual Month:
My 80/20 Rule Number for Each Cumulative Month:
Graph of Above Data:
So, over the course of 11 cumulative months, I wore 20% of my wardrobe 59.90% of the time! That’s pretty cool, but I actually want to focus on the individual month results for now.
You will notice that for the first time during this entire experiment, I wore 20% of my clothes 81.68% of the time over the course of a full month. It just so happens that this month I was completely in quarantine here in my current home, the Netherlands.
I suppose it shows that when the opportunities for going outside are restricted, our need for diverse closet options also decreases. At home, without needing to impress anyone, I resort to the same limited clothes options over and over again.
The Results by the Numbers, Part 2!
I tracked something else, too… I tracked how much of my total closet I wore during the experiment. Like before, I tracked two different things:
- Individual month results.
- The results for all 11 months combined.
Percent of Total Closet Worn for Each Individual Month:
Percent of Total Closet Worn for Each Cumulative Set of Months:
Graph of Above Data:
After 11 cumulative months, I have worn 91.75% of my entire closet! Not bad, especially when you consider that it is claimed that some people do not wear over 50% of their wardrobe!
But again, I want to highlight only month 11. During this month, which coincided with the coronavirus quarantine, I only wore 44.33% of my entire wardrobe. That’s a pretty tiny amount, especially when compared to the previous 10 months.
Also, keep in mind that I only have 97 items in my entire closet. That means that I only needed 43 different items of clothing during the entire month!
Looks like I can get by with very little when necessary.
The 80/20 Rule: What is It?
Here is a quick and simple definition:
80% of the results come from 20% of the causes.-a quick and simple definition
You may also know the 80/20 Rule by another name: the Pareto Principle. It is named after the Italian Vilfredo Pareto, and the principle has been observed in many areas of life, nature and business. Some examples include:
- 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your products.
- 80% of traffic is on 20% of the roads.
- 80% of the views on my YouTube Channel come from 20% of the videos (It’s actually 81.0%!!!)
It shows that things are not always distributed evenly.
And as they say, 80% of the clothes we wear comes from 20% of our wardrobe. In my case, it was pretty much exactly true during coronavirus quarantine!
What Does the 80/20 Rule REALLY Mean for You and Your Closet?
Everyone’s closet and clothing needs are different. Climate and work can play a large role in determining how much clothes you legitimately need.
Still, no matter who you are, where you live, or what you do… odds are, you wear a small percentage of your clothes a disproportionately frequent amount of the time.
It is also very likely that you have unused clothes in your closet right now!
That’s OK, and what’s done is done. The question now becomes: What to do about it moving forward? I have a few ideas:
- Stop buying new clothes! Use what you have, so long as it is still wearable. Only replace it only when necessary. Save your hard-earned money for another purpose other than clothes.
- Donate extra clothes to those in need! There are so many people who need clothes. Why not donate anything you are not wearing to support people in your local community?!?
Learn More About My 11 Month Self-Study
All of the details for how I set up my experiment, how I made the Excel spreadsheet I used, and how many clothes I own, can be found in my first update post: Is the 80/20 Rule for Clothes Real? (1-Month Self-Study). See how it all started by clicking the link!
Stay up to date on everything related to this experiment at my 80/20 Rule and my Closet Results Page.
Want to Know if YOU Wear 20% of Your Clothes 80% of the Time!?
If you are the curious type, or just bored, and would like to see how often you wear 20% of your wardrobe, and what your most frequently used articles of clothing are, I have prepared an Excel spreadsheet template so that you can get started working on it today.
Download it for free here:
As always, I would love to support you in the process and hear about your results. Reach out to me anytime and I will be here to support you!!!
My Fat, Broke and Stupid YouTube Channel
My Fat, Broke and Stupid YouTube Channel is another outlet where I publish content about all sorts of fun things. Head on over to my channel page to see what I have been working on recently.
And before you go, click here to check out the 80/20 Month 11 update video I made:
Besides reading this article (thank you for reading all the way to the end, by the way) you can support my work by subscribing to my YouTube channel and hitting the notification bell to be one of the first to get my update videos as soon as they are published.
Wishing you all the best as you continue to become the person you wish to be,