Clothes! Here’s a tool we use to help shape our wardrobes and fashion purchases.

We use this spreadsheet to track our clothing purchases and our wardrobe visions:

Copy it to make your own. There are examples to show you how we use it. The file is comment-only. Please comment if you have questions, or you can reach out on Instagram @guaigoods. We tinker with it often to make it work better for us. Let us know how you use it and maybe we can share ideas. We’d love to hear from you!

Why did we make this?

How often do you think about clothes? How many articles of clothing do you buy each year? How much do you spend on clothes each year? Brooke and I think about clothes a lot. We maintain watch lists on our favorite online shops like eBay, Etsy and Grailed. We visit our favorite fashion blogs and Instagram accounts regularly and post our own outfits to @yokeandbore. We even publish a weekly newsletter under this Guai Goods brand and post sneak peeks on Instagram.

At the start of 2019, we reflected on our clothing consumption over the previous year. We looked through all our shops for purchase histories and records. We struggled to remember every item we bought online and in person. In 2018, I bought about 80 items and Brooke bought about 120. We counted clothes and clothing accessories like hats, scarves, shoes, socks, and such things fashion brands generally sell.

Those numbers shocked us a little. So we decided to shop with more self-awareness in 2019, to set constraints. Since we had counted the volume of purchases in 2018, we decided to use a volume constraint. Let’s set a hard goal that is still achievable, we said to ourselves. And so, at the start of 2019, we agreed to limit ourselves to buy 40 items in the year.

We thought we needed a tool to help. Changing behavior is difficult. Memory is fallible. All those clothes would be tempting us every step of the way. The first version was just the 2019 Purchases tab you see in the screenshot and template. Throughout the year, we added items to the spreadsheet as we bought them, sometimes just after the purchase and sometimes a few weeks after if we forgot. I’m not quite sure why, but we kept returning to the spreadsheet. It felt helpful to see the info in one place.

In October, I added a Vision tab for myself and the Wants/Questions tab. Visions of where you want to go are powerful. A vision helps guide you like a map to a future place you want to be. A good one is maintainable so you can adjust it as you learn new things. As 2020 approached and I got closer to my 40-item limit, I realized I wanted this guidance for my fashion purchases. My vision board started with shoes, because I was in Japan and I had a very hard time saying no to all the second hand shoes that I wanted. Since then, I’ve updated it and added new sections. Brooke started her wardrobe vision, too.

Looking ahead into 2020, we set ourselves new goals, added a new tab for 2020 purchases, and we’re excited to see how they reshape our selves and our wardrobes.

How can this help you?

So, back to those questions I asked you.

How often do you think about clothes? How many articles of clothing do you buy each year? How much do you spend on clothes each year?

Have guesses? If this sort of self-examination interests you, this spreadsheet could help you better answer these questions. You might learn about yourself. You might save money, feel more sure about your purchases, or even feel better about your consumption habits. You can use the chart however you want. Make your own copy. Adjust it to suit your style and goals. If you do, please let us know. We would love to hear about your fashion goals. Message us on Instagram @guaigoods.