Author Topic: Shrinking Your Closet?  (Read 13769 times)

Offline redbelliedhound

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Shrinking Your Closet?
« on: November 15, 2014, 04:59:53 PM »
I'm having issues figuring out exactly how much and what I need clothes-wise.  I'm interested in significantly decreasing the amount of clothing I have, but it's hard to figure out what I will need/want long term.  I'm currently in a work uniform five days a week and usually by the time I get home I just want to put on something comfy.  This makes it so I don't even really know what I like to wear anymore out of my own clothes.  I plan on eventually working mostly on a homestead as opposed to my current job.  Anyone have tips for minimizing?  What's a reasonable number of shirts, socks, pants, pajamas, dresses, etc etc? 

Offline Cedar

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 05:17:24 PM »
I plan on eventually working mostly on a homestead as opposed to my current job.  Anyone have tips for minimizing?  What's a reasonable number of shirts, socks, pants, pajamas, dresses, etc etc?

I wear men's Wrangler jeans, even though I am a woman. They are the only thing which stands up to my abuse. I literally wear 3-5 pair out a year. I try to keep 1-2 'good pairs' for going out. Depending on what I am doing, I may wear the same pair 2 days in a row. So I think I keep 4-6 pairs of jeans. I then buy new ones, rotate the 'good ones' to the work ones.

I have flannel PJ's as my sweatpants. I wear these when I come back into the house and want to sit on furniture. I am in and out of them, and my jeans 3-4x a day. I tend to do housework in them. Often I buy them right after Christmas, in the men's section as they are less expensive, thicker and better made.

1 pair of Carthart overalls.

I swear Z and I have 50 pairs of socks. We can go through 3 pairs in a day. Most of them are all white cotton thick men's socks. They go into a sock box in the closet, and we never match them, since they all match. I have my handknitted and 'girly' socks in my bottom drawer.

2 HEAVY duty hoodies.. which are all stained.

3 heavy duty sweatshirts.

I need to buy more cotton t-shirts. Z and I have a community pile of these as well (but these get folded). I stay away from his tied-dyed ones,...and he stays away from my pink ones. We tend to have 10-20 of these.

I have 2 dresses. One floral and fancy.. the other is my black funeral dress that I have had for at least 20 years. I wear neither as I don't have shoes to go with either.

1 pair of tennis, 1 pair of hot pink Crocs, 1 pair of tennis shoes, which need replacing after 4 months, 1 pair of $100 Muck boots, 1 pair good quality hiking boots, 1 pair of leather hiking boots.

1 light jacket, 1 heavy jacket, 1 parka

1 pair wool army pants, 1 pair snowmobile pants (which are for chores when it is really cold).

Most of all these clothes are consumables, except the dresses.

I am in the market for a new touque. Also in the market for 2 new bras. I hate bra shopping.

I will never be in a fashion magazine. No one notices my clothes in a good way. There are dilemmas when I am invited somewhere, I ought to get some nicer clothing.

Cedar

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 05:30:56 PM »
I need to do this too. 

One recommendation I was given is to get rid of anything you haven't worn in a year.  I would keep a classic suit and timeless dress for weddings, funerals and the other rare occasions you need to dress up. 

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 05:39:33 PM »
Also in the market for 2 new bras. I hate bra shopping.

Cedar

You and me both sister!!  Several years ago, I finally found a brand/style I liked at Walmart and bought them there ever since but last year they stopped carrying them.  Arrgh!  But luckily they sell them on Amazon.  Half of the reviews say the same thing - "I used to buy these at Walmart but they don't carry them anymore." 

Offline redbelliedhound

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 05:50:08 PM »
I wear men's Wrangler jeans, even though I am a woman. They are the only thing which stands up to my abuse. I literally wear 3-5 pair out a year. I try to keep 1-2 'good pairs' for going out. Depending on what I am doing, I may wear the same pair 2 days in a row. So I think I keep 4-6 pairs of jeans. I then buy new ones, rotate the 'good ones' to the work ones.

I have flannel PJ's as my sweatpants. I wear these when I come back into the house and want to sit on furniture. I am in and out of them, and my jeans 3-4x a day. I tend to do housework in them. Often I buy them right after Christmas, in the men's section as they are less expensive, thicker and better made.

1 pair of Carthart overalls.

I swear Z and I have 50 pairs of socks. We can go through 3 pairs in a day. Most of them are all white cotton thick men's socks. They go into a sock box in the closet, and we never match them, since they all match. I have my handknitted and 'girly' socks in my bottom drawer.

2 HEAVY duty hoodies.. which are all stained.

3 heavy duty sweatshirts.

I need to buy more cotton t-shirts. Z and I have a community pile of these as well (but these get folded). I stay away from his tied-dyed ones,...and he stays away from my pink ones. We tend to have 10-20 of these.

I have 2 dresses. One floral and fancy.. the other is my black funeral dress that I have had for at least 20 years. I wear neither as I don't have shoes to go with either.

1 pair of tennis, 1 pair of hot pink Crocs, 1 pair of tennis shoes, which need replacing after 4 months, 1 pair of $100 Muck boots, 1 pair good quality hiking boots, 1 pair of leather hiking boots.

1 light jacket, 1 heavy jacket, 1 parka

1 pair wool army pants, 1 pair snowmobile pants (which are for chores when it is really cold).

Most of all these clothes are consumables, except the dresses.

I am in the market for a new touque. Also in the market for 2 new bras. I hate bra shopping.

I will never be in a fashion magazine. No one notices my clothes in a good way. There are dilemmas when I am invited somewhere, I ought to get some nicer clothing.

Cedar

Thank you Cedar!  This is super helpful seeing as I only do light gardening at the moment and wasn't exactly sure what would be useful for my future endeavors. 

(My husband was trying to get my attention meanwhile I'm waving to him "one second I'm reading."  I tell him what I'm reading and he says "I love Cedar's posts." :) )

Offline redbelliedhound

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 05:52:19 PM »
I need to do this too. 

One recommendation I was given is to get rid of anything you haven't worn in a year.  I would keep a classic suit and timeless dress for weddings, funerals and the other rare occasions you need to dress up.

Yeah, I was thinking a long these lines.  I've heard the "turn over hangers as you use them" strategy it's just tough because while I am fully aware I have WAY too much clothes, I also feel gross throwing away things that are still useable.  Time to garage sale and drop stuff off in those bins for salvation army to ease my mind. 

Offline Caveat

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 05:54:50 PM »
A friend hung all her clothes on hangers and then hung them in the closet "backwards". Anything she wore and returned to the closest was then hung frontwards. At about the end of a year, she went through what was still backwards and donated most of it.
I wear uniforms that my company pays for.  Old uniforms get worn when doing yard work or messy chores so as to keep my blue jeans looking better longer. That's the frugal side of me.  I am sure my clothing requirement is probably different than yours because I have northern weather. I also don't wash small loads of laundry.  I wait until I have a full load to save $.  I am in the process of downsizing. My old jeans are going to charity and have been replaced with 5 pairs of men's jeans because these come in the right length, are more rugged and have REAL pockets.  No more women's pants with shallow or pretend pockets for me.  I also hunt,fish and ice fish so once again more clothes

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 06:21:23 PM »
You and me both sister!!  Several years ago, I finally found a brand/style I liked at Walmart and bought them there ever since but last year they stopped carrying them.  Arrgh!  But luckily they sell them on Amazon.  Half of the reviews say the same thing - "I used to buy these at Walmart but they don't carry them anymore."

Mine are mostly blown out too -- I cant buy them most places as I am smaller than standard size, same for my girl. Usually the only place we know will have the size is Victorias secret, sometimes larger department stores. My favorite, and it is lasting along time, is european and we got it five years ago when overseas.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2014, 07:56:00 PM »
Wool. Lots of wool if you live in a cold climate. Thrift stores are my favorite for wool sweaters. Some wools now can be thrown in the washer (look for 'superwash' on the label), though I hand wash all my sweaters regardless. I am always cold though, you may be different.

Women's clothes infuriate me, even those that are supposed to be "rugged". Men's clothes are just made warmer, tend to last longer, and are more practical (i.e. have functional, spacious pockets). I'm unfortunately too small to buy men's sizes in most cases, except for shoes.

I also have a sort of "uniform" for work, an old t-shirt and Carhartts. I am filthy and tired when I get home, so that's when the sweatpants usually come on. Much as I love my dirty job, I do miss being able to wear nicer clothes more often, so I try to make an effort on weekends to look nice sometimes.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 09:45:01 PM »
I have 2 pair of jeans that currently fit (my jean size has fluctuated wildly in the past 8 years because of pregnancy - I do not get a cute little baby bump, noooo! I just get BIG all over), so I rotate them every week.  Unless I do something REALLY dirty like clean the chicken coop or move piles of dirt around, then I switch early.
I share t-shirts with hubby - my favorite right now are the Hanes Beefy http://www.hanes.com/hanes/men/t-shirts/short-sleeve-tshirts/hanes-beefy-t-short-sleeve-t-shirt-6307 that are often on sale for 4.99.  They are thick, they do not pile, and they have lots of colors.
I do not often wear socks - my feet get too hot, so I wear sandals (men's - http://www.footwearworl.com/teva-shoes-omnium-leather-free-shipping-and-returns-brown-p-11618/) out and about unless there is snow on the ground, then I have a pair of brown boots, more or less carbon copies of the pair my grandma gave me in high school (and I am mad cuz even though I ordered two pair the last time I bought some, I cannot find anymore, and I am VERY particular about my boots), or if I will be doing something with a shovel.  But I like the wool socks I bought at the sporting good store here - not too hot in the summer, and toasty for cold winter days at home.
I do not wear a bra  :o but there is good info on this thread if you want a good discussion on those instruments of torture: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=33603.msg587411#msg587411
I have 2 skirts to wear to church with nicer white t-shirts, and a pair of shoes to wear with them.

but my days consist of homeschooling my 5 kids and running them around town to various lessons, and my biggest homesteading activity is food preparation, so I do not get very dirty.

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2014, 07:30:10 AM »
Mine are mostly blown out too -- I cant buy them most places as I am smaller than standard size, same for my girl. Usually the only place we know will have the size is Victorias secret, sometimes larger department stores. My favorite, and it is lasting along time, is european and we got it five years ago when overseas.

Amazon carries are lot of European bra manufactures.  They often have a bunch of them discounted.  They can be shipped prime and returned if they don't fit. 

I have one friend who will buy 16 bras at a time if she finds one that fits.  That way she only goes bra shopping once or twice a decade.   

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2014, 08:20:43 AM »
I wear wear-out a lot of jeans and buy them mostly at the thrift shop for $3-$6 ea.  I'm tall, either a 6L or 8L depending on how they're cut.  Men's jeans never seemed to fit comfy, so I mostly don't have super heavy-duty ones.  Got a pair of awesome Cruel Girl jeans last month for $3, they looked new.

Closet....  I went from a magnanimous closet set-up (29' of rod and a 48pr shoe rack) to a "tiny house" with 39" of rod space and two plastic tubs!  At least all the "corporate dress" and "business casual" clothes/skirt suits are not needed here.  I have good sneakers (for public) ratty ones for homestead, two sets of hiking boots, Sorrels for ice/snow, and rubber muck boots.  Oh, a pair of nice black and brown flats too, my bunions don't really miss all those heels.

Three versatile skirt sets, one funeral, two suitable for weddings, etc.  Various seasonal tops from tanks to turtleneck sweaters, and three warm sweatshirts for winter work.  I also hate bra shopping, but only wear one in public, so they last awhile.  Cotton crew socks for summer, (anklets in public) and a bunch of smart wool winter socks (found seconds for $1.67/pr several years ago.)

Lastly, jackets.  Again three nice ones in different warmth levels for public, and some German army surplus gear for the farm (they used wool blends) and the Flectarn goretex rocks for cheap!

This week my fleece jammies have gotten a workout (was 19 degrees night before last.)

~TG

Offline ericksonrs

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 01:17:47 PM »
So from a guys perspective...I recently ran in to this TED talk and really liked it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3CLRL32Mcw

or

http://lifehacker.com/simplify-and-find-your-true-style-with-a-10-item-wardro-1651843595

I've adapted it a little to mesh with my lifestyle but I think the core works.  I can have 10 items for my typically work week (9-5 IT Professional).  Then I can have 10 items in my casual clothes, plus extras for church, hard work in the yard (cleaning the coop, mowing, etc), and other items like pullovers and jackets.

Since I live in Utah that also means I need to dress seasonally so I also made an effort to rotate and put all my summer, golfing, swimming, etc clothes in space bags and find them homes for the next 6 months. 

It has made an amazing difference in my closet and dresser.  So far my rundown

Work
5 dress shirts
3 dress slacks
2 belts
2 dress shoes
10 Pairs dress socks

Church
2 Suits
3 White shirts
Too many ties to count (may need to work on that)
Share dress shoes/belts/socks with above

Casual
3 Tshirts
3 Polo Shirts
3 Jeans
2 Pants/Jeans Work pants
6 Pair White Socks
1 Pair Hiking Boots
2 Pair Tennis Shoes
1 Pair Muck Boots
1 Pair Snow Boots

Misc
10 Pair Undergarments
2 Pull over jackets
2 Sweaters
2 Rain Jackets
2 Coats

Misc Workout Clothes

It still seems like a lot but it allowed me to pare down a lot of clothes and move some to my car bug out bag and winter bag etc.





Offline ericksonrs

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 01:24:16 PM »
Just realized this was in the lady survivors board (my feedly reader combines all the topics)

Sorry for the intrusion :)

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2014, 06:09:02 PM »
Just realized this was in the lady survivors board (my feedly reader combines all the topics)

Sorry for the intrusion :)

We're fine with men around here ;)

But be warned, some topics aren't for the faint of heart :o

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2014, 02:32:20 AM »
I've pretty drastically shrank my closet since I turned 18. With how much moving I've done, I've got everything to fit in a suitcase and a duffel bag. I feel like it's a lot easier for me as a guy :p
But here's all the clothes I own:
5 pairs of work jeans, stained with cement, paint, caulk, and motor oil.
2 pairs of "date jeans" that I don't wear to work and keep nice (skinny jeans wouldn't work well for work though lmao)
5 cotton tees in various neutral earth tone colors
4 pairs of heavy duty wool socks
1 pair thin wool blend military issue socks
A whole pile of white cotton socks
5 cutoff jeans shorts for work during the summer
One pair of dress pants
Two dress shirts
One long sleeved "date shirt"
3 short sleeved button up shirts, two of which need to be replaced and not worn at work!
2 slightly gaudy tank tops (because sometimes I need to have "swag")
1 nice super warm hoodie I keep nice for going out
A filthy insulated flannel jacket shirt for work
Another filthy flannel shirt (not insulated just a plain shirt)
A nice athletic light jacket
A pair of Carhart overalls for when it's really cold out and I'm working
Athletic clothes: shorts, a bright green reflective moisture wicking awesome tank top, compression shorts, and 4 pairs of moisture wicking socks
Shoes: A pair of waterproof work boots and a pair of Asics running shoes
Various winter gear including several pairs of gloves, scarf, hats, face mask, and two pairs of thermal underwear
One pair of pajama pants
A woodland BDU jacket and pants
Milsurp wool jacket and pants liners

I haven't kept my clothes in a dresser or closet for like two years. It's slightly inconvenient but it's also liberating knowing I can just grab my stuff and leave without needing to pack.

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2014, 02:58:01 AM »
Also, of you really want to size down your closet, one thing you can do is go through and think of all your clothing needs, like going out with friends, church, gardening, working on a car, etc. And pick out a few of your favorite outfits for each activity, how many you pick depending on how often you do the activity the clothes are for and how often you need to wear a new outfit to do the same activity again. Example, you could get by with one or two outfits for working on stuff because nobody will judge you for wearing the same outfit all the time, but you'd want more than one or two outfits for going out with friends every single weekend. I have enough nice clothes to wear a new outfit each time on a few dates with a girl and hopefully by that point she's not going to care when I wear my not so nice clothes (I try to go for girls that wouldn't care anyways though). I have a lot of work jeans because they get dirty fast and I work every day.

Once you pick out the clothes you need for your normal activites, try just stowing the rest of your clothes away somewhere, like space saver bags in the basement or something out of the way. If you find you need something out of the clothes you put away, you can just add it in to your main set of clothes. If you don't miss any of the clothes you've put away, send them to a thrift store! If later on you find you need something you got rid of, it's not like clothes are expensive. I do all of my clothes shopping at thrift stores, you can find a ton of really nice stuff for cheap.

One thing that's helped me take control of all the junk and clutter I've had in my life is learning to just let go of stuff because there's plenty of stuff out there. I figure it's just as expensive to keep a piece of crap I don't need in my way as it is to find one or buy one if it turns out I do need it. And I try to keep my ownership of objects to high quality things that I have a planned use for.

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2014, 09:09:41 AM »

2 slightly gaudy tank tops (because sometimes I need to have "swag")

Like these?

Jack's favorite - a rainbow farting unicorn                            OR The Warrior Hunnter's favorite

       

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2014, 11:35:52 AM »
L...OR The Warrior Hunnter's favorite


:rofl: +5

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2014, 11:41:38 AM »
Hahaha yeah. Something like that.  :P

Offline busymomx3

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2015, 08:45:59 PM »
I've heard of the hanger trick.  I have seen it suggested that if you put something on and take it right back off you should donate it.  Unless it's a case of not right for weather or something of that nature.  If you didn't like it while it was on 5 mins, you probably won't wear it again.  I've found it's true in my case.  So I'm cleaning out :).  Also you could try Ross, inexpensive and variety if your looking to figure out your style.  When we moved out of the city and into the county I found my style adjusted naturally to what I "needed".  Plus I moved from PNW to TX (South) and you don't leave the house without being done up down here LOL.  So I've adjusted.  Good luck.

Offline Cryptozoic

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2015, 12:29:22 AM »
Depends on your climate and ability to wash clothes.
Keep what you think you will use and then keep an equal amount in bins somewhere.  Like under the bed, put a tablecloth atop a couple of stacked bins and you have furniture ;)

Offline Here Again

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2015, 02:09:55 PM »
Thank you!!!  I feel so much better now knowing I'm not the only "gal" wearing men's jeans!!!!

I keep one pair of black dress pants and about 4 tops to go with it.  That covers me for church, weddings, funeral, etc (buy wearing pants, I just just wear a pair of nice boots (also men's, lol) and don't have to worry about shoes).  Otherwise I have a stack of t-shirts I wear and a few more nicer "ladies shirts" I ordered from a catalog if I want to look better then an old ratty t-shirt will allow.  Jeans - I have about 3 pairs in rotation, I need to buy a few more next sale (usually around back to school).  One pair of tennis shoes, croc like shoes for running about the house-basement-back yard, "good" cowboy boots, "bad" cowboy boots, a pair of sandals (somewhere), work boots and a few pairs of cold weather boots (that's to my Boy Scout son and his fast growing feet a few years back).

My mom LOVES clothes, so it bugs her to no end that I'm this simple.  After 45 yrs you'd think she'd "get" I don't want to go shopping for clothes, lol.

Offline oclisa

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2015, 12:12:05 AM »
This is hard for us gals to do, but one quick downsizing trick is to limit yourself to the same outfit or two. Maybe one for more formal needs (work, church, etc) and one for play and some of us might need one for dirty play too (and I'm not talking sex girls...I'm talking soil). You buy maybe two (or adjusted for your needs) of the same outfits for each need (i.e., two of the same dress, two of the same shirt/jeans combo, whatever). I have read that many "focused" types employ this wardrobe "trick" to avoid worrying about the wardrobe. Take a look at any Steve Jobs photo and I am pretty sure you will find him in a black mock turtleneck and jeans. Reportedly Albert Einstein bought several versions of the same grey suit because he didn’t want to waste brainpower on choosing an outfit each morning. The list goes on. I'm still trying to downsize my wardrobe accordingly but vanity keeps getting in the way.  :-\

Offline Gam in VA

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Re: Shrinking Your Closet?
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2015, 07:02:14 PM »
I've got way too much clothes but not much nice at all.  It's mostly because of a lack of discipline.  I buy used stuff or really inexpensive stuff like nicer t-shirts from K-Mart.  A part of the problem is that I don't take the time to change or put on an apron so I tend to have a lot of stains on even my nicer shirts.  And my tops for hot weather are lighter in color so I can see ticks on them.  I just took stock of everything and I've got at least 40 really junky stained up t-shirts and maybe 4 good ones. If I get rid of any of them I'll probably tear them into rags.   My thing around this time of year is warmth.  Lots of layers and especially of fleece. Gam in VA--I'm new here.  How exciting to find you all!