Apparently, the rule when it comes to cleaning out your closet is that, if you haven't worn it in a year, donate it. I don't believe that. It's a running joke with my friends that I can hold unto a piece of clothing because 'I wore it that one time, at that one place, doing that one thing...'. Lucky me, my friends are apparently hilarious. It's true, I form deep emotional bonds with my clothing (I just have a lot of feelings, OK?) but I am getting better at deciding what to donate back to the thrift store. Here are the rules that I try my very best to apply...
It's cheap, it's cute but I haven't worn it in forever. DONATE. Sometimes you are just over it. And if it's not a great quality piece, it's not worth hanging unto until the next time that trend rolls around or until you decide you like it again.
I bought this little summer dress at Winners years ago. It's sweet and fun but not particularly outstanding and I haven't worn it in forever. I have just let it sit in my closet for years because I might wear it... someday. In the meantime, I rediscovered my love for thrifting and I have added scads of much better dresses to my closet. Sure, I have a tiny emotional attachment to it. I spent almost all of my high school and university in pants (no one really wore dresses regularly... seriously. Does anyone else remember that?) and this was one of the first dresses that I bought, not for a wedding, but just for the fun of of it. Now I wear dresses all the time and it's time I just let go of this neglected one.
It just doesn't fit. DONATE. I am so guilty of hanging unto clothes because 'they will fit in 5 lbs'. I don't want to donate them because that would be admitting defeat in the face of those 5 lbs. I reason with myself that it's OK to leave too small clothing in my closet because my shape does change during the year. My job is definitely more physical in the summer and it does have an effect but my body doesn't go up and down a few sizes over the course of a year. I think that is the biggest part of letting clothes go that don't fit; it's about being honest with yourself.
It can sound so simple but any women knows that clothing, sizing and fit are an emotional muddle. Be honest, and if something doesn't fit, let it go to someone who can enjoy it instead of letting it take up valuable real estate space in your closet. (I know this is targeted more to clothing being too small but the same goes for clothing that is just too big and not worth altering.)
It just doesn't make me feel good. DONATE. We all have clothes that have nothing inherently wrong with them but they just don't make us feel good when we wear them. It could be a fit issue, a fabric that itches or maybe you saw something in a magazine (or on a fashun blocher?) but when you tried the trend, it just didn't feel like you. Donate it! There is someone out there who loves itchy wool (I do...), who has the right hips for that skirt or is actually into The Rolling Stones and didn't just buy the t-shirt to impress a boy.
used some $20 bills to line the kitty litter... That said, they are never going to be worth the money to me so I might as well let someone else enjoy them.
It's quality, it fits, I like it but I haven't worn it in forever. WAIT. I have a hard time letting a good piece go, even if I don't wear it much. Because I spend so much of my time in work clothes, I don't have enough hours to wear all the crazy that is in my closet. Some pieces might not be my style aesthetic right now but I could very well like them again in a year. After all, it was only a few years and wrinkles ago that I felt brave enough to wear a dress. Just looking back through the archives of the blog (you know, just a Friday night activity...) I can see how much my style evolved and changed. I don't know what I will be liking and wearing next season.
I thought the sequin bow was sick (it was 6 years ago, I probably talked like that). I still like this skirt and though I haven't worn it in two years, I can't bring myself to give it away. It's a nice pencil skirt with a sequin bow. Is that ever going to be 'out'? Didn't think so...
Good quality classics that fit well, should also be stored instead of donated. A nicely cut blazer, a trench, wedge shoes... These things always go through the trend cycle and when they come back in, don't you wanna yell at your Lucky Magazine that you already have a trench and you don't need to buy a new one for $356? I love yelling at my Lucky magazine... except I am usually yelling 'Hire me!'.
I am dreading going into our bedroom now. There is a closet full of clothing that needs to be re-examined under the harsh light of my donation commandments. I better get it done or face the consequences of being a blogging hypocrite.
How do you decide what stays and what goes?