Wardrobe Woes

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My closet and I had an argument this month. It went something like this:

This green dress really is beautiful.

You haven’t worn it in two years.

Yes, but, it’s modest; it’s got pockets; it’s bright and cheerful.

It doesn’t fit and you have no fancy shindig to go to.

It was expensive.

So let someone else have the joy of wearing it.

You can guess who said what. We had this conversation multiple times about a variety of items.

My closet won.

I discarded several items that are either stained, too small, or just not my style. I hid in a corner (where she can’t see) three very nice, almost new, “maybe-someday-I’ll-have-a-fancy-shindig-or-hem-them-so-they-fit-or-lose-some-weight” kind of items. But there are several stragglers that are gonna get the boot in the next week.

I hated to do it, too. But, I know that I’ll feel better if I go to a closet that holds only mostly things that I can or will wear, weather permitting. Such a better prospect than standing in the full closet “with nothing to wear.”

What do YOU do?

Do you hang on for dear life? Or do you ditch and pitch?

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  1. Ditch and pitch for the most part. I can honestly say that I wear (almost) every item in my closet on a regular basis and there are a couple of items that I might not wear on a regular basis, but I wear them at least once a year, so it works. If it has been longer than a year since I have worn an item, it goes out. My husband helped me (very early on in our marriage) by giving me the “one in, one out” rule. It made it so much easier for me, because if I find something I just “love” in a store, I have to mentally go through my closet and think of something I’m willing to part with (or that I love less than what I’m holding in the store). If I can’t do it, then the item goes back to the rack, my money stays in my wallet, and my closet remains as it is. It’s a great system for me! 🙂

  2. I love the convo with the closet! I’ve been weeding through mine as well. Clothes from high school and college had to go. I’ve been hitting Goodwill and Salvation Army to give my wardrobe a fresh look without breaking the bank. Yesterday I found a fab dress from a catalogue for 2.99!!! I bought a .99 black belt to accessorize and garage sales are great too, but they’re slim in this hot weather. I love a great brand name for a small price. And I copy cat magazines for ideas, like talbots, Cabi and Ann Taylor. Love it..thnx for sharing

  3. Ugh. I know how this goes. Although this time last year I was 2 months post-partum, so my closet purging consisted of trying on everything in my closet and boxing up the things that don’t fit! I haven’t given/sold/thrown anything away yet, hoping *maybe* I’ll fit into them again, but not this summer…

  4. I mostly purge but right now I do have a few things that don’t fit. They’re in a storage box under my bed. With pregnancy and other weigh fluctuations I had a several different sizes hanging around and after I lost most of the baby weight from my second (and final) baby last fall I did a HUGE purge. I’m working on those last 10 lbs so I decided if the clothes don’t fit by the end of the year I’m pitching them.

    It gets to a point where even if you could fit into something again you probably wouldn’t want to wear it. I was hanging on to things from 2005 and earlier. Last summer I realized the black dress pants I was wearing for gigs was from 2002. I ended up spending a few hundred dollars on a wardrobe upgrade (which we’d planned for) but it was so worth it. For the first time in years I have clothes I enjoy wearing and I don’t need to buy much of anything this fall.

  5. I usually ditch and pitch. Like Carrie I had lots of clothes boxed up after pregnancy but I finally purged them a few weeks ago. Let’s face it, this body will never be the same. 😉

    I do have one item that was really hard to ditch, though. It’s a custom made pant suit that I got years ago when I was still working. It was wrong somehow from the beginning. The shape was odd and the colour not flattering and it made me look like I wore my pajamas. But it was expensive and “everyone needs a pant suit”, right? Well, it’s in the donation box now and hopefully will look better on someone else.

  6. I tend to purge stuff for myself. Now that is a different story for some of the people in my family, who think they need to hang onto everything in their closets.

  7. It’s my goal to be able to do this! I tend to hang onto things thinking “but i love it” even if I never wear it, or “I’ll fit into that again one day” (at which point it will be hopelessly out of style…

  8. I eventually get rid of my clothes..however, I do have a tendency to hold on to things way too long. After reading your post, and having a small laugh :), I’m going to go through it again and see if there’s anything else that I can get rid of, that I haven’t worn in the last six months or more 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather 🙂

  9. I used to go through my closet twice a year, usually at the season change. That way I had fresh in my mind what I actually wore that season.
    But I’ve begun to realize that i go through seasons where I’ll wear certain things. There have been a few times where a bag of donation clothes got mixed with keep stuff and I actually started wearing what I was giving away. 🙂

  10. I ditch and pitch every so often and it is past time for me to clean out my own closet again. Actually, it’s past time. So, thanks for the reminder. It will be lovely to walk into a closet full of clothing that I can actually wear.

  11. I just finished purging as I have a chronic illness and am disabled. It is so freeing to only have what you wear!

  12. I probably only wear about 20% of what’s in my closet. I have so many “single” items I love but I don’t know what to pair it with. So that’s my problem!

    1. @Stephanie,

      I once read a novel that contained the quote “Only 10% of a woman’s wardrobe is actually worn. The other 90% represents fantasy and despair.” That certainly used to be me! Now I try and remember that when I’m lusting after things like the blue suede shoes on the cover of the latest Aerosoles catalogue!

  13. I hear ya….Oh my. I have a lot of “talks” with my closet. I especially have a lot of talks because my hubby works on straight commission being a Realtor/broker owner of our own company. That equals: No perks and no predictable paycheck of any kind. Period. In other words, it scares the dickens out of me to get rid of things at times…

    Here’s what I did this year: We just moved and so when I moved my clothes into the new closet, I hung the hangers facing me. When I wear something I turn the hanger around normally. This fall I will donate my summer clothing with hangers still turned around. I will do the same again after winter. I also put little dot stickers in every shirt in my chest of drawers. When I wear a shirt I remove the sticker.

    The only thing I keep for years is formal wear and if that doesn’t fit, out it goes too.

    Good for you for blessing someone else with the green dress! Bravissimo!

  14. I’m bad to hold on to items but when I do finally get the urge to purge, I really purge. My closet needs a good cleaning, your post has motivated me. Think I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

  15. I used to keep everything until I had my 1st baby and for some reason that made me ruthless about getting rid of stuff. I think it was because I used to put out of season clothes away but ran out of time to do that each year, so I wanted to be able to keep everything in my closet all year long. I have some classic pieces that I’ve kept for 10+ years, but mostly I wear jeans (I work full time but have a very casual work place). That makes things easier.

  16. I’ve been getting rid of a lot this year. Last fall I took a lot of the clothes I hadn’t worn in a long time and hung them on the other side of my closet (my husband and I share a walk-in closet). The area is partially hidden by the door when I open it. I found that I never went looking for those clothes. After 6 months I got rid of them! I’ve lost weight and as soon as something gets too big it’s gone. Some I’ve been able to share with a friend who has lost a lot of weight so it’s been nice to share and she doesn’t have to spend a ton of money on clothes as she is losing weight too. My closet looks so much better and I have clothes in it that I actually wear!

  17. I have had quite a few similar conversations with my closet recently. I have a hard time getting rid of things. (the I might wear it one day argument wins too often.) Lately I have been using old items in my closet to make clothes for kids (mine or baby shower gifts). It has been a great way for me to get rid of things I don’t wear & feel good about it.

  18. I don’t feel so bad getting rid of things if I can at least get something for it. But, I don’t have many clothes to start with so if something needs to be replaced, I get rid of the old item when I replace it with the new. I try to keep a one in, one out method to it. Everything in drawers has to fit. If they are bulging out and the drawer is hard to close, we go through the clothes and get rid of some.

  19. We went through our entire closet this year only because we were forced to. The closet brackets came loose from the wall so we had to take everything out and sort through it all. My husband keeps alot of old stuff too and wears only a few items that are his current favorites until they wear out. (My dad is the same way)

  20. I hold on to things for a year or two and if i dont wear them out they go. Except my nice clothes I keep those for when I need them for a wedding or what not. I hate to go out and spend money on nice clothes.

  21. I get rid of my stuff all the time–probably too often. Things I buy at thrift stores often return right back there a few years later. My husband, on the hand, has a few shirts in our closet that he wore when we were in college–over 12 years ago. 🙂

  22. I just got rid of a bunch of clothes earlier this year…then as always happens, I figured out a good use for one skirt that I donated. It frustrates my husband when I do that because he is such a hoarder (he gets it from his mom). Some of the t-shirts I recently convinced him to get rid of were shirts his dad wore before he passed away in 1997.

    I’m in that stage where I’m still breastfeeding and I want to have more kids, so I have maternity clothes that, “I’ll use again,” nursing clothes, and regular clothes. We’re the king and queen of 18 gallon tubs.