There’s an old organizational rule that says “If you haven’t worn something in over a year, you no longer need it.” I’ve seen that “rule” in fashion magazines countless times, but I never liked it. How do you know you’re never going to wear something again after only one year? Some pieces, yes, they’re losers or they’re ruined—but everything? After only one year?
I don’t think so.
The items in my closet are like my friends. There’s history and memories, and just like with friends, it’s not always so easy to say “Good-bye.”
That’s probably why, when I go to clean out my closet, once a year, I always have trouble. I sift through the garments deciding what stays and what goes— and though I do consider the “one year rule,” I have my own set of rules as well:
1. The Pieces That No Longer Fit: The last time I cleaned out my closet, I sent one of my girlfriends a text message that said: “I don’t understand how my pants have gotten shorter, but I haven’t gotten taller. WTF???” She explained that our bodies change as we age. I wanted no part of that answer, so I decided to ignore her and keep everything.
But she’s right. Time to let go and move on because Once the body shifts, the pants no longer fit. Donate or consign, and treasure the memories. The empty hangers eventually will be filled with new pieces that fit better and someone else will benefit from the ones that don’t.
2. The Retro and Vintage Pieces: These are the “friends who are family” pieces. I’m not so quick to ditch these goodies because as long as they still fit, they can be used at any given time. I have stuff that’s over 25 years old, maybe more! I like to mix sh*t up so who’s to say I won’t come back to something? Many of my “vintage” pieces don’t have a place in my life today, but they might one day—if not for me, for my girls. Sorry, “one year” rule, they’re staying.
3. The Loyalty Pieces: These are the relics; the school, camp, sports team and concert tee’s collected over the years. I still have an Ohio State sweatshirt from my first year at college, but all of my sorority tee’s are gone. I didn’t really care until I was on a girl’s trip recently, and we went back to our sorority house. The minute we walked up those steps to the front door, a million memories came flooding back. We went through the house yelling “Man On Floor!” reminiscing and laughing, and I found myself wishing, for just a minute, that we could go back to those days—(minus Hell Week, that sucked). Lucky for me, there was a Lost and Found box in the foyer of the house, and we were on the “FOUND” side. I got this:
Thanks for being too tired or hung over to remember your stuff, sistahs! #GoBucks
4. The “In The Moment” Pieces: These are the items that seemed like a good idea at the time—and I fall for these pieces every time.When we were in China, I bought a ton of stuff, including these shoes:
I have never worn these shoes a day in my life, but I also can’t part with them. They were part of our adoption journey and parenting story. Tough call on these kinds of pieces because of the memories. I usually keep a lot of of it, but I also find plenty to donate or consign as well.
5. The Toxic Pieces: Ew. NO. These are the items that bring back bad memories or hurt feelings. Why someone would insist on hanging onto that sh*t, I’ll never know. Donate, consign, burn. Pick one. That kind of energy will eventually infect everything in your closet. Box it up and move it out. If not out of your life, at least out of your closet. #ByeFelicia
6. The Pieces That Just Don’t Look Good On You: These items are a killer, because they were bought with love, and intention. We want so badly to look good in these pieces, but we don’t. Wrong color, style, neckline—whatever it is, it’s not working. “But I LOVE IT, and I spent a lot on it!!” I know. I get it. It’s not happening though. I usually leave these pieces in my closet until I get sick of feeling guilty for what I spent (or sick of looking at them) and then I let them go so they can have a different life with someone else.
A lot can happen in a year; it’s normal to grow out of things. Many of the pieces in our closet come with a lot more than a price tag, so the process of purging can be an emotional one. Some prefer to tackle the job solo, while others like to do it with a trusted friend, or stylist, who can help determine what is needed to fill in the blanks, without repeating expensive mistakes. Either way, whether we donate or consign the pieces that no longer work for us—we make room for things that do, while starting a new story for someone else.
On Sept 17th, 2016, The ladies from Styleshack and the crew from Dim Sum and Doughnuts are hosting a Fall Fashion Pop Up event at 135 N. Old Woodward in Birmingham, Michigan. There will be a “Kid’s Corner” at the event to keep your kids busy while you browse local boutiques, specialty stores and national designers for men and women. Bring any gently used clothes and accessories for Dress For Success or Threads for Teens, or just come by to shop or support!
New Season. Fresh Start!