We all have favourite garments in our wardrobe, and the problem with favourites is that often we hold onto them for too long. We love them, we don’t want to see them leave our lives, and so we ignore obvious signs that they have done their duty, served their purpose and we have gotten the value from them, but now they should be let go.
What are the signs it’s time to let go?
The two most common things to take into consideration when deciding if something should stay or go in your wardrobe are:
- Is it still in fashion?
- Is it still in good condition?
1. Is it Still in Fashion
How do you know? Firstly, think about when you bought the item, how long ago? Was it something you acquired in a trip? Then what year was that? Was it something that you got when your son was a baby? Well how old is he now? Was it when you were working in a particular job? How long ago was that?
The years fly by (I mean 2015 is almost over!) and we can forget how old our clothes get very easily. We often need to place the moment we got them to figure out how old they really are. Fashion trends last for a little as 6 months and up to around 5-7 years on average. Sure there are some pieces that defy fashion, but sadly, the reality is, most don’t and when you’re wearing clothes that look dated, you look old and out of touch.
So if you look around the shops right now (or even do some retail web-surfing) the question to ask yourself is could you replace the item with something pretty similar, same sort of silhouette and lines? If not, then it may be a clue that it is now dated. If you’re not sure, ask a younger friend or colleague to tell you truthfully if the items is dated or out of fashion.
2. Is it Still In Good Condition
This should be much easier for you to tell. The signs of wear include:
- pulled threads
- seams separating
- worn looking
Wearing clothes that look tired makes you look tired and sloppy, not a message that you’d want to convey right?
With this in mind, I pulled out a favourite top the other day, first time in a few months and saw it with fresh eyes. I noticed that it had lots of little pulls in the fabric, it had was now past its prime. I decided to wear it one more time and then let it go. As much as I love the pattern on this top it doesn’t look fresh anymore, and I have to make sure that the rules I apply to my clients’ wardrobes I apply to my own!
This is so true. I have many friends who wear “once loved clothes”. Their closets are stuffed with these emotional pieces. I ten to purge my closet each season. If I can’t let it go it goes into a bin in the basement. If I never go down their to retrieve it then it means I have others in my closet to replace it. My basics tend to stick around longer but you are right if there is nothing like it now then I need to consider a more updated version. Good advice hope more people look at.
Then again, there are those of us who purge out closets continuously, hell bent on ‘cleansing’ and left with a completely impractical wardrobe that a monk would find sparse or like my sister, there those who have this ability to read thing at a glance and live life with 4-6 outfits, all mixed and matched and just updates 2-3 items and a few new pairs of shoes every few years and her wardrobe continues on.
But it’s so pretty….
But yes past it’s prime and will only make you feel self conscious.
Or at least when I wear faded, worn loved clothes anywhere but the garden I get self conscious.
I had a pair of ankle booties which started off as suede steel grey but faded to a washed out aubergine but every time I wore them I remembered how I felt when I bought them – a hot rock chick. A good friend gave me the look when I tried to convince her how cool they were. Then I saw them with fresh eyes and realised that white plastic was showing through in the heel. Not cool and no amount of black nail varnish was going to hide the wear and tear.
Yes we often don’t see what others see! – great lesson
I am one of those people who so loathes shopping that I try to hang on to whatever will fit until it’s falling apart! I grew up in a poor family and I suspect some of my hangups may relate back to those memories. I still feel a twinge of guilt when I buy clothing, like I’m being wasteful, but when I glance at an old photo of myself in thrift store clothing that was so out of style – even then – I remember how essential it is to buy proper clothes. Great post, thanks!
Tiny holes, pulled threads … those are one of the reasons I edit.
I have seen other people wear garments with small holes and wonder if they noticed them.
I always tend to think “IF I CAN SEE THEM, anyone can..”
However I plead guilty to knowingly owning one stained sweater, I always wear it with a scarf or a big chunky necklace because I really like it 🙁
I am always purging so my next challenge may be difficult. In fact, I have lived with a capsule wardrobe for years before it became vogue. Part of it is because I loathe shopping and the quality of clothing has disintegrated unless one has a barrel of money or energy to hit thrift and consignment shops. Admittingly I need some spark and color so here I am.
The Tabitha post inspired me: could you write about the guilt feeling when we buy clothes?