Should I Get Rid of Clothes That Don't Fit?

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Ah, the eternal question. It doesn't fit right now, but it might fit again. It was fill in the blank (expensive, from a special trip, a gift, a go-to, etc.). 

One thing I can count on discussing during a Closet Edit is the fate of that special piece. Or, in some cases, those special pieces. For whatever reason, it isn't working anymore. What it is doing, is taking up space in your closet and in your mind. So, here are a few tips on determining how to deal with the dreaded item that simply doesn't fit.

 San Telmo Jacket. Anthropologie. $138. (Jackets are one item that can easily trip you up. Trends in fit change relatively quickly. Make sure your jacket style is flattering AND current. Embroidery is big right now.)

2 Questions to Ask About A Piece That Doesn't Fit

1. Does it communicate my personal style?

Let's pretend this fits right now. If you were wearing it, what would it say about you? Does it say, "edgy, put together, boho," or whatever your three style keywords are? If not, regardless of fit, it should be out the door.

2. Is it at my level?

I see this all the time. We upgrade everything else in our lives before we address our look. If you are a manager, does this piece communicate that? Does it look like you are successful, relevant. Is it appropriate for your current life, your job, your lifestyle? If it's old, pilly, dated, cheap or just not your style, out the door it goes.

If you answered in the affirmative for both questions, it's time to take action. You should NEVER have pieces in your closet that do not fit right now. Seriously. But, that doesn't mean you need to throw them out or give them away. Instead, you're going to make some piles.

 Soprano One-Shoulder Body-Con Dress. Available in multiple colors. Nordstrom. $45. (Of the moment trends are a great place to look for sales. The one shoulder trend is still going strong. But, you'll likely find that this dress may not stand the test of time. However, when the style feels outdated, just toss a sweater or jacket over top and transform it into a skirt.)


Categories for Your Ill Fitting Clothes

1. Too Small.

If you love something, it's relevant and you are confident that in the event it will fit, you'll be dying to wear it, put it in this pile. Once this pile is complete, you have two options.

Option 1: Take it to a tailor. I work with an incredible tailor. She and I head to a client's place and adjust pieces. If you are tackling this on your own, know that a tailor can often make pieces fit if they are too small. If you carry your weight in your bottom half and a dress doesn't fit over your hips, consider turning it into a top. The tailor can also add fabric to make something larger. Would leather accents update the dress and offer additional fabric? There are lots of ways to make this work. 

Option 2: Take everything in it and put it in a closet somewhere else in your house. Preferably, these pieces are folded up and put on the top shelf of a closet. Alternatively, hang them in your guest room. I keep mine in portable hanging storage containers in the garage. (If you choose this route, be sure to keep potpourri other items with them to avoid garage smell.)

2. Too Large.

Same situation. The piece is perfect, but it's just too big. If this happens, consider taking it to the tailor so that you can start using it ASAP. I recommend keeping all your items that need tailoring in one bag in the trunk of your car (if you drive). When you have spare time between errands, swing by and ask for an estimate. Then, take your clothes back and really consider how much it is worth to you to have that item tailored. Is it a better use of your money to simply give this away and buy something new? Or is tailoring the answer. Alternatively, decide the appropriate investment amount before you visit the tailor and make a list. Then, when you are face to face with the tailor, you know whether or not you want the work done. 

If you are a Poplin client, reach out! I work with an amazing tailor that makes house calls for Poplin clients:)

3. Nostalgia wins.

If you bought this on your first trip out the country and you know you'll probably never wear it again; but you can't bear the thought of giving it away, it goes in this category. These items are stored together somewhere else in the house. Try a cedar trunk to avoid moth balls or another special location. You know where they are when you want to see them, but they are not taking up space in your closet.

4. Someone Else Will Love It.

As you likely know, I host Styling Sessions for homeless and formerly homeless youth at YouthCare. I can't tell you what it feels like to see a young man or woman try on a "new" outfit that fits and represents his/her personal professional style. You can make that happen by donating clothes that simply don't work for you anymore. Whether you donate to YouthCare or another organization, consider the impact your pieces can have on someone's life. If a piece is just sitting in your closet, unworn, unloved, it's time to pay it forward.

 Welcome to the boutique made just for me.... my closet.

But, Why?

Here's the thing: Every time you look in your closet, you should feel like you are looking at a boutique curated just for you. Everything should fit. It should make you feel amazing. If it doesn't, it just takes up space. If you see that skirt that ALMOST fits, you start an internal dialogue about your imperfections, a need to lose weight and the list goes on. If you try something on and it doesn't work, you start the chain of outfit after outfit, each one less satisfying than the last, resulting in you walking out of the door feeling like you don't own anything worth wearing. Purge those naysayers from your closet. Get anything out of there that makes you feel somehow less than. It's not you, my dear, it's the clothes. 

Now, hop to it! 

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