Let’s face it, some clothes are hard to let go. You may love an outfit so much, you literally wear it once or twice a week. A long term relationship with clothes can really affect how they look to you and others. Not to mention, your favorite clothes can become repetitive to the point where your friends will associate you with a few specific outfits. But sometimes there are very good reasons to throw out or donate old clothes and exchange them for a new capsule wardrobe.
Stains are a super common reason why people replace clothes before they wear out with age. If you’re a little bit klutzy or absent-minded sometimes, you’ve dribbled chocolate ice cream down your front, spilled red wine on your pants (and maybe your friend!), dropped a blob of hot dog mustard on your favorite cardigan, or wrestled your loved one off the picnic blanket into a bed of green grass. While these are all avoidable mistakes, life just happens sometimes. These are just a few of the reasons white clothing doesn’t last long in many people’s closets. Some stain removers work really well, but they surely don’t cut it on everything. Rather than frustrate yourself, it may be a better idea to simply let go and be more careful with your next outfit.
Despite the avoidable mishaps, stains are inevitably lurking just around the corner for all of your shirts. Have you ever noticed armpit stains on your clothes? No need to be embarrassed, it happens to the best of us. And there is an easy explanation. Deodorants designed for women also contain antiperspirants, which will eventually stain your shirts. Deodorants made for men often contain antiperspirants as well, but you can find some that don’t if you look hard enough. When you see these stains, you can bet your friends have seen them on you too and it’s definitely time to say goodbye to that shirt.
Granted, tears aren’t always a bad thing. Back in the ‘80s, it was totally hip for a guy to tear the sleeves off his t-shirt. Since the late ‘90s and forward, torn jeans and cut-off shorts continue to be popular. You don’t even have to rip them yourself anymore because they are sold pre-torn on the department store racks. However, there is a cutoff point when a trendy tear crosses the line to looking like rags hanging off your body. Now, I’m not saying every torn or stained piece of clothing should be thrown away. If you have the space to store them, keep torn and stained clothes in a box to reuse later in different projects. You can give them to your hubby to use as mechanical shop rags. Create a rug out of strips of old tee shirts. Use them at Halloween time to stuff a scarecrow. Get creative!
- Fading, Stretching, and Fuzzies
Have you found your favorite brands of clothing yet? If you do have favorites, I bet the clothes are made from quality materials and fabrics that don’t fade, stretch, shrink, or get fuzzy lumps when you wash them a couple of times. With so many big box stores out there selling clothing made from subpar materials, it can be difficult to resist buying cheap jeans and shirts. But, when you compare those clothing items to better brand names in your wardrobe, I think it will be clear that you end up spending more money on cheap clothes that don’t last very long than you will on quality clothes made from durable materials. If it’s time to clean your closet and you don’t know what to get rid of, start with clothing that has clearly faded over time or are consumed with fuzz balls, or showing other signs of being worn out.
- Too Big or Too Small
If you’re like most women in the U.S., you go through phases with your weight. Some years, you are skinny and make all your friends jealous with short shorts and skin-tight tops. Your drawers overflow with clothes that are too big for you, yet make you feel fabulous that they don’t fit anymore. Other years, you gain weight, and you can’t fit into those sexy little numbers you used to. You can box them up and save them for another size you, or hang the clothes that are your favorite and too small in the closet for motivation to lose the weight again. Either way, you know you will need new clothes that not only bespoke you and are stylish, but that you feel comfortable in as well. If you often fluctuate and find yourself in different sizes, then you may want to even consider developing a couple capsule wardrobes and getting rid of all the excess, so your closet isn’t overflowing.
- Old and Copycat Styles
Have you ever been on your first trip to the beach for the summer, armed with your new super cute swimsuit, only to get there and find other people wearing the same thing? It can be utterly crushing. Even after a few trips to certain well-known stores, you will start to be able to pick out their clothing on passersby. Avoid copycat styles by shopping online and think outside the big box stores! And let’s not forget about old fashions. If you’ve watched the new season of Stranger Things (a series based in the ‘80s) and recognize your clothing style on it, it is definitely time to change things up. Give those jean jackets, stretch pants, and button-down flannels to charity. Get down with new seasonal fashions and learn how to mix and match your new items with some of your favorite classics to revamp your wardrobe!
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast. She enjoys writing about all things fashion, films, comics, and television, as well as travel and events. She has a love for adventure, interest in interiors, and a knack for covering developments in a range of industries, from HR to real estate, finance and more.