Now is the perfect time for a bit of closet cleaning and a wardrobe refresh! Here are 17 things to get rid of as you clean out your closet.
A core question I ask all my Private Styling Clients before we start shopping their closet… “What are the items in here I should ignore because you need to get rid of them?”
Clean Out Your Closet
From the unnecessary clothes you’ve stockpiled over the years (college t-shirts, flannel pajamas from high school, and those jeans you SWEAR you’ll get back in to) to the trendy items that have seen their heyday (hmmm… disco dress and neon? Probably NOT coming back), here are 17 things that you should look for and toss out when closet cleaning.
17. ANYTHING WITH SHOULDER PADS
Sue Ellen Ewing called… she wants her outfit back. No, shoulder pads do not make your waist look smaller. Neither does big hair, but we won’t talk about that here in Dallas 😉
16. EXPENSIVE CLOTHES YOU DON’T LOVE
Just because it cost an arm and a leg doesn’t mean it looks good. The one item you should absolutely get rid of is that enormously expensive pair of stilettos that you can’t even get on your feet anymore… much less walk across any room.
15. ‘ONLY WHEN’ CLOTHING
‘Only when’ clothing includes those skinny jeans that will fit you only when you lose 10 pounds or that blue leather shirt that would make a great Halloween costume. Goodbye.
14. JEWELRY THAT DOESN’T SUIT YOUR PERSONALITY
I know the tiny, dainty jewelry trend has been big for a few years now. I. Just. Can’t. I’m already petite in stature. If I don’t wear one piece of statement jewelry, I feel like I disappear in the sea of people. Another jewelry trend I don’t do is huge earrings. I don’t care how “hot” the chandelier trend becomes; I physically feel my earlobes stretching just thinking about them.
13. SHOES YOU DON’T WEAR
Those cowboy boots looked so amazing in the store window. Now, it seems you’re missing a hat and horse. Or, what about those shoes with a worn-out heel? Or, the rain boots you HAD to have while you were in England. If you haven’t worn them in a year or fixing them up isn’t worth the extra dollars, donate them to a thrift store.
12. RETRO 1970S DISCO-CHIC
The 1970s had their time… and that was over four decades ago. Outside of the fabulous fringe trend that happened this fall, I’d like to see an end to the retro 70s disco aesthetic. Usually, ladies just overdo it. Bangles, flares, fringe… but in this case, less is more.
11. OUTDATED FASHION MAGAZINES
They take up a tremendous amount of space, and unless they are well-read favorites or bound in beautiful covers, magazines occupy a lot of otherwise useful space. Take your stash to a used bookseller and find a better use for all that newfound shelving. This time of year, take the opportunity to clear the piles and make room for a fresh onslaught. Arm yourself with your iPhone; go through the stacks; and take a quick pic of anything that you want to remember — an inspiration image, a product recommendation, or any fashion resources you might want to follow up on. Then, categorize them into photo albums. It’s a little like a homemade Pinterest board.
10. FAMILY HEIRLOOMS THAT DON’T FIT
A fashion family heirloom is that fur coat or piece of fine jewelry you did not actually choose. It was given to you by a grandmother or a great-aunt, and sometimes, no matter how gorgeous or expensive it is, it just doesn’t mesh with your style. Don’t allow it to be an albatross around your neck, give it to another relative or sell it and buy something that does reflect your taste.
9. OBJECTS ASSOCIATED WITH EXES
You slip into that sexy LBD, and… think of someone else. An outfit should inspire feelings of well-being. If a piece of clothing jars you with unnecessary reminders of a time gone by, it’s best to let it go. A “clean slate closet” is a great canvas on which to make new memories.
8. SHEER ANYTHING
The only garments that should be sheer and see-through are your lingerie and your bathing suit coverup. No matter what walks the runway, you are not Giselle, and life is not a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Dress accordingly.
7. NEVER-USED NAIL POLISHES
A glitter mani sounded like a fabulous idea (and you work in financial services). So did goth black nails. If the bottle is starting to resemble colored glue, it’s time to unload the colors to your local nail salon or give them to a more “flexible” friend.
6. DIY FASHION PROJECTS THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN
We’ve all been there. From the ambitious plan to make a knitted beanie to the box of jewelry-making supplies. Know thyself. If thyself won’t in a million years actually complete said project, think about paying someone else to do it or remove it from the premises.
5. UNUSED COSMETICS
From the partially-used hotel hand cream to the “special occasion” lipstick, cosmetics have a tendency to pile up. By setting a no-cosmetic-buying rule and using up the opened and reserved products instead, you’ll discover new space in your bathroom cabinets before you know it.
4. TAILORED ITEMS THAT AREN’T
If you have work clothes that desperately need a trip to the tailor, yet you can’t get yourself there, please donate them to Dress For Success. This global non-profit promotes women’s economic independence by providing professional attire… your pants will fit someone else beautifully. Tailor not required.
3. OLD UNDERGARMENTS
Be honest, what’s the state of your bra? How about your, ahem, panties? And, heaven forbid, if you don’t sleep alone, what message does your nightie convey? That you’re still stuck in junior high and sleep in a ratty t-shirt? Please stop… and get some beautiful new things to feature your features.
2. CHEAP HANGERS
This is my BIGGEST pet peeve. Your dry cleaner is not in existence to supply you with hangers. They clean your clothes and return them to you on the cheapest mechanism possible… a wire hanger. Wood hangers, while attractive, are bulky. My preference is the slim Joy Mangano velvet hangers which are both space-saving and gentle on your clothes. A worthy investment.
1. UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATERS
Because, no. I don’t care that it has “holiday spirit.” If it has a battery pack for blinking lights, it’s definitely outta’ here.
Out with the old, in with the new
So, with all the things you just tossed in “the great closet cleaning,” I’m sure you have some space. How about a few up-to-date ideas to refresh your wardrobe?
Now that your closets are in shape – you may want to look at The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Women.