February 6, 2011

Today's Everyday Fashion: What to Keep, What to Toss








































By now you guys know that I tend to hold onto items for a really long time. In fact, I have a whole collection of blazers from 5+ years ago that I'm still rocking today. Take this jacket from H&M - I bought it in 2006, haven't worn it in ages, but decided to bust it out of the closet today! How did I know I would wear this again? Check out my tips below for cleaning out your closet and what to keep/what to toss. But first...

Why this works: This jacket can be very costume-y. I didn't want to look like I was headed to a costume party, so I was very careful about what I paired the jacket with. Flares look really modern, and in the Victorian era they weren't around. I mixed my styles (Victorian and 70's) to create a funky, modern look!

Jacket: H&M
Shirt: Forever 21, $8
Jeans: Gap, $15
Shoes: Restricted/Endless.com, $39

What to toss: When making a toss/maybes pile, don't listen to experts that tell you to throw something out if you haven't worn it for 6 months to a year. I have held onto tops for a full 5 years before they came back in style, and every time I am really thankful that I held onto them. When to toss:
  • If something is ripped, stained or worn out.
  • If you are only holding onto it for sentimental reasons.
  • If something doesn't fit you size-wise. (one exception: if it can be used for maternity wear later on) 
  • If something doesn't fit you style-wise. Pants often don't keep well, because the styles change (skinny, flare, etc.) so I don't generally hold onto them for very long.
  • If you don't love it anymore. (we all grow out of our younger styles eventually!)
What to keep:  In general, these are the principles I follow in deciding what to keep:
  • If you still really love it, the fit is great, it just feels out of date. Keep it - it will probably come back into style!
  • If it's a high quality item such as a blazer, coat or shoes (only keep the shoes if they are in excellent condition though!).
  • If it's a unique item such as a beaded top or special occasion dress.
How do you decide what to keep?

37 comments:

  1. I always have such a hard time getting rid of clothes! Thanks for all the tips.

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  2. I have a large tupperware storage box in the garage that I cycle my wardrobe through. Every spring and every fall I go through my clothes and pull what I haven't worn in a while, feels outdated, etc etc. I also open up the storage box in the garage and cycle through it. If there's anything in there that I honestly haven't looked at in *years* I donate it away. If I have any "well, maybe" feelings I keep it and whatever I pulled from my closet goes into the box. Sometimes I cycle through that storage box a lot, sometimes I don't touch it for a whole year. I always find a gem or two when I open it up.

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  3. Love your blog! So much useful info, how do you find gap jeans for jus $15? theyre always $50-70 when i go. :-/ im also a newbie to blogging and yours is so inspiring. Check mine out if you want! http://chocolattesbox.tumblr.com have a great day! :)

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  4. I clean out my closet about 3 times a year and donate or sell the items i'm eliminating. I hate keeping things for years and years unless it's a classic or it's an accessory like a handbag. I just get sick of certain clothes and hate that they take up real estate in my closet when I know I'll never wear them. I haven't regretted giving anything away yet :)

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  5. Great tips! I get bored with clothes so I tend to get rid of them so they don't take up the precious space in my tiny closet. I'm lucky to have a sister and we usually donate clothes to each other though:-)

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  6. So nice to see your blog grow every day, you are awesomely stylish and really deserve it:) thanks for these tips, a post on how you organize your closet would be super interesting oh and I'm DYING to actually see your closet!!!

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  7. Very cute jacket. I would have liked to see another version (you may have a pic archived that I don't know about) of the outfit with a shirt tucked in and a chunky belt. Would this type of look work? Or is the longer shirt more appropriate because of the cropped cut of the jacket?

    Trying to learn a thing or two. ; )

    www.thriftylalife.com

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  8. This is the first time I've worn this jacket in years, so no other pictures posted. You could try a shirt tucked in, but the longer/looser shirt was strategic on my part. I personally like how it balances the short/tight jacket!

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  9. To find great prices at the Gap you definitely have to shop in the store. They often have 50% off sale items, so you can find some pretty insane deals!

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  10. Those jeans fit you perrrrfect! And they were only $15?

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  11. Thanks Kerri! Gap prices are way better in the store - they have 50% off sale promos all the time. I scored these about a month ago on a Wednesday when they were running that promo. The price tag said $30, so I got them for $15! (The price online never went lower than $60)

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  12. I actually kept about a dozen or so items that didn't fit because I had gained weight...and kept gaining. When I finally lost about a total of 20lbs. over the past year those old clothes came in handy. I'm glad I kept them because I didn't have to go out an buy a few new pairs of dress slacks and shirts (classics that are always useful for work). But I did donate all my "fat" clothes because I didn't want to keep them "in case I gained the weight back." If I have them there, it's a safety and I don't want it.

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  13. Hey J, your post comes at perfect timing for me. I just took out a bunch of clothes to donate. And never before have I appreciated your shopping strategies and budget. I noticed that my style has changed so much, over just the past year! As I look at my pile, it's kind of painful to see how much I spent on some of these clothes. For example, there was a crappy overcoat worth $50 that I bought on final sale and only wore once and realized I'd never wear again...and there were these black pants worth $40 that really didn't fit anything like they should (I had only bought them because i really needed black pants) and then there were these AE black jeggings that faded so horribly that I bought at regular price! WTF! Add Canadian taxes to all of that and thats nearly $200 wasted...Anyway I'm not regretting donating them, but I'm really hoping someone appreciates them, even though I never did!

    Anyway, completely unrelated, but I wanted to ask you, I don't know if this is too personal or not and I'm sorry if it is, how much would you say is reasonable to spend on undergarments on your budget?

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  14. Ugh. Unfortunately I am NOT a saver and tend to get rid of stuff only to regret it later. But I'm getting better. There are a few items that I gave away years ago that I STILL think about... so anytime I'm getting the urge to clean my closet, I remember that one blazer I gave away and then I look at my 'give away' pile with new eyes!

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  15. Learn from experience - that's a great tip! I've definitely made some mistakes - giving away something I shouldn't have, or kept something I never wound up wearing. It def takes some practice!

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  16. Rammy, it happens to the best of us!! As for your undergarment question - I know some girls are really into buying lots of fun undergarments but I've always treated them more like a necessity (they kind of bore me to be honest). I would think of them as a percentage of your entire outfit - I would consider them to be 5-10% of your outfit so maybe use that much of your budget for them?

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  17. Great point about keeping clothes for different weights. I yo-yo a bit (who doesn't) but luckily I don't ever change sizes. If you tend to change sizes though I would hold onto the best pieces even if you go up or down a bit!

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  18. Well, I can think of a handful of times I did part with something I wished I hadn't!

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  19. If it still fits and I have something to wear it with or can see myself wearing it, I keep it! I'm not a big shopper so I keep everything I can... otherwise I'd have a very small wardrobe. I take care of my clothes, too, so I have a lot of clothes that I've had for 5+ years!

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  20. What fit are those jeans! They are amazing, and look comfy too!

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  21. I think they were called "Super Flare" or "Always Flare" but I don't see that fit being offered on the Gap website anymore. :-( All of the "fits" they are listing are definitely not what these jeans were!

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  22. There is a similar jacket in Target that I've had my eye on since it first came out, but was on the fence about... now I might have to get it! Do you have any tips on making shorter jackets work on girls with bigger hips? They always seem to hit at the worst places on me (I'm 5'8" and not big, but curvy). Maybe a longer, flowy top underneath?

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  23. Such good points here! I have a very hard time getting rid of items in my closet just because they haven't been worn in a while. If something is stained or ripped or I didn't spend much money on it (I don't have a hard time parting with $5 camisoles from Forever 21)...sure...toss it...but if I invested my money in a nice piece I have a very hard time saying goodbye. And, you are so right: they might come back into style! I am laughing at myself now because I just went through my closet the other day and realized that I have a small stack of flare leg jeans from 5 years ago that are now back in style...there we have it!

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  24. Hola! I love, love, love your blog. Thank you very much for taking the time to share fashion advice with all of us. I too agree with Margarita. A post of how to organize your closet would be fantastic!! Thanks again J!

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  25. I want this jacket sooooooo bad!!! Have you come across anything similar to this lately? I wish I could get my hands on this jacket!

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  26. jseverydayfashionMarch 1, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    I haven't seen anything at all! I would say the best bet is Forever 21, H&M, ASOS or Urban Outfitters though. They tend to have clothes like this!

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  27. I think if you are going to donate to charity, you should be careful not to donate "trash" (stuff that is in bad condition or really out of style). If you are making a true charitable gift, it should be a small sacrifice of something you love!!

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  28. By "toss" I meant actually throw it away. In the garbage. :-) If it's for reasons 2-4, then some options would be charity, eBay or friends.

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  29. I'm 39 so I have some experience here ladies. The good quality classics that fit your body great will remain staples (pencil skirts, blazers). You also get a lot of mileage from cardigans and v-neck sweaters, but you have to take care of them and toss them when they pill. I update my look with accessories, belts and fun tops. Patterned garmets are the ones I recycle as trendy designs get old fast. Hold onto stripes and polka dots as they are always in fashion. I donate to charity and I consign my clothes. I have made a lot of money on consigning jewelry, purses, shoes or clothing I no longer like. Then I use the money to buy something fresh!

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  30. Love these tips Tasha, thank you!

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  31. I agree these are great tips Tasha and so were the one's in the original post. I agree with much of this especially that tossing things just because they haven't been worn in 6 months to a year being a no no...great info thanks for posting this!

    Lena's Blend

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  32. Maurices just got this in... http://www.maurices.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12785350&cid=1100897

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  33. I think that this really depends on where you are donating. Items donated to specific charities like Big Brothers/Sisters or some of the ones that collect attire for women trying to get jobs should be in good condition like you said. However, with huge charities like Goodwill, Value Village, etc. you can be less particular. 

    I am an American living in Ghana, West Africa. Average Ghanaians wear nothing but clothing that has been rejected by charitable organizations (like Goodwill) and sent in bulk to the developing world. There is an entire economy that takes this "trash" and fixes it up, repairing holes, re-dying to cover stains, etc. The market where these items are purchased is even called "Obroni W'awu" which literally means "white man is dead". While clothes you donate should not be tattered to threads, a small stain or a tear and especially items that are out of style can still be used.  

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  34. Excellent point, thank you for adding this Lauren!!

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  35. I have an extremely small closet and this is what I do to keep it current: Twice a year a flip my closet (usually when the weather turns). I bring the new season stuff out of storage, make sure it all fits and doesn't need repairing, then I put everything both from storage and from my closet on the bed. I rebuild the closet contents from there. Then I can easily see what I might be missing (lightweight cardigan, dressy blouse, summer wedges, whatever). When I put in the new clothes I turn all the hangers around backwards. As I wear items I put them back in the right way. By the end of the season you can see what you never even wore and that goes into the donate pile immediately (unless it's special occasion wear or has sentimental value). 

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  36. This post has been open on my desktop for the past 2 day and has helped me clean out more than 60 items from my closet. Thank you J!!! Your blog is amazing.

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  37. Yay! Nothing makes me happier than someone finding a practical application to a post. Thanks for sharing Bridget! :-)

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