Every woman has a “what in the heck was I thinking?” moment when gazing into the depths of her closet. Whether you bought a risky item just because it was on sale, or shelled out a full paycheck on a designer splurge, it can be difficult to admit when a piece of clothing just doesn’t work anymore. We place a lot of emotional attachment to the things we love, even the ones we aren’t wearing. Whether it was a first date, the dress that landed a career advancement, or just a special memory, clothes remind us of the people, places, and important times in our lives. Unfortunately, if you’re the type that holds on to every piece of clothing you’ve ever purchased, your wardrobe can get boring, outdated, and unruly.
Whether you are going to Rouses or the Make it Right Foundation gala, Aime’e Gowland, personal stylist at ALG Style, suggests considering your lifestyle when adding or subtracting items to your wardrobe. “Dress your body, dress your life” is Gowland’s motto. One of her recent clients had five pleated mini skirts, left overs from the days before she had kids. Since she didn’t have anywhere to go in them, it was time to swap them out for skirts she’d feel comfortable chasing small children around in.
However, before getting rid of your favorites, ask yourself if an item can be altered. Sometimes a few simple adjustments, such as taking in the waist or raising a hemline, can bring life into an old garment. If you spent a lot on an investment piece, consider holding on to it in case the item either comes back in style or you regain interest in it.
Keeping your closet organized is also a huge help, especially on those mornings when you’re rushing out the door. Gowland suggests “styling your closet”. Organize it, color code it, and even label your items to make sure everything is under control. “I like to make little outfits of what you already have, when you aren’t spending more money. I’ve made new outfits they’ve [her clients] never thought of. It gives you a fresh perspective.”
Gowland was very specific on the most common mistake women make these days regarding fashion. “Denim. People will have on average eight pairs of jeans and they are only wearing two of them. The right pair of denim goes all the way to your ankle, stitching is the same color as the jean, no whiskering, no fleur de lis on the hiney. Old Navy rockstar or diva fit jeans are great for people in between sizes. It’s a good pant to play with.” Then, when her clients have reached their ideal body type, Gowland recommends upgrading to Adriano Goldschmied jeans in the Stevie Slim Ankle cut.
If you want to recoup some of the money you spent on those unwanted items, sell them. Depending on how much time you want to spend, or money you want to make back on your clothes, you have a few options. Just remember that clothes degrade in value over time, unless it’s an exceptional vintage item. Here are some of your top options for reselling your clothes:
Pro: Easy to upload, no fees so you get to keep 100% of the profits.
Con: Taking pictures, writing a description, and fielding questions from potential buyers can be very time consuming. Plus, you have to coordinate meeting with someone to sell the item, or be okay with a stranger coming to your home.
Pro: Better exposure than Craigslist
Con: Same as Craigslist, but there are fees and you have to ship out the item.
Pro: Someone else does the selling for you. Just drop your items off, and the store cuts you a check or store credit when it sells.
Con: Could take several months for you to get your cash. Most of these shops only take higher end or designer labels.
Locally: Designer Social, On The Other Hand, Prima Donna’s Closet, Swap Boutique
Pro: Similar to a consignment shop, except you get your cash or store credit the same day you sell.
Con: Might not take all of your items, and the prices are usually lower which means you’ll get less for your items.
Locally: Buffalo Exchange, Funky Monkey, Plato’s Closet, Revival Outpost