We’ve all heard the advice: “If you haven’t worn it in a year, let it go.”
It’s a good guideline and a provoking thought. It begs the question “Why haven’t I worn it in a year?” which opens up the door for some introspection.
But you don’t always have to follow that advice if it doesn’t jive with you. Instead, we can give ourselves the freedom to ebb and flow, to change our mind, to write in pencil.
For example, these Vans. After wearing them for a year, I’d dubbed them as too bulky + too masculine for my style, and categorized them as ready for donation.
But something in me couldn’t get rid of them. There they sat, for over a year.
And then, last week, something in me flipped and I wanted to wear them, like right now. I was so glad I’d listened to my gut and kept them!
It’s got me thinking about what clothes I keep, what clothes I let go of, and why.
It’s interesting — I’m holding onto clothes more than I used to. In the past, I’d let go of an item as soon as it lost it’s usefulness. I’m not a fan of clutter and I don’t like keeping things around “in case I need it one day” because that can easily get out of hand.
But now, I’m taking a more tempered approach. I’m learning to tell the difference between clothes that truly don’t work, and clothes that just need a little (or a LOT) of breathing room. Usually it’s as simple as this:
Things that don’t work: trendy or low quality items
Things that just need breathing room: high quality items, classic shapes, and good brands. (I held on to my Vans because they are a classic brand and a classic shape.)
So, more and more, I’m keeping those high quality, classic pieces, even if I go a year or more without wearing them. Later — maybe much later — when I pull them out again, they’ll feel new and exciting again, just like these Vans. It’s like shopping without shopping.
So how about you? Do you have a criteria that helps you decide what you keep and what you let go of? Are you more prone to keep things “just in case” or do you shed things quickly? I’m definitely a blend of both, but I’d love to hear where you are.
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01 | Sweater (old from Nordstrom Rack) | similar (under $40)
02 | Black jeans (old by Joe’s Jeans) | similar (made responsibly)
03 | Hi-top sneakers (old from Madewell) | similar