This blog post is dedicated to all of those clothes that we love, but don't love wearing anymore.
Here is the short tale of my Sunday night to Monday morning:
1. Teacher sets out dress to wear.
2. Decides she hates wearing that dress.
3. Sets out a pair of pants that fit weird.
4. Tells herself that she'll give these pants one more shot.
5. Wakes up the next morning and puts on predetermined outfit.
6. Realizes that the cardigan she selected looks terrible with the outfit. Changes cardigan.
7. Realizes that these pants are a really weird fit and she'll spend the whole day uncomfortable.
8. Decides that life is too short to wear awful pants while other things hang in the closet.
9. Changes pants.
10. Leaves for school, hoping for the best.
Maybe I'm the only one this happens to, but I tend to keep things in my closet because I feel guilty getting rid of perfectly good clothes. But the truth is, when your height is solidified, and you don't have a job in which your clothes get worn out, there just comes a point when you've been wearing the same things for years, and you just get tired of them. Or you buy something, and a year into it being absorbed in your closet you realize that it isn't something that really works for your body type. Whatever it is, it feels like a betrayal to get rid of it.
BUT--a few years ago, I read a book that brought up a good point. If you have clothes in your closet that aren't being worn, you're keeping someone else from being able to wear them. Thinking about how many women have a hard time building up a wardrobe because they are starting to work or have escaped from a abusive relationship or are just on a tight budget made me realize that hoarding clothes that I don't need wasn't responsible. I realized that it would make more sense for me to pass along things I no longer wear and simply put the things I love in higher rotation. Even from a selfish viewpoint, every day I wear something I hate is a day I'm not wearing an outfit that I love. I've tried to be better about giving things away that I don't actually enjoy wearing, only buying things that I really love, and just wearing fewer items more often (and mixing and matching to make new outfits).
Quick note: Don't think you always have to take your retired clothes to Goodwill. There are plenty of non-profits that work with people in need of professional clothes--internship programs, job training programs, etc. I actually donate my dress clothes to my co-workers who work with students in internships.
So I know that not everyone has the luxury of only wearing things they love. Sometimes you just have to wear what you have. I get it. But I would say to just think about how you feel all day in your wardrobe, and, when you can, taking things out of rotation that don't set you up for a good day. And then pay close attention to what things in your closet really make you feel confident, comfortable, and, dare I say it, stylish. And try to take those observations with you when you go shopping.
If you like my outfit I finally settled on, here are some helpful links. (Funny enough, this cardigan is 11 years old, the shirt is 3 or so years old, the shoes and belt are from at least a few seasons ago, and the pants are the birthday pants I talked about in the spring.) So things don't have to be super trendy or new to make you feel confident. They just have to be a good fit for you.
Okay--Here's a newer version of my chambray shirt.
And here's a comparable sweater.
And here's a lighter version.
And here are the birthday pants.
Okay--in closing, here are my tips of the day:
1. If you have enough items in your closet, get rid of clothes that make you feel awful, don't fit or just hang there.
2. Learn from shopping mistakes. Be picky even if it means wearing fewer things more often.
3. There are plenty of great causes in any community. There's always somewhere to take the clothes you don't wear so that someone else will benefit from them.