What does ‘letting go’ really mean? It’s the apprehensive and sometimes dreadful six letter word—C H A N G E— which inevitably means doing something different or trying something new.
Letting go, in the fashion sense, is a necessity in order to have a 100-percent wearable wardrobe. We may have a closet full of clothes yet, research has shown, (and as a wardrobe stylist, I can verify) women typically only wear about 25 percent of what’s in there.
Are you nodding your head or cringing? The question here is the obvious: What’s going on with the other 75 percent of those clothes filling up your closet?
First, have you ever considered yourself a Clothing Hoarder? According to online “Urban Dictionary,” a clothing hoarder is:
1. n. A person who lets old, outgrown, or unworn clothing accumulate in their closet over time, resulting in mass amounts of clutter in their closet.
2. n. A person who suffers from Clothes Hoarder Syndrome. This disorder causes people to fear getting rid of useless clothing. This fear is derived from the irrational belief that their clothes may still be worn or needed in the future.
Now that might have you cringing! But there are other reasons we simply have too much in our closet (75 percent worth of excess). Here are just a few guesses:
1. It no longer fits, but it might someday.
2. You keep it for nostalgic reasons.
3. It needs to be altered and you haven’t gotten around to it.
4. The zipper broke, needs to be repaired, keep putting it off.
5. It just might come back in style.
6. Your sister didn’t want the shirt and thought you might.
7. You received the sweater as a gift and it’s sooooo NOT you…but maybe someday.
8. The skirt is an expensive high-end designer label but darn it, it’s just not flattering.
The other over-abundance clothing I consistently see taking way more closet real estate than deserved is the ‘going to the grocery store’ outfit. How many of those broken down, faded, torn, stretched out, sloppy (but comfortable), ‘don’t care what I look like’ t-shirts do you really need?
Another more philosophical and emotional reason we hold onto our unworn clothes is a four-letter word: hope. We hope those pants will fit someday or we hope there will be an opportunity to wear the party dress with the tags still on it.
It’s like women and relationships—sometimes we linger way too long in something that’s not working because we hope things will change and get better. Hope can really bog us down when we should just nip it in the bud. The best way to handle these hopeful expectations is acceptance. We need to take a good look at who we are today…our age, our lifestyle and our size.
That goes for our clothing, too.
It makes us crazy getting older and adapting appropriately. But seriously, every decade we need to reevaluate where we are as an individual. Times change, life changes. I suggest women look at where they are in their lives or personal growth at 25-35, 35-45, 45-55 and so on. I have a jean mini-skirt I wore in my 20s and 30s. Last summer I pulled it out and thought, “OMG, I can’t believe how short this is!” That was the 40s wake-up call. I still adore the jean skirt, but know I need to let it go.
Think of your closet as you do your personal time. The space is valuable. As the months get warmer and you’re transitioning your fall/winter to your spring/summer wardrobe, only hang up the clothes you really truly love and know you’ll wear often.
Accept the changes and let go of those worn, ill-fitting and hopelessly never gonna-be-worn clothes. You’ll win the battle—and look better for it.
For help letting go of closet clutter, visit itssouwardrobe.com