What to do with clothes you don’t wear Blog Graphics

Ever find yourself wondering what to do with clothes you don’t wear? The simple answer is keep them moving. 

I was listening to someone talk about their closet and they were giving all sorts of justifications about why they don’t reach for this specific top – too tight here, too loose there, too long in the waist, but too short sleeves, gaping at the buttons, and also a weird color. 

And I just wanted to say “you’re allowed to not like something hanging in your closet.” 

When you don’t like something in your wardrobe, there’s no need for mental hurdles or gymnastics or reasons or scholarly arguments. You don’t need to justify why you don’t wear it. Or talk yourself into why you should try to make it work. No need to try to talk yourself into giving it a 5th or 6th or 7th try (no matter why). 

My mental gymnastics sound like “I could make it work for…” 

I try to counter with “you don’t have to make it work in your personal wardrobe.”

You can just pass the piece along, you don’t have a litany of justifications. 

Finding patterns of what you like and what you don’t like can be useful for learning how to express your style. But agonizing isn’t necessary. And keeping clothes that don’t fit your style is a very fast way to end up in a style rut. 

Options for what to do with clothes you don’t wear

You can pass it to a friend and say “this didn’t end up being my style but I thought of you.” 

You can donate it to a thrift shop. Or sell it through a consignment shop. Or sell it through a resale site. 

You can relegate it to yard work clothing. 

You can donate it to a specialty clothing company, like: Dress for Success for professional women’s clothes. Or Career Gear for professional men’s clothes. Or Becca’s Closet for formal dresses and accessories. 

You can take worn out clothes to a textile recycler. Or give it to your kid for a painting smock. 

You can reuse it. Or recycle it. Or upcycle it. 

You have so many options – I would hate for you to keep jumping through hoops every time you see it hanging in your closet. 

You don’t have to make it work

So next time you’re flipping through your closet or scrolling through your wardrobe inventory and run into THAT item of clothing – commit to remember…

Not every item of clothing works in our wardrobes the way we think it will. And that’s ok. This is not Project Runway and you do not have to make it work.

Move it out of your closet, and let it continue along its journey. This item of clothing had a life before it came into your closet. It will have a life when it leaves. So try not to keep it stuck for too long. It’s ok to let things flow. 

And I will commit to doing the same.