Restyle4Life

Sewing, Refashioning, Repurposing & Thrifting Through Life

When to Say Goodbye to a Thrifted Piece

on November 24, 2015

I’m curious from my readers who thrift regularly-how often do you sort through and purge your closet? How do you decide when to no longer hold onto a thrifted garment?

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Before I started thrifting, it was an easy process for me. I was really into “fashion” and “being in style” and could quickly go through things I no longer felt were “in.”

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So you would think this would actually be a lot easier now that my closet consists mostly of thrifted items. Wrong! It’s not that I want to hold onto things because I paid so very little for them. No. I think it’s because now that I am in my 40s, I no longer follow the fashion rules. I am confident in who I am, what I stand for and what I want to express about myself. I was never like that as a teenager. I don’t feel the need to fit in anymore. I have,  at my disposal, a huge array of potential outfits. Some are part of my “signature” look (we all have one). These are our go-tos, the outfits we are expected to show up somewhere wearing. Mine happen to be skirts and dresses. Then we have our “I’m feeling daring” outfits. Daring as in this isn’t my usual style, but I’m gonna try it out. There are so many others, but you get the idea and I like having all these options.

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OK, so why is it so hard to get rid of stuff now? Maybe it’s because I find the thrill of the hunt so much more rewarding than going to the mall and snatching something off the rack. Every outing is like a little adventure. I walk into a thrift store, am hit with that wafty scent of old, unwashed clothing (yech, right? you all know what I mean), see aisle upon aisle of endless possibilities spread out before me. What will I find today? What’s coming home with me? What amazing thing gets to make it into my closet this time? Who can deny how much FUN thrifting is? I mean, honestly, who? Gosh, I am seriously addicted. It’s like I don’t WANT to let go of these things that I spent so much time looking for. I don’t know about you but I find I wear my thrifted items way more than those I bought at an actual store. They are so much more special. Do I even shop at a regular store anymore?

All that being said, it doesn’t answer the question of when and how to know when to get rid of stuff. Here are some hints.

  1. Your closet is bursting at the seams and you have NO MORE ROOM for more.
  2. You are buying thrift and adding to your collection but NOT removing other things to donate. One in, one out maybe?
  3. You no longer tell yourself or anyone else “I have nothing to wear” and you really mean it. You have tons of stuff to wear and not enough days to wear them.
  4. You buy a load of work clothes but you work mostly from home in yoga or sweat pants and a T-shirt.
  5. You bought some thrifted items on impulse. Now you’ve got a sweater in every colour and nowhere to store them all, so you keep them thinking you’ll maybe felt the sweaters and crochet a blanket out of them.
  6. You tell yourself that you bought that crazy outfit because you are really super bold now and you convince yourself you’ll actually go out in public like that…someday.
  7. You have stuff in there that you are going to refashion. Oh gosh, I am so guilty of this. I now keep stuff in a box. I will get to it. I will.
  8. You have things that are “really good quality” or high end designer and can’t part with them.
  9. You’ve tried the old “turn the hangers the other way” trick. 6 months have passed, you see all the unturned hangers still there and decide you should give it another 6 months.
  10. Your significant other is planning on building you a custom closet or you’ve taken over a spare bedroom or other closet in the house for all your stuff.

It’s time. It really is time to purge my closet. Oh, I’ve been doing it here and there don’t get me wrong. I just haven’t been diligent enough. There is such a thing as excess and that’s not really what thrifting is all about. It’s about finding that amazing piece but it’s also about letting go of something so that hopefully someone just like you spies it on the thrift store rack and exclaims”Who in the world would DONATE THIS?!”

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