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Star denim jacket, vintage collar, GNW Luxe sweater, GNW tight, J.Crew skirt (all own)

Sometimes we have a hard time separating from old clothes. The reasons can be manifold reaching from a gift, a memory, price, to not wanting to waste something that is still in pristine order. Is just “it isn’t me anymore reason enough?” Read what you can do to feel fine about tossing your old clothes.

  1. Why it’s hard to toss clothes?
  2. How to overcome your resentments of tossing clothes?
    • Be rational
    • Accept that trendy pieces are like plastic forks at fast-food chains
    • Everyone deserves a second chance
    • Reuse, repurpose, donate
  3. Conclusion on How to Feel Fine about Tossing Your Old Clothes
  4. Top of the World Style linkup No. 239

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Why it’s hard to toss clothes

When it’s cold outside, everyone looks forward to spring. Winter coats are heavy on our shoulders. Wool sweater may be itchy or you may even be allergic to wool. Tall boots are heavy and schlepping your pumps back and forth to the office is annoying. By the end of winter, the space under my desk typically looks like a shoe closet. What don’t we do to avoid cold feet at frigid temperatures?!

Spring, however, means makeover of your wardrobe for fit, trend and style. The easy part is to pull out the pieces you put into storage after last spring. However, the hard part is to toss clothes that are still perfectly fine. We feel guilty as we think of them in terms of the money we spent on them.

We may feel guilty because all clothes have an environmental food print. Wool, for instance, needs sheep who need to graze. Overgrazing may lead to desertification and loss of fertile soils. Sure musk ox wool collected from wild Alaskan muskoxen doesn’t bear this risk. However, there are other reasons why muskox wool is so expensive, and the processing also needs a lot of water. You can go on and on about the environmental impacts of our passion. Think air pollution from transport. The more middlemen are involved the higher the impacts on air quality become. And of course, also the price. Read more on the role of middlemen in retail.

How to overcome your resentments of tossing clothes?

But intuitively we know that clothing we didn’t wear last time when the season was around, we will not wear this season either. These pieces just take up space in your closet. Consequently, it may become so full that you even fail to wear clothes you like because you can’t see them.

stylist in jacket, sweater, skirt winter outfit with heeled duck booties
Layering outfit in all neutral colors


Alaskan woman standing on 1 leg showing the snow under the sole of her boots
Back view of the above look


Nicole in snake print skirt, jeans jacket, sweater, hat, heeled ducks and belt
Outfit details: Max Bogen hat, vintage collar, Star denim jacket, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, GNW Luxe sweater, J. Crew skirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, golden bangle, smoky quartz necklace, GNW tight, Ampbelle duck booties


Be Rational

Don’t think of your clothes in terms of their price that you paid, but in cost-per-wear. When you go to the movies you pay a price in exchange for fun. That’s the same with the cost-per-wear – a price for having fun with fashion.

Think of your closet as real estate. You know that a junk yard is less valuable than cleared land or a beautiful yard with flowers and lawn. Thus, get out all pieces that are not-functioning any more for your lifestyle, trend-wise, your menopausal body changes and those that you never wore.

Repeat after me, you deserve to look your best. #mentalhealth Click To Tweet


Accept that Trendy Pieces Are like Plastic Forks at Fast-food Chains

You don’t have a problem tossing that fork or the cup that hold your coffee drink, right?

There is a reason why fast fashion is called fast. It is fast out of fashion. Trendy items are typically made of inexpensive material and not well made. Thus, they have a (seemingly) low price. When you wore the piece often the last time when the season was around, the cost-per-wear is likely under one dollar. Good for you! That’s cheaper than a latte and didn’t end up on your scale.

Most likely the piece is about to fall apart anyhow due to its low quality. If not, cut your losses. Wearing an outdated trend makes you look Old Lady and isn’t good for your mental health. Who needs to feel that way? You want to feel great about your look. Dressing is all about self-confidence, babe.

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. — Rachel Zoe #fashionquote Click To Tweet Use the old out-of-trend pieces for dusting or other cleaning purposes in the house. #recycle Click To Tweet


Everyone Deserves a Second Chance

It’s not your or your clothes fault that your body changed. It’s menopause, i.e. nature. Thus, your high quality investment piece – if it can’t be changed to fit – may be somebody else’s treasure. Consider consigning or selling it. See my list of designer brands to look for at thrift stores as a guideline what items you could sell.


Reuse, Repurpose, Donate

Before you donate a high quality classic piece that can’t be consigned or sold, think about whether you could repurpose it. For instance, a silk shirt, skirt or dress could be reworked into a scarf. For instance, you can revive an old unwanted shirt into a beautiful skirt, turn an old cashmere sweater into a cozy chic infinity scarf or a silk shirt into a great scarf. See the posts at the links for a how-to in case you missed them.

If all that doesn’t work, feel good about donating. The piece will make someone else happy. And remember

Fashion is like eating, you shouldn't stick to the same menu. — Kenzo Takada #fashionquote Click To Tweet

Like these outfit inspirations? Please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.


Conclusion on How to Feel Fine about Tossing Your Old Clothes

There is only so much you can do to slow fashion down. Your self-confidence, career and the need to dress require buying clothes. Nature and the daily tear-and-wear cause that you need new clothes. And who wants to be described as

That person only dresses to not freeze from hypothermia in winter, and to not get into trouble with the police in summer. #whatnottowear Click To Tweet

or like we say in Alaska

That person dressed in the dark. #Alaska Click To Tweet


Get rid of your anxiety about what to wear when with How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy the book now.

What are your thoughts on “tossing” clothing or jewelry to adjust your wardrobe for style?

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Top of the World Style linkup party No. 239

Welcome to the 239th Top of the World Style linkup party.

#linkup Top of the World Style linkup party every week on Thursday

Here are the featured posts from last week’s party.

woman holding a New Year's sparkle
Pamela of Style Yourself Confident became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post


Top of the World OOTD My Fav Shelbee in camouflage skirt, plaid scarf, red sweater, leather jacket and silver loafers
Shelbee of Shelby on the Edge became Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post


Top of the World Style Winner Laurie of Vanity and Me in a festive maxi dress
Laurie Bronze of Vanity and Me became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post


Congrats Ladies! Grab your award buttons.


Click here to get to the Top of the World Style linkup party


See these inspiring outfits at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #turningfashionintostyle Click To Tweet

Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2021 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. I just finished cleaning up my closet and gave a lot to charities and friends. My policy is very simple, one in, one out

  2. aquamarinastyle

    I used to spend a lot on my clothes and they would never wear out so I hesitated to get rid of them. I’ve learned to spend more money on essential pieces and less on trendy items so I can donate them without obsessing over them! Thanks for the ideas.

    Oh, and those booties are fabulous!

    xx Darlene

  3. Linda Cassidy

    great post especially as we enter into January the month for cleaning, cleansing and letting go of the old.

  4. In the midst of doing a purge now! If it’s not being worn for whatever reason then let it be for someone else.

  5. That is an interesting way to put it… ‘trendy pieces are like plastic forks at fast-food chains’. So true!! I always do a major closet overhaul in Spring and Fall!! It feels so good. I usually donate my old clothes to Goodwill and I toss anything that has a hole in it, etc. I figure it makes it so much easy to drop it off than to try to sell it.


  6. Amy Johnson

    I have a hard time tossing old clothes because time and time again they come back in style and I regret tossing it.

  7. mireilleftm

    I really like how you have showed how you have repurposed different pieces of clothing in some of your blog posts. That is really neat! I really finally have a wardrobe that I love, having done a good job I think of donating what I did not wear. I am hoping to keep my shopping mininal this year! Love this outfit with the fur collar on the denim jacket. Brown and blue is really a pretty combination!

  8. shelbeeontheedge1

    Nicole, thanks so much for the feature! What a pleasant surprise! And I love these tips for cleaning out old clothes. Now if I could only get myself to do this! I am such a hoarder!