Many of us have quite a few clothes in our closets that are rarely or never worn. The reasons these clothes are gathering dust are many… They may no longer fit our current bodies or suit our present day lifestyle, or we may simply not love them anymore. These are all good reasons for passing things along to friends, family members, charity, or consignment. There’s little sense in keeping things around that no longer work for who we are today.
Why We Save Our Clothes “For Good”
However, there’s another reason why our clothes don’t see much, if any, wear. Sometimes we’re simply saving them “for good.” What does that mean? Saving “for good” is when we don’t want to wear clothes we actually like – or even love – for one of the following reasons:
- We think our everyday occasions aren’t good enough for wearing our “nice clothes.”
- We’re afraid of wearing out our favorite clothes and having to replace them.
- We’re afraid we may never be able to find such nice clothes again, so we should only wear them on “special occasions.”
All of these reasons have been mentioned by readers of this blog and I’ve experienced them myself as well.
In today’s post, I’m going to explore the phenomenon of saving clothes “for good.” I’ll tackle the three reasons mentioned above for doing so and do my best to convince all of you – and myself – that we should be wearing our favorite clothes!
“My Everyday Life isn’t Good Enough”
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You went shopping and came home with a blouse (or skirt or dress or whatever) that you absolutely love. You were so happy to find something that fit you so well and that you felt so attractive wearing. You really felt you “scored” to find something so lovely and flattering!
Fast forward six months… the blouse is still hanging in your closet with the tags on it! A friend comes over to your house, sees the beautiful blouse in your closet, and asks why you haven’t worn it yet. You reply,
I’m saving it for a special occasion.”
Boy, does that scenario resonate with me. More times than I can count, I’ve bought beautiful pieces and failed to wear them much or at all. Of course, sometimes these items weren’t a match for my individual lifestyle, but just as many times it was a mental block that prevented me from wearing them.
One reader recently commented that she strongly believes we should all dress for ourselves, and she wears her nice clothing even when she’s working from home and no one else will see her that day. My first response was, “Of course we should dress for ourselves!” But I have to admit that while I make a point of ensuring my at-home wear is clean and coordinated and not sloppy or disheveled, I definitely avoid wearing my nicer items at home and during my more casual activities. I generally save these pieces for when I’m going out and will interact with a number of other people.
After pondering the comment for a few days, I’ve started to wear some of my nicer tops when working from home. We’re not even talking blouses here; just a notch or two above the basic athletic tees I previously wore in my home office. I’m taking “baby steps” in that I’m still wearing yoga pants and slippers, but many of my “wardrobe benchwarmers” are tops anyway. So instead of wearing these tops just once or a few times each year when I go out, why not wear them at home? Attitude adjustment number one, complete!
“What if I wear out my favorite clothes?”
Another reason we save our clothes “for good” is that we’re afraid of wearing them out too quickly by donning them for our more basic life occasions. We fear that the more we wear our favorite pieces, the more we’ll have to wash them, and then they won’t last as long. Of course, there is some logic to this fear, but there’s also another side to it.
Most of us don’t love the same clothes today that we loved three years ago or perhaps even last year. Not only do the fashions and styles change, but our tastes and preferences evolve as well. Even if you don’t follow trends and pay little mind to what’s “in,” what strikes your personal fancy will change. Not only that, but your body size and shape may also change such that clothes you previously loved to wear may no longer fit well or look flattering on you.
So why not live in the moment and wear what you love today? After all, you love these clothes right now, they fit you, and you feel happy and attractive wearing them. Yes, your clothes will wear out sooner if you wear them more frequently, but wouldn’t it be better to purge these pieces from your wardrobe after they’ve been worn and loved rather than because they no longer fit your body or personal sense of style?
“I may not be able to find something like this ever again!”
The final reason (at least that I thought of…) for saving clothes “for good” is that we worry we’ll never be able to find something as wonderful ever again. So we only wear our most fabulous pieces on “special occasions” in order to extend their life span. This is an example of having a “scarcity mentality.” We believe there’s only a small amount of really fabulous clothing out there, so we need to conserve the precious gems in our wardrobes for as long as possible.
While it can be difficult to find clothes that really “float our boats,” it isn’t impossible. If we wear out our favorite dress, we will find another dress to love in the future. In actuality, we’ll probably find many more dresses that excite us in the coming years.
Sure, there will be times when the fashion industry is churning out shapes and styles that aren’t ideal for our bodies or personal aesthetics, but things always cycle back around. I haven’t been thrilled with the available pants options for a number of years now, but I have faith that I’ll find exciting pants choices again in the future. In the meantime, I’m wearing the pants I have that I do like. While they are all getting past their prime at this point, I know that once the obsession with “skinnies” and cropped pants subsides, there will be pants for me once again.
I think it’s important for us to take good care of our favorite clothes – and all of our clothes (I’ll write more on this soon, but check out these tips for now). But we shouldn’t let our worries about clothes wearing out stop us from wearing them. We also shouldn’t worry too much about whether or not we’ll be able to find clothes we love in the future. We will!
The Bottom Line…
Bottom line, the clothes we love shouldn’t be gathering dust in the deep recesses of our closets. Instead of wearing our “C players” much of the time, we should proudly don our “A-team” as much as possible. I know women who wear their new pieces right out of the store. They can’t wait to put them on! And they wear those same favorites over and over again until they get tired of them. They wouldn’t dream of saving those gems “for good.” They firmly believe that the purpose of our clothes is to wear them as much as possible and for all life occasions.
From this day forth, I will endeavor to be more like these women. As I jettison more and more unloved garments from my closet, I’m becoming acutely aware of the favorites that rarely see the light of day. That’s just not right! My favorites should be getting worn many, many times each year – until they’re either worn out or not my favorites anymore. That’s the way it should work, and that’s the way I plan to do things from now on.
Are You On Board?
Who’s with me? If you’re not already wearing your favorite pieces all the time (I know some of you are, and that’s wonderful!), how about joining me in turning that around? Why shouldn’t a trip to the grocery store or a day in your home office be good enough for wearing your closet gems? All it takes is a little attitude adjustment…