Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How Often Do You Clean Out Your Closet?

My answer is NEVER. I keep EVERYTHING. I wear EVERYTHING. (Kind of.) I never get rid of ANYTHING, even if it should have been long gone.

My logic is, I have to keep everything, because I haven't gotten around to replacing everything that really should be replaced. And therefore, my closet is filled with things that are ill-fitting, shrunk from the wash, falling apart or covered in those nubby little pills.

And that just wouldn't do. I was about to start a job in which people probably would care what I looked like, and so I should probably be presentable. (The dress code is basically business casual.)

So two weeks ago (on a Friday night, because I'm super cool), I finally pulled out all my shoes, and all my clothes, and threw everything on the bed so I could try every single piece on. I called my sister, because making fun of me for still having crap from high school is one of her favorite activities, and I needed that kick in the pants to finally get rid of the stuff that I keep insisting is still fine, but really should have retired a long time ago.

Like shoes. I haven't bought flats since I first moved to College Station in 2009 (whaaaa). I asked Rachel what she would consider too worn out to keep. And she said if they were majorly scuffed up or damaged, or had holes in them and couldn't be repaired, they should get tossed.

Goodbye shoes.

Goodbye pants that don't zip, and shirt that never went with a single thing I owned, and "Boobs Akimbo" dress (22-year-old Allie may not have had a problem with you, but now the ladies need a little more wrangling than that).

Bye, things Rachel made for design school that are model-sized and not Allie-sized.

I am pretty proud of myself for finally being willing to part with so much that I've held onto. And hey! Now you know I wasn't lying when I said pretty much everything I own is pink. But now my closet is empty and sad and I am having problems putting together anything decent to wear. I am the worst at clothing.

I think I'm getting to a point in my life where I'd rather invest in quality than buy cheap-o junk that's going to fall apart within a few months. And I think I'm getting to a point where I actually do see the value in hand-washing pieces instead of just throwing everything in together (ahem, shrunken clothing).

But I'm also in this weird place in life right now, where I'm not quite sure what types of pieces to invest in, because so much is still dependant on Future Allie. I'm no longer just waiting for us to move somewhere else, but it's still something in the back of my mind — will this piece I buy now be relevant to my future life? Future job? Future climate? I know that's kind of silly right now, but I hate wasting money. So it's definitely a consideration.

So here are my questions for you:
• How do you feel about investment pieces?
• What articles of clothing do you think are "worth" investing more in? (Shoes and accessories? Jackets and completer pieces? Work wear vs. casual wear vs. formal wear? etc.)
• What are your favorite stores for purchasing higher-quality pieces?
• Do you think this whole quality-over-quantity thing is a load of crap? (I'm open to hearing all opinions, seriously, because all I know about shopping is that every time I go, my sister tells me I have horrible taste.)


  1. I so need to purge my closet! My problem is that my weight fluctuates like crazy... so buying investment pieces isn't practical. I'm working on the weight thing (long body-image-obsessed story), so in the meantime, I have a lot of clothes in a variety of sizes. Most of my clothes are lesser quality and I like it that way. If something goes out of style or no longer fits, then I don't feel bad about not wearing it. My go-to stores are H&M, Old Navy, NY & Co, Target, Sears (yes, Sears), TJ Maxx....

    Now if someone could give me some guidance on purging books, that'd be great! I'm a book hoarder. ;-)

  2. I try to clean mine out pretty often, but I get so attached to my clothes!

  3. Answers to your questions:
    1. I do have investment pieces, particularly all of my suiting, which all comes fromt he same place, so that I can wear the pieces interchangeably and together. I spent a pretty penny on them 2 years ago, but I wear at least 3 of the 6 pieces weekly, And I get them all dry-cleaned every so often. And since, you're wondering, I got my suits from The Limited when they had a Labor Day B1G1 1/2 off sale. I bought the jacket, pants, and skirt to a black suit and a camel suit.
    2. I spend much more on work attire because I wear that type of clothing almost everyday. I don't spend that much on blouses or dresses, because they just go with the suiting options I have. Ross is a great place to find easy work dresses for cheap. I go once a year and stock up on a few dresses that are wash-and-wear, and usually escape with 4 of 5 dresses under $100 total. I wish I had the mind to spend more on my shoes, but I don't think $200 Cole Haans are any more comfortable than the $25 Payless comfort line. I do have to replace them every so often, though. :/ For jewelry, I go to Charming Charlie once a year and see if there are any pieces I feel like I'm missing. I'm currently in need of a red necklace, for instance. I also scour J.Crew Factory for more unique, pretty pieces and spend a little more on what I know I will wear a TON.
    3. J. Crew (mostly Factory), Nordstrom, Banana Republic, LOFT, and The Limited
    4. I love having options, but when it comes down to it, I tend to wear the same things over and over because they fit right, I know they look good, and they keep. This is a new thing for me. I used to shop Old Navy and H&M a lot (A LOT) and get seasonal options and wear them until they died. But now, I don't shop as often, but when I do, I may spend a little more to get more out of the product, but not a ton more. I still want a good deal. Also, I gained a lot of weight, and had to give up a lot of clothes that I would never wear any more. That alone has helped me cut back.

    PS- The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is going until Sunday, and I highly recommend the Halogen pencil skirt which comes in many colors, including PINK. We can talk more, and I hope you let me go virtual shopping with you. Whew.

  4. My closet is a bit out of control at the moment, too, and seeing it spread out on 4 temporary racks in the spare room makes me realize how badly I need to edit!

    I do spend a tiny bit more on pieces I think will stick around (but I'm still a bargain hunter) except for white shirts/tops. I seem to destroy them within 2-3 wearings at most, so I buy a bunch, cheap, and just accept their fate. I've been buying more dresses lately, though, since they are simple to wear, very comfortable, and can be dressed up or down easily.

  5. I've heard a lot lately about H&M being really good for inexpensive work tops, so maybe I need to give them another go (not one near me, so haven't been in several years).

    And I also hate to get rid of books if I haven't read them yet! But once I've read a book, I categorize it: if I might ever possibly want to read it again, or loved it, or might want to loan it out, I'll keep it. If I didn't like it, and can't think of anyone who might, it goes in the sell-to-Half-Price-Books pile.

  6. I'm so glad you shared so much. I really do think I should probably invest in some suiting options. I have gray, black and pink suit jackets, but no pants or skirts that are part of a matching set or anything. And while I don't really wear a lot of full-on suits for much besides job interviews, it's true I could get a lot of use out of the interchangeability!

  7. Absolutely, I wouldn't want to spend a lot on trendy things that are going to be out in five minutes. But I tend to wear pieces to death, and it'd be nice if they didn't die so quickly. :) I'd like it most if I could get quality pieces and still not pay tons and tons for them. It's been helping following a few shopping blogs that talk about when sales are, because I hate getting all those spam store e-mails every day.

  8. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvAugust 6, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Good for you on the major purging. I know just how hard that is. As I've gotten older I've grown into buying a few nicer quality items, I think good shoes and bags are worth the higher price tag. Also jeans and a winter coat and a couple of nice dressier dresses and work dresses. Other than that I buy trendier/cheaper pieces because I know I'll get tired of them within a year!

  9. If we end up moving somewhere colder, I would for sure want to invest in a good coat. I think the one I have now is from Victoria's Secret, but for the 30 days a year I need a coat, it's good enough. :) And I've been hoping to find another pair of Guess pumps on sale, because I bought a pair in college and they lasted me for YEARS before they finally fell apart, so I totally do buy good quality shoes when they're on sale! They just feel better and last longer. I need to invest in a couple of dresses though.