Are you a certifiable wardrobe hoarder? In a study conducted by Elizabeth Bye and Ellen McKinney for Fashion Theory, 85 percent of women were found to keep clothes hanging in their closets that no longer fit.
I mean, I have a box of tissue-wrapped pieces I don’t wear anymore in the back of my closet that I’m keeping for my future daughter one day – my mom didn’t keep any of her YSL Rive Gauche and… well, I can feel the tears welling up again. But when it comes to wrong sizes or outdated pieces that aren’t worthy of passing down, to Tokio 7 or Beacon’s Closet they go.
One reason given in the study for hanging onto unworn for ages clothes include “weight management,” according to the Guardian article, like checking your weight depending on whether your boyfriend jeans or skinny jeans fit you better at the time. I check in with myself depending on whether or not my skinny jeans fit at all… instead of waiting until the boyfriends feel like the skinny jeans (that’s when you know it’s time to hoof it to Soul Cycle).
According to the study, that’s what the too-tight jeans are there for — to give motivation to change. To toss out too-skinny skinnies is to admit defeat. But women surveyed kept an average of three sizes in their closets. How many do you keep in yours? And why?
If fit isn’t the issue, money and worth come into play. When we buy clothes, we do a cost per wear analysis in our heads, and even if that fabulous sequined dress didn’t debut as successfully as we imagined, to keep it hanging in the closet allays the fears that we didn’t get our money’s worth from the piece. Even buying solely trendy pieces every season can cause an issue. But it’s a sunk cost — and wouldn’t it cost you more emotionally to wear something you weren’t comfortable in, or to have an overfull closet of things you just don’t wear?
If you aren’t wearing a good majority of your wardrobe, it may be time to consider each piece carefully, and either make a little moolah at resale, or do a little good and donate to a women’s shelter.