19 types of clothes you couldn’t possibly get rid of

Goth dress

Ever wonder why your wardrobe is always overflowing with clothes, but you have only two outfits you wear? This is the secret–19 types of clothes it’s impossible to get rid of.

My wardrobe doesn’t have an ever-expanding interior and, though you might not guess it from looking at me, I do occasionally buy new clothes. Put these together, and you reach the occasional need for me to get rid of clothes.

Naturally I avoid this activity as long as I can, but eventually it becomes hazardous to my health to not deal with the problem.

I go into the task optimistic.

I’m sure I have only two pairs of pants I wear regularly, a couple of tops, a jacket or two, and maybe some socks and underwear. It’ll be no problem to pare back my wardrobe to a quarter full.

After replacing on the shelf fifteen items I haven’t worn in living memory, I begin to realise how many types of clothes exist that you just can’t get rid of.

Type 1: I wear this regularly

Yep, I should definitely keep these. Two tops, two pairs of pants. I’m feeling good.

Type 2: I love this, but it doesn’t fit

Of course, I am planning to lose a bit of weight very soon, so I should hang on to it for when I can wear it again.

This is entirely logical.

Type 3: I love this, but I never go anywhere I could wear it

Right now I have a rather nice blue dress that I bought for the wedding of a friend. I hung onto it thinking I could wear it next time a friend got married. In the ten or so years since that first wedding, my other friends have failed me rather dramatically. It’s possible some of them have gotten hitched, but they did it on the opposite side of the world.

I should still keep the dress, though. Because one day I will need to go to a wedding. I can feel it in my tail.

Type 4: I love this, but I never wear it any more because it’s falling to pieces

I know, I know. But I’d be heartbroken if I were to get rid of it, and you wouldn’t want that on your conscience.

It stays.

Type 5: I love this, but it’s too revealing to wear in public

I have an adorable pair of shorts that have been sitting in my wardrobe for the past six years. Adorable, but extremely short. Much as I love them, I’m never going to wear them in public.

But I should keep them, because I’ll gleefully wear them in front of the cat.

Type 6: I love this, but it doesn’t go with anything else I have

This has a simple solution: buy something that does go with it. I’m sure I’ll get around to it one of these days.

Type 7: I hate this, but I love the person who gave it to me

There’s no question, I will keep it until I am consumed by dragonfire.

Type 8: I hate this, but it was really expensive

If I get rid of it that makes it a complete waste of money. If I keep it, on the other hand, I might wear it sometime… maybe… even though it’s hideous.

But even maybe wearing it makes it not a complete waste. Like, if I wear it with 10% probability on ten occasions that’s the same as actually wearing it once. I’d better keep it.

Type 9: I never wear this any more, but I love it because of the memories it brings back

Clothes can bring back memories. You know it. I couldn’t throw those memories away.

Clothes you can't wear to the office
Please let me buy this dress. I can totally wear it to the office.
Type 10: I never wear this but it looks useful

You know, like fingerless gloves with leather on the palms. Plus they’re so cute!

Type 11: I love this but the weather where I live is never right for me to wear it

Ah, how I miss endless summers. Perhaps one day I’ll return to them. Better keep it just in case.

Type 12: I love this, but it’s athletic gear for an activity I no longer do

But I might pick it up again… sometime after I finish writing my book. I’d hate to have to buy a replacement when this one is perfect already.

Type 13: I love this but it has a nasty habit of flying up in the wind

And did I mention I live in the windiest city in the world? Still, I love it so it can’t go.

Type 14: I love this but it’s so out of fashion that even I notice

But we all know fashions go in cycles. If I hang onto it long enough it’ll be stylish again.

Type 15: I used to love this, then hubby put it through a hot drier and it no longer fits

But if I got rid of it it would think I didn’t love it any more. It could get angry. It could go zombie and take its revenge on hubby. Safer to keep it.

Type 16: I hate this, but I only just bought it

I’m sure there’s a rule about how long you have to keep something you bought before you can donate it. What is it, a year? I’m crossing off the days.

Type 17: I hate this, and I don’t like the person who gave it to me, but they need to see me wearing it a few times before I can donate it

I know what I’m wearing next time we go gardening together.

Type 18: I haven’t worn this in five years, but I know I’ll want to soon

Any day now.

*looks around*

Seriously. Any day.

Type 19: It’s so pretty!

And you can’t argue with that.

So after pulling every item of clothing out of my wardrobe and carefully considering what I can donate, I find I’ve isolated a single pair of jeans.

Every bit counts, right?

Am I the only person with this problem? Why do you keep clothes you’re never going to wear?

Get more of my ramblings right in your inbox. Some of them will make sense. Probably.

Pug in clothes

Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

12 thoughts on “19 types of clothes you couldn’t possibly get rid of”

  1. I have this pair of slippers. They’re ragged as hell, and dusty because they live under my dresser. I’m pretty sure I’ve thrown them out twice, or perhaps three times. But this morning they were under my dresser again. Or still.

    I swear I’ve thrown them away. Or maybe I brushed them off and wore them because they’re perfectly comfortable.

    But I probably threw them away. And they came back.

    1. Yay! Not just me. I always think I have to try wearing more different clothes, but then I have to make a choice in the morning and that’s always hard.

  2. I’ll be honest, I am over most of this. The expensive thing was the hardest, but even that, too, I’ve come to terms with. If I haven’t worn something in a year, I donate it. I make an exception of formal or dressy pieces, but even those, after a year or two have to earn a spot in our very small closet!

  3. Eerie timing — I read this post immediately after finishing Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” which turned out to be a very soothing thing to read while waiting around in a hospital emergency room after my husband’s nasty fall on his bike. I currently possess clothes in most of your categories but I am feeling a puff of enthusiasm to let most of them go.

    1. Ah yes, that beautiful puff. Sadly, mine never lasts long enough to actually get rid of the clothes…

      Sorry to hear about your husband’s accident. I hope he heals quickly and fully, and you make it in one piece through the meantime.

  4. I am in desperate need of a closet purge, but for all the reasons listed, it’s not likely to happen. Plus, Prince Luca has made quite a lovely bed out of the never-worn-never-going-to-be-worn pile of clothes on the closet floor. He’d be absolutely devastated if we were to donate his favorite napping place. . .

    1. Be reasonable. You couldn’t possibly do that to Prince Luca. Besides, your job is to be grateful that he sleeps on the clothes you *don’t* want to wear.

  5. Brilliant post! I have a gi from when I did karate and it hangs there. Looking at me each time I open the closest eagerly awaiting the day I once more don it and practice the art of war. Alas the day lingers on the horizon, frustratingly far and never approaching. Perhaps if I perform a ritual that day will come?
    You are not alone in the inability to clear out the closet. I’ve been chipping away at mine for ages. I have a “maybe- I’d better keep this for 6 months just in case” pile that’s bigger than both my keep and donate piles…. I feel your pain!

    1. Haha. Speaking of gis, I have about four of those. Maybe we both need to return to the art of war. I’ve hung onto mine for the past 12 years just in case.

      I don’t think I have a “keep for 6 months just in case” pile – mine’s a “keep for five years just in case” pile. 😉

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