“How long do we hold on to much loved and worn clothing – and if in good condition because of the fashion cycle of trending to come back around?? I have some classics, and I wish Mom had saved me some gear from the 60/70s era …” – Jude
Knowing when to keep or toss an item can be a tricky task, especially if they are sentimental items. There are a few factors to think about when keeping clothing and the first and unfortunately the most important one is the first one:
1. Do you have the space for it?
If you live in smaller house or condo, this can pretty much dictate how much you can keep. Over the years and moving multiple times have made me slowly toss more and more. However, I do still keep one plastic bin with my most sentimental items. For more tips, see below.
2. Why do you want to keep it?
Did you see your Mom wear something often and you want to keep the memory of her? Did you wear something when you were the happiest in your life and want to hold on to that feeling? Or, do you plan on wearing these items again? If you want to hold on to memories or emotions, don’t discredit photography. You could create a scrapbook of you and your Mom or Grandmother wearing all their favorite clothes, or create a collage of these photos and hang them in your bedroom, for a creative space saving way to remember.
If you have the dream of passing a few pieces of clothing on to your children or grandchildren, keep in mind quality and wearability. You don’t want to hang on to something that is just going to fall apart, and you probably don’t want to hold onto something that is too “literal” on trend. (Example: fortrel orange floral bell bottoms- those never came bac in style!) Even though fashion often has influences from past decades, it rarely is an exact replica. Think about fabrication, colours and pattern. You’re best saving items that are more neutral in colour and pattern, and stick with classic fabrics such as cotton, jersey or silks.
3. Will you or do you still wear it?
If you are still wearing certain retro pieces then by all means, keep them! If you truly have feeling you will wear these pieces at some point in your life again then keep it. If you’ve found you have kept a sentimental item for over 6 years and haven’t touched it, you are most likely not going to wear it again. If you are holding on to your own personal clothes and haven’t worn it for over 1 year, toss it. My biggest advice is: wear and buy clothes for the body you currently have, not the one you hope to have or used to have!
If you decide to keep your clothing, here are a few tips on storage:
- Always store in plastic air tight bins. This way they won’t attract moths and will keep out moisture.
- Try storing in vacuum sealed bags to save even more space, and tuck the bags under your bed.
- If you have room in your closet to hang these clothes, cover them with a garment bag to ensure you don’t snag or accidentally stain them.
- Store with cedar chips or dryer sheets to keep that musty smell out, and wash or dry clean every other year.
Hope these tips help you to decide on whether or not to keep or toss those clothes. Don’t forget, if you decide to toss, there is always a charity or good will store willing to take clothes!