Knowing When to Keep Clothes, Style File Friday

All of us take a different approach to vintage items in our wardrobe- some of us have more, some have less, but there is usually at least one piece hidden away. It can be difficult to know which pieces to hold onto and which pieces to discard. Although I certainly am no vintage clothing expert, I have found a few key strategies that help me to decide when to move on from a piece and give it a new life elsewhere or to keep it around.

Knowing When To Keep Clothes

Is It Still Wearable? 

This seems basic, but sometimes can be obscured by sentimentality. As much as we might love a piece, is it actually wearable? Is it faded, stretched out, torn/holey, or just general worn out? It does you no good to hold onto your absolute favourite t-shirt from university that has a fist sized hole that prevents you from wearing it- unless it’s doubling as a safety blankie, it’s not for you anymore. Not being able to replace a piece that you love is not a reason to keep it- that is a trap that I fell into for years and it still takes a lot of effort to avoid. Be realistic- could you wear it to work when your CEO is there, or out for dinner when your arch-nemesis happens to see you? If not, it’s time to get rid of it. (You only need so many pieces of clothing for lounging. Trust me, I know.)


Is There Any Emotion Attached To It? 

Staying in the vein of reality, are you attached to a shirt because you wore it on the greatest weekend of your life? Is it from your favourite sports team? Bought it on an amazing vacation? If it’s still wearable, keep it! But if it isn’t, you should be moving it out of your closet. If it is something that you still very much treasure and love, consider getting the piece framed to hang up at home or potentially made into a quilt. These options are expensive, but allow you to keep the memories while keeping your wardrobe streamlined and functional. And if there are bad memories attached and it still is wearable, I would still consider getting rid of it- do you want to carry those bad feelings with you every time you wear it?

Tergesen Vintage Sweatshirt

Is It An Extreme Style? 

If the only reason that you are getting rid of something is that it’s out of style, stop and consider if it is incredibly trendy and extreme, or if it could come back in style. This is one of my favourite sweatshirts that I’ve been holding on for over a decade now! Even though sweatshirts fell out of favour in fashion, this was a gift from my grandparents that is very meaningful to me. Not only did they give this to me, it is from one of my favourite stores in the world- Tergesen’s! Tergesen and Sons is the general store in Gimli (featured two weeks on Travel Thursday), and they are a treasure trove of unique and interesting fashion, books, and tchatke that you can’t find many other places. Sweatshirts are back in fashion, it has a Harry Potter theme to it (even though I’m a Ravenclaw), and it’s so comfortable and warm that its perfect for the chill of the fall and the cold of the winter!

Tergesen Logo

How do you decide what to keep and what to toss from your wardrobe? 

Until tomorrow,
The Historian!

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6 thoughts on “Knowing When to Keep Clothes, Style File Friday

  1. tahenryauthoress September 1, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    Wearable, fits properly, matches my life style now.
    My fabulous gray pinstripe on dark gray wool suit, looked amazing in meeting with the CEO. Not so snazzy on the play ground. LOL


    • anhistorianabouttown November 11, 2017 / 8:36 pm

      Why did WordPress mark this as spam?? Oh, that sounds GORGEOUS!!! There are so many “holiday party pieces” that I want to buy right now that would be great for the four or five holiday parties I go to and really for nothing else, so I settled on a black satin and lace a-line skirt that I can wear throughout the year but still get the fun feeling for the holidays! As much as I loved the other pieces, I don’t know that they would last with me more than a year or two ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lutheranliar March 8, 2018 / 7:56 am

    Ah! I used to go by the havenโ€™t-worn-it-in-two-years rule. Now I go by the does-this-make-me-look-like-a-little-old-lady rule.


    • anhistorianabouttown March 8, 2018 / 8:02 am

      Because I have a young face and I work in a university, I always go by the “does it make me look like a student” rule haha! And having a specific timeline definitely cuts down on clothing- my outlook is changing now that I’m specifically buying pieces to last 3-5 years at least, but I think 2 years is a great indicator of whether or not you actually like it (or need it) anymore!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lutheranliar March 8, 2018 / 8:05 am

        Oh! To have a young face! Seriously, once upon a time, back when I first started working, I did the same thing. And The Dude grew a mustache ‘to make himself look older’ when he first started practicing (he is a doctor). Sadly, he didn’t look ‘older’, he just looked ‘silly’!


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