When to say goodbye…

Friday, 11 September 2009 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A change of seasons inevitably involves a change of wardrobe. Before I head out shopping for some new fall threads, I like to take stock of what I already own. Yes, itís the biannual closet purge, and I love doing it!

As I may have fessed up before, I’m a bit of an organizational freak, so cleaning out my closets and drawers is something I actually enjoy. It’s a cleansing experience getting rid of old stuff.

Magazines love to give lots of (good) advice on what sorts of items to keep and what to discard. In the outbox:

  • things you haven’t worn in ages;
  • things that are tattered beyond repair;
  • things that don’t fit you any more, etc.

I’d like to add a few of my own rules about when to purge:

1) Fit or flawed?

If an item of clothing doesn’t feel right, I say get rid of it. Sure, these items may look fine to the outside eye, but the wearer knows better.

This just happened to me again the other day. I was out walking my dog in jeans and an orange t-shirt. The shirt is this kind of a weird apricot-y orange and I wish it was a tad longer and a tad looser. I bought it, and many other brightly coloured items, because they look good on television. But in my natural habitat (away from cameras) I’m much more drawn to neutrals, like good old white, grey and black. (See my last blog, Grey Days.)

All day long I was looking down at myself and thinking “I feel like a pumpkin.” That’s when I decided it’s time to say goodbye.

2) Out, damn’d spot!

I love a crisp white blouse or T-shirt, but there is one thing about them that brings me great sadness… those inevitable, yellow arm-pit stains! They start out small and unobtrusive, and for a while, you can get away with still wearing the item. No one will notice, right?

Then there comes a point when you’re worried about hailing a cab or brushing the hair off your forehead. Someone might see you-know-what.

No matter how good a shape the rest of the shirt is in, it’s time to say goodbye. (And yes, I’ve tried bleach. I’ve tried spot remover. If anyone has any other advice, I’d love to hear it!)

3) Ahoy, matey!

I have this great blouse that laces up the front. I call it my wench top. You know the look: late 19th century European pub, buxom barmaid swilling ale…

Last year I was invited to a costume party and the theme was pirate night. I wore the blouse, added a bandana and some black eyeliner and you wouldn’t have been able to tell me and Kiera Knightly apart. (Okay, maybe there were some cocktails involved too.) It was perfect…until the party was over, that is. Now, that top is forever etched in my mind as the pirate shirt.

If the item has been part of a costume, it’s time to say goodbye.

Kristina pirate shirt

This shirt walked the plank…

4) Bad mojo

Memories stain clothes just as much as coffee and wine spills. I bought a great dress for one vacation I took with my husband. Then there was that cute t-shirt he bought me when he went on a business trip. And those heels, he always loved those heels. They were great pieces, one and all… until we broke up! Now, every time I put these items on, I think of him.

I think you’ll agree, it’s time to say goodbye.

So how about you folks. What are your rules for wardrobe disengagement? Please share!


This cute dress was recycled to a friend


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  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.harbord.35 Chris Harbord

    Hi Kristina – for anti-perspirant stains, mix a paste of oxy clean powder (not the liquid stain remover) with water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area of the shirt. It will harden, then throw it in the wash. Do a wide swath because the paste will whiten the area, and then the areas that didn’t have the paste applied will be dingy by comparison. HTH! PS Love all your shows and especially the Grocery Bags – I’ve bought a few of the ‘stamped’ cookbooks! Cheers, Chris

    • annaandkristina

      Hi Chris, that’s for the great tip! I’m definitely going to try that next time before I put my beloved t-shirts in the rag pile. Thanks for visiting our site!