I used to be an avid clearance shopper. In fact, I tried not to buy clothing any other way. I could not pass up a rack that advertised 75% off. It seemed almost too good to be true.
I had an awakening one day about a year ago when I decided it was time to clean out my closet and get rid of everything that I didn’t love. I did it in phases, but this was the pile that I pulled out to donate after having already taken a huge black garbage bag full of my clothes to the local Goodwill:
Most of the clothes in that pile were things that I picked up from the sale or clearance rack and could not pass up because they were such a good deal. Then I hardly ever wore them because I didn’t like the way that they fit, looked, or felt.
So I kept buying more stuff because I didn’t have “anything to wear.” Anything that I liked that is. Meanwhile, my closet was bursting at the seams.
Until I gave most of my clothes away; some of them were almost brand new. As I looked at that pile, I couldn’t help thinking that those clothes were not a good deal, after all, since I got rid of them after only a handful of wears.
I decided then and there that I was going to stop buying things just because they were cheap. I started shopping for quality over quantity, opting for a few well-made items as opposed to an entire closet full of clearance rack finds that only got worn a few times before ending up at the donation center.
Yes, quality is initially more expensive. However, when you factor in how often you wear an item and how well it holds up, inexpensive clothes may not be such a bargain, after all.
You will end up replacing clothing that was cheaply made much more often if you wear it on a regular basis. If you don’t wear it much because you don’t like it, it was merely a waste of money, not to mention a source of clutter in your closet.
Either way, it is not a good deal in the end. At least not for me.
Now that I have finally figured out my adult style, which has taken some trial and error, I know exactly what will work for me and what will not. (Hooray!) If I see something fabulous on the clearance rack, I may pick it up, but only if I love it.
That doesn’t happen very often.
I am more likely to keep my eyes out for sales at my favorite higher-quality stores, except for the fact that I am currently taking a year-long break from purchasing clothing for myself. I’m a month in and going strong. (Hold your applause, please.)
This experiment will truly test the quality of my clothes since I will be wearing the same items for an entire year. I will let you know how it goes.
If your closet is overflowing with stuff that you rarely wear, whether or not you bought it on clearance, I invite you to grab a box or a bag and start sorting through it, keeping only the stuff that makes you feel great when you wear it. When you finish, consider joining me in my pledge to buy fewer quality items instead of loads of mediocre clothing that rarely get worn.
I am not advocating a capsule wardrobe that is characterized by a certain number of items. Been there, done that. It didn’t work for me.
I am, however, suggesting that having fewer clothes does help minimize clutter. And keeping only the items that you love makes deciding what to wear so much simpler, especially if you are prone to decision fatigue like I am.
Think of it as a fine dining restaurant – fewer choices, but they are all delicious.
Cleaning out your closet is a great spring cleaning project. What do you say?