10 things every 20-something should remove from the wardrobe

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Despite St. Louis’ back-and-forth weather, spring is on its way. With that in mind, it is time to begin thinking about cleaning out those closets, ladies. The closer one comes with the professional world, the more our daily attire actually matters.

The process of closet cleaning begins with three necessary tools, the first being a friend who will not help rationalize the saving of unnecessary things. You will beg and plead, but let us be realistic here— friends see what you wear more than you do. They’re aware of your favorite things and the clothes you have only worn once.

Next you need shopping bags to fill with your unwanted items. This will make it easier to take the clothing to Good Will, the Salvation Army or the Scholar Shop to donate said pieces. Your last and final tool is a list (ahem, this list) of ten things you’re better off without.

If you think I’m wrong, ask that realistic friend you invited along.

1. If you find any item that looks remotely like a Lisa Frank school supply please be kind to the eyes of those around you and get rid of it. You will not wear it unless it is for a theme party. As graduation draws closer, its days of wearability are dwindling.

As a side note, the same goes for body glitter of any kind (shimmer lotion excluded) that you find in your bathroom cabinet. These items are jarring in daylight, which is probably why most parties at which these items would be appropriate take place in the dark.

2. Any item of clothing that is too big on you or hasn’t fit since high school needs to be tossed.  As you examine your wardrobe, try on everything you go through unless you are completely sure that it isn’t worth keeping. If it is too big, get rid of it; don’t give yourself the chance to fit into it again. While the too-small items are tricky (you want to try your hardest to fit into them again, but you just don’t), enlist your unforgivable friend and ask for advice.

3. Any worn items with holes in it needs to be thrown away, denim aside (which I personally think looks better as it wears). Do not put ruined clothing it in the bags for charity, as that is offensive on many levels. Shoes are also included in this.

4. Stains be gone. My general rule of thumb for stained items? If they are still visible after 2 washings and 1 attempt at dry cleaning – they’re goners. If you hate throwing away clothes just because they are stained, there are plenty of websites with tricks for stain removal.

5. Unless the t-shirt is from a concert, a cause you’re presently involved in, or from a trip abroad please do not wear them out (gym excluded). I will not give sentimental shirts away; I have a box full of them and come graduation my plan is to make them into a quilt. Some shirts are memories and unless they’re graphically stunning or timely, they should be seen as decor or at the gym, period.

6. Anything that glows in the dark or changes color in the sun needs to be given away. If you babysit, give them to the kids! They will love it, because for them it is age appropriate. Along with this, those t-shirts and shorts with the writing that looks like spray paint need to get out of your closet mainly because you are no longer 16. Tackiness is not stylish.

7. As females we have a tendency to attempt craftiness in the name of fashion. If it is broke we’ll fix it, and with whatever is available at the time. With altered items please keep a few things in mind. If it is classic and was expensive, take it somewhere to be professionally fixed. If you would not pay money to fix something (or because fixing it would cost more than the item did) throw it out. A temporary fix on a poorly made item is a bandage for a bullet wound and can threaten a potentially embarrassing moment.

8. Please remove any swimwear with cutouts.  Spring break is upon us and this means tan lines. You all know what I am talking about—they have become staples at most retail establishments that sell swimwear. While cutout swimsuits are great at an editorial photo shoot, the model is not laying out in it. They will give you awkward tan lines that no amount of makeup can cover and ones that no amount of strategic sunscreen applications can prevent.

9. Corral all skirts and dresses, try them on and attempt to pick something up off the ground. If you even dare (you might already know the answer) ask your friend what the damage was. If she hesitates to answer or has a disturbed expression on her face, realize for yourself that the garment is too short. Give someone else the opportunity to rock the frock and toss it into the give-away pile.

10. If you are strongly questioning an item because of sentimental value or you cannot figure out how to wear it yet, save it. You can always come back to it and decide to give it away. Don’t rush to throw out your entire wardrobe.

This process, though traumatic for some (me), is very theraputic. Donating the clothes will add to that peace of mind and after doing two great things you are free to boost the economy and buy yourself something nice since you probably need a new outfit.