My Wardrobe, Myself

The intersection of clothing, emotions, and life

Cooler weather is starting to arrive where I live. Although I suspect we’ll experience at least one more heatwave before it’s all said and done, this week has felt a lot like the fall season bloggers and YouTubers have been writing and talking about for months. When the seasons change, that’s when I usually opt to do a closet audit. I try things on, decide what should stay and what should go, and switch my pieces around so that the current season’s items are more accessible to me.

I recently started this process by going through my “holding zone” box. As I’ve written about previously, this is a large plastic bin that I store in my garage and fill with garments that either don’t currently fit me or that I’m considering letting go of for other reasons. In this latest review, I opted to pass on multiple pieces from my holding zone, and I also purged some additional items from my closet.

clothing castoffs

In today’s post, I highlight ten pieces that I’ve passed on and share my reasons for purging them. This will actually be the first post of a three-part series. I’m experimenting with doing shorter posts more often to see if that works better for both myself and readers (so let me know what you think). After writing a “marathon post” yesterday and today, I thought it might make more sense to break it down into more “digestible” portions:

  • I’ll start with the purged item review in part one
  • In part two, I’ll highlight the lessons I learned from these recent castoffs.
  • In the final installment, I’ll update you on the state of my holding zone and how I’m managing my wardrobe in light of my size and style shifts.

The style shifts may even be addressed in an additional part of the series if I find that part three is becoming too lengthy. This is all part of my wanting to wrap up the year powerfully and intentionally. We’re now in the fourth quarter of 2022, believe it or not, so I suspect I’ll be doing quite a few yearly wrap-up posts. I will likely also revisit some of the topics I’ve written about previously to provide updates on how things have progressed and evolved.

Purged Item Overview

Although I have purged more than ten items since I did my last closet purge update back in March, I think these types of posts can be more helpful when I don’t cover too many pieces at once. That’s why I’ve opted to limit this review to just ten of my recent castoffs.  Below is a look at those ten items, as well as some basic information about them. In the next section, I’ll share my individual reasons for purging each of the ten pieces.

purged items october 2022

By Category

Broken down by item category, here’s what we’re looking at:

  • 2 tops
  • 1 cardigan
  • 4 pairs of pants (2 cropped, 2 full-length)
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 pairs of shoes

When Items Were Purchased

Next, let’s review when each of the purged items were purchased:

  • 2016: 4 items (both sandals, both full-length pants)

items purchased in 2016

  • 2018: 1 item (black cropped pants with white side stripes)
  • 2019: 1 item (sleeveless floral blouse)

items purchased in 2018 and 2019

  • 2021: 3 items (cardigan, striped tee, black skirt)
  • 2022: 1 item (black/white print cropped pants)

items purchased in 2021 and 2022

Full Price vs. On Sale

Another data point is that half of these purged items were purchased at full price, while the other half were bought on sale, as shown below. However, whether or not the pieces were on sale and how much they cost is not meaningful in all cases. I’ll elaborate more on this issue in the remainder of this post and in part two…

full-price items

I purchased the above five items at full price.

sale-priced items

I bought the five items above on sale. 

Individual Item Reviews

I’ll now review the purged items one by one and tell you my specific reasons for letting them go. To make it easier for you to follow along, I’ll show a picture of the item that I’m reviewing either directly above or next to my commentary.

Purged Item #1 – Black Marled Open Cardigan

black Bobeau lace marled open cardigan

This was a sale purchase that I only wore a few times. I liked this cardigan, but the sleeves were always a bit too short, and the lace stripes on the sleeves made it difficult for me to push them up. I tried to wear this cardigan a few times over the summer, but it never seemed right to me. I felt it looked too large and sloppy. Since I didn’t love it, I felt it wasn’t worth it to take in the sides like I had done with some of my other cardigans following my recent weight loss.

I have “settled” on sleeve length before (too many times), but I’m going to do my best not to do so any longer. Yes, I can always push my sleeves up – and I often do so anyway, but I don’t want to have to do it. In this instance, I should have taken heed of the fact that the sleeves were difficult to push up (I had to push both of the lace stripes above my elbows) and returned the cardigan to the store. I didn’t lose out on all that much money, but any amount of money wasted is too much!


Purge Item #2 – Black Wedge Sandals

black Born wedge sandals

These sandals were another sale purchase, from way back in summer 2016. They got a decent amount of wear over the years, but they were never a favorite. Painting the buckles from gold to silver using nail polish (an easy hack, but you need to have a steady hand – I recruited my husband for this task) helped me to want to wear the sandals more often, but I owned several pairs of black sandals that I simply liked more. After not reaching for these sandals at all this summer, I elected to pass them on last month.

Purged Item #3 – Black Button-Front Midi Skirt

black button-front midi-skirt

I purchased this skirt last fall, again on sale. The only black skirt I owned at the time was a two-layer crinkle maxi-skirt that had been in my closet since 2016 and had been worn frequently each summer. I was tiring of the maxi silhouette, however, and really wanted to find a mid-length black skirt to wear. At the time when I bought this skirt, it was a good idea, but it became ill-fitting and unflattering on me following my weight loss.

I took the skirt to my tailor to be taken in a few months ago, but a new contractor she had hired to help in her shop ruined it. My tailor tried to fix it twice, but it never looked right. I think it was just too much fabric to take in successfully, as it was originally a quite voluminous skirt and I now prefer to have less fabric overall. That plus my change in size resulted in a difficult alteration that was ultimately unsuccessful. This was a case of “throwing good money after bad,” and I wish I would have just passed on the skirt from the get-go or stored it in my holding zone box to revisit next year. I hope someone will end up wanting to wear it…

Purged Item #4 – Black Cropped Pants with White Side Stripe

black cropped pants with white side stripe

I bought these pants several years ago because I liked the side stripes. Unfortunately, however, they were not available in tall sizes and have always been too short on me. If they were the cropped length shown on the model, I would have been happier with them, but they were at least two inches shorter than that on me.

I wore the pants multiple times in previous summers, but I always felt they weren’t quite right. This year when I tried them on, they were both too short and much too big. Because they won’t ever get any longer, I decided to pass them on instead of holding on to them for possible future wear.

Purged Items #5 and #6 – Metro Slouch Pants

metro slouch pants

Both pants were purchased in 2016 and worn a fair number of times during that year and the next year. After I gained weight following menopause, I stored these pants in my holding zone box, hoping to one day wear them again. I was excited to pull them out this year, but I found that I didn’t love how low the rise was and how stiff the fabric seemed. I now prefer more of a mid-to-high rise (but not ultra-high!), as well as a more comfortable and pliable fabric.

I was kind of sad to let these pants go, but they’re an example of how our preferences can change over the years. Even though I could fit into them well again, I no longer wanted to wear that type of style. I wish Athleta would offer more straight-leg silhouettes like these with a higher rise, but the prevailing athleisure styles now are either joggers or wide-legs. This is another example of what I wrote about in my last post about trends. I think it’s great to have new styles to choose from each season/year, but I also wish we’d still be able to purchase alternate styles in addition to the “latest and greatest” (as some of us don’t always like what’s most current).

Purged Item #7 – Black-and-White Print Cropped Pants

black and white print cropped pants

What a big mistake these pants were… I bought them earlier this year, but I never wore them even once! They’re an example of something that seemed good in theory, but wasn’t good in practice. I really wanted to find some non-boring pants to wear. So many retailers either don’t offer tall sizing at all or only offer very basic styles in the longer lengths. That’s why I have so many pairs of black pants and standard jeans. So, when I saw this fun print available online – and on sale, I jumped at the chance to buy them.

I wanted to love the pants, but I mostly just loved the idea of them. I fell in love with the vision of myself wearing printed pants with my solid-colored tees and summer sandals. I struggle so much to find “fun pants” that fit me, but I also need to recognize when something just isn’t going to work. These pants were still too short even in the tall length (maybe they were supposed to be that cropped, but I wanted more of an ankle pant), and the fabric was also too stiff, much like the ones I wrote about in the last section.

I kept the pants instead of sending them back, and then I lost weight, which rendered them completely unwearable. I wisely decided not to throw more good money after bad to take them in, so I passed them on. I knew I wouldn’t be excited to wear them even if they fit me well, as I didn’t rush to wear them when they first arrived back in the spring.

Note to self… Consider all aspects of a new or prospective purchase. Don’t fall in love with one or two elements of an item (or of any purchase, job, or person, for that matter!). If you don’t love the whole item on balance, let it go. There will be others, even if it might take a while for them to come along.

Purged Item #8 – Black-and-Cream Stripe Cotton Tee

black and cream striped Athleta tee

This tee has been a major disappointment. File it under the category of something that should have worked well for me but didn’t. Anyone who has been reading here for a while knows that I love black, knit tops, and stripes. Check, check, check… Well, I bought this tee before I realized that I prefer for my knit tops to include even just a small percentage of spandex in most instances. The spandex helps them to stay in place and hold their shape.

This top was a hundred percent cotton. Yes, it was organic cotton and it was soft, too. However, it just wouldn’t stay in place well and was “fussy” to wear. This became especially true after I dropped some weight. I didn’t think it was worth taking in or holding on to, as I didn’t love wearing it even when it fit me well. It’s too bad because I thought the different stripe colors on the front and back was a fun design.

Letting go of this tee was a reminder for me to move around in my tees when I’m trying them on in the store or deciding whether to keep or return online purchases. And I need to remember not to fall too much in love with a color or print because a garment needs more than just that for it to work well.

Purged Item #9 – Pewter Flat Sandals

pewter Ecco flat sandals

I didn’t realize until I just looked back, but I purchased these sandals way back in 2014. I wore them a decent number of times over the years, but I mostly only paired them with maxi-length dresses and skirts (which I haven’t worn as much in the past few years). I’m not getting rid of these sandals because I don’t like them anymore. I would love to be able to hold on to them, even if I only wear them a handful of times each year. Sadly, however, the bottoms of the shoes started to fall apart even though the top part was still in great condition.

My husband had the exact same problem with an older pair of his Ecco sandals this year. The sole material must just degrade after a certain period. In my husband’s case, his sandals went from looking normal to being almost completely unwearable over the course of one day. Mine degraded a bit more gradually, but I ultimately had to throw them away.

I don’t know if there’s a lesson here, but I think I’ll be more careful when buying sandals with black soles in the future. I don’t even know what the material was, but it got messy in short order. I’m glad I got to wear and enjoy the sandals for eight years, but I wish I would have worn them more often while I had them. Maybe the lesson is to have fewer pairs of shoes overall and to only purchase shoes that I know I’ll wear regularly (special occasion shoes may be an exception here).

Purged Item #10 – Multi-color Sleeveless Blouse

floral Cabi wraparound blouse

The last item I’m covering today is one that I wished would have worked for me but ultimately did not. I loved the colors of this top and the fact that it was basically two tops in one, as the back had a different colorway and could be switched to be worn in the front. The problem with this top, though, was that I was too tall for it. It hit me in a strange spot such that it looked too short for pants and too long for skirts. It had a nice two-layer hem that added visual interest, but it also added visual width to the area where it ended.

This top was kind of out of my style “wheelhouse” anyway. I saw it on another woman and loved how it looked on her, but I never felt the same way about it on me. I’m just not much into wearing florals, unless they are grounded in black or have an “edgy” look to them (as edgy as florals could look, anyway). This top was always too feminine or “twee” looking for my style. It felt like too much, even if I paired it with simple black pieces. Now that it’s too big for me, I don’t see any reason to hold on to it. It’s not worth altering since it was never a favorite even when it fit me well.

Your Thoughts?

So that’s my review of ten of my recently purged items. In my next post, I’ll be covering some common threads and lessons from the closet castoffs I reviewed above. But now it’s time for you to weigh in…

Below are a few questions to help you gather your thoughts. However, I welcome any feedback you’d like to offer related to the topics addressed in today’s essay.

  • How often do you do a “closet audit” (a review of the items in your wardrobe)?
  • Do you have a “holding zone”? If so, how often do you go through it and what’s in there? Do you limit the size of your holding zone?
  • What have you recently purged from your closet – and why?

Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back next week with part two of this series.

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35 thoughts on “October Wardrobe Update: 10 Pieces I Passed On and Why

  1. Chris says:

    Thanks for the interesting detailed comments. I had a few aha! moments reading them.

    Being tall myself, I can especially relate to the ‘too short sleeves’ mistake. Last year I bought a cute sand colored Everlane jean jacket – on sale, not returnable. It had brown buttons that I replaced (spending additional $ on new ones and the work of sewing them on.)

    But the real problem was that the sleeves were about an inch too short. Yet, I was still in denial. Kept browsing the internet for jean jackets on models that were wearing them with shorter sleeves, etc. Ended up just donating it, It was kind of painful, but I hope someone is thrilled to find it at the thrift shop, cute and unworn.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad reading this post gave you some aha moments, Chris! The story about your Everlane jacket resonated with me. I’ve been in the same type of situation too many times! I’ve learned that I really need to NOT settle for sleeves that are too short. Having sleeves that are an inch too short is all too common for me, but I will never truly feel comfortable wearing the shirt or jacket. Good for you for donating your jean jacket, and I hope someone else has been able to enjoy it.

  2. Paula says:

    I go thru my closet twice a year in the Spring and the Fall. I have a plastic bag in my closet that is like my holding bag. I recently put an animal print tank and a camo print tank in the bag as I had heard from the “influencers” that both of those were no longer in style. I usually wait a few months until I purge something so I’ll see if I miss those items and can pull them back into my wardrobe if I do.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Sounds like you have a good system, Paula. I agree that waiting for a while before passing things on can be a good idea. I do the same sort of thing (although sometimes it’s only for a week or two). Occasionally I will miss something I’ve slated to donate and I’ll bring it back into my closet. This doesn’t happen often, but I’ve been glad that I didn’t just drop off the donation bag immediately.

  3. Gail says:

    I am neurotic and give immediately to Goodwill anything that should no longer
    fit/suit me. Usually I wear things out after a few years since I don’t have that many clothes. Most recently I threw out my Oofos because they were shot after 3 years of almost daily wearing. I gave to Goodwill a shoulder bag that is now too heavy since I am in my later 70s and did lose some weight/muscle mass inadvertently. So I have replaced both. It was fun to go shopping for myself as I seldom do that. I learned to like stores and shopping as a child both my parents being garment workers.
    I do not audit anywhere in my apt. any more since my decluttering is pretty constant. Hey, I even cut out the kitchen gadget addiction! I do hold things for maybe a day or so in the guest room closet, but not for long.
    I love reading your thoughts Debbie, and admire how you stick to it.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      It seems like you have a very firm grasp of what does and doesn’t work for you, Gail. It makes sense that this would be the case since you have maintained a small wardrobe for a long time. I’m glad you enjoyed your recent shopping trip to replace a few items. Good for you for paring down your kitchen gadgets! I remember you commenting about having too many of those, so it’s good that you have culled the items you weren’t using. I’m glad you liked this post.

  4. Maggie says:

    Hi Debbie, Interesting post. I like the idea of limited the items to 10 or so. I have had Ecco shoes where the soles disintegrated too but it was after much use. I ended up replacing a favorite pair that died with the same pair from Ebay that didn’t have any sole use. I know that you don’t use Ebay though because of your sensitivity to smells.

    As to black soles – it seems that most casual shoes have a white sole now. Maybe to resemble the sneaker trend more? Not my best look for my height but that is the trend right now. (I have read that it is possible to change a sole color but I haven’t personally tried it.)

    I know that Trinny on YouTube has videos on “Altering clothes to make them work for you” which I find very interesting.

    Lastly, I like the cropped pants look on other women but it is not a good proportion on me in my opinion.

    FYI, I discovered tees from Old Navy that are a linen/polyester blend that have held up very well. (I bought one at a thrift store and found more on Thredup.) I don’t know if they have any stretch – maybe not since they seem boxy. The fabric is not sheer, launders well, and comes in several styles. I haven’t tried the long sleeve yet but plan to do so.


    1. Maggie says:

      FYI – I have the Old Navy Henley Linen Short Sleeve Top ( or cap sleeve top). It is shirred at the shoulder, has a v neck, and has several small buttons. I think technically, it doesn’t have a separate sleeve fabric piece.)

      I also have the V neck short sleeve tee.

    2. Debbie Roes says:

      I use Ebay for shoes, Maggie, as there isn’t a smell issue there (my main problem is laundry detergent). I’ve managed to replace some of my favorite shoes that have worn out that way. I’m not thrilled about the recent white sole trend, as it’s hard to keep anything white clean (plus, I just prefer a darker sole). I will check out the Trinny videos. I remember watching her on the original “What Not to Wear.”

      Thanks for sharing the Old Navy tops that have been working well for you. I’ve had good luck with Old Navy tops in the past, but they discontinued my favorite tees a few years ago, sadly. Of course, we’re all different in terms of what we like, but recommendations made here are sure to help someone. I’m glad you’ve been able to find good tops at a low price.

  5. Roseag says:

    I also think shorter posts/fewer reviewed items is a good format for you. Give yourself a break! Getting a post together shouldn’t be like submitting a term paper.
    I think it’s a success that so many of the items are more than a year old. Heaven knows that I’ve given away things I’ve hardly gotten home.
    I do a major review 3-4 times a year when I do a seasonal rotation. I rotate Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter because the climate here is distinct.
    I’ve been trying to schedule Goodwill pick-ups monthly. My wardrobe isn’t the only thing in my house that needs editing. So I put out whatever I’ve accumulated since the last pick-up. I’m reaching the end of my “things I used to wear to work when I went into the office” wardrobe giveaways. The pace of clothing give aways is slowing as my household giveaways are increasing.

    Too bad about those Ecco sandals. Those are nice shoes that hardly ever go on sale. I have a pair of Tevas that the rubber sole that came off. I attribute it to having worn the shoes in salt water quite a lot. I bought some shoe glue and glued the sole back on. They are ratty looking and are now the only pair of shoes I wear to the beach.

    I had another pair of hiking shoes that fell apart, right in the middle of a trip to Moab. There I was surrounded by Californians decked out in great looking outdoor gear and me with a shoe duct-taped together. Those shoes hadn’t spent a lot of time in water, but they were old and the trail was muddy. I think the adhesive they use on rubber-soled shoes deteriorates over time and if they get wet then it all comes apart.

    Shoe glue comes in two types. One is like superglue. The other is more like rubber cement. It’s my opinion that the rubber cement type is better at sealing the sole to the shoe and staying put longer.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I like your comment that getting a post together shouldn’t be like a term paper, Rose! It can feel that way sometimes, but I often write a lot. Even this post was still long, but breaking it up should make it easier for all concerned.

      As for many of my castoff items being older, I’ve found that if I can get past the first year, lots of my pieces stay around for a while. Mistakes or just plain pieces that don’t work (which are often not really mistakes because we can’t always tell at the outset what will be fussy and how high the quality is) show themselves within short order most of the time.

      It sounds like you have a good plan for keeping your wardrobe – and your home at large – well edited. As the climate shifts, that’s a good time to do a closet review.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and tips regarding shoe soles that fall apart. That’s awful about what happened to your hiking shoes! I haven’t used shoe glue before, but it sounds like something useful to have around. I don’t think it would have helped my Ecco sandals because pieces of the soles were “flaking” off, but I can see it working well in other instances.

      1. RoseAG says:

        I didn’t comprehend about the soles actually flaking apart. My issue was the whole sole part peeling off, but not in little bits.
        I think they should go into your Hall of Success – a clothing item that you liked, wore a lot, and threw out rather than gave away.

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          I like the idea of a “Hall of Success,” Rose. I agree that these shoes belong there, as I did get a lot of wear out of them. I don’t necessarily think that pieces we end up giving away DON’T belong in the Hall of Success, though. I think it depends upon whether or not we got a decent cost-per-wear out of them and/or the item served its purpose well. You may have given me an idea for a future blog post or series, actually. Thank you 🙂

    2. Maggie says:

      I remember my mother-in-law giving me the advice of always traveling with 2 pair of shoes for hiking/walking. She was in Switzerland – I think – with her spouse when her favorite walking shoes died. She ended up buying a pair on their trip which gave her blisters and she couldn’t hardly walk for the rest of the trip. Great advice!

      1. Debbie Roes says:

        That’s smart advice, Maggie, born from a bad experience (a lot of good advice is hard won!). I had a similar experience, but it was sandals when I went to Hawaii years ago. None of the sandals I packed did well for long days of walking. Fortunately, I was able to find a good pair of sandals there (they were actually Crocs, but they were slides rather than the standard clogs), but I now realize the importance of always traveling with WALKABLE shoes!

  6. Terra Trevor says:

    Good closet edit Debbie. I also always go through everything when the weather and seasons change. Because space is now at a premium for me, I no longer have a holding bin for questionable items. I just keep them up front in my closet and try to wear them occasionally. After passing something over multiple times (or after wearing it and hating it) I let the item go. When I was younger this system would never have worked for me. But now as I’m moving toward 70, I have many good reasons to lean forward and just own and wear what works for my current body and lifestyle. If something changes, (and with older age since change is a given) I have decided to worry about my future clothes needs when it happens, instead of trying to worry about it now.

    But I’m sure I would never have been able to think this way when I was in my 50s or even 60s. But now I just feel free. It’s like age is giving me what I have always longed for.

    1. Terra Trevor says:

      I’m a fan of shorter posts, maybe with less reviewed items, and perhaps more of your thoughts and aha moments woven in.

    2. Debbie Roes says:

      Great idea to keep potential castoffs front and center in your closet, Terra. I need to do that with some of my pieces that are on the fence. The items that I keep in the bins are more things that don’t currently fit me (lots of too-big garments at the moment). Given that you have limited space and also have a very good sense of what you like and wear, your system sounds perfect for you. It’s good to adapt as we age and our situations change. How wonderful that you’re feeling so free about your wardrobe! There ARE some positive things about aging 🙂

      Thanks for your input on post length and my closet review posts. I agree that the shorter posts would work better. I separated things out this time because the post was becoming a book! My lessons learned will be in the next post, but I think in the future, I will just review a few things at a time and do ONE post to cover everything. I’m still working on keeping things simpler, with my wardrobe AND blogging (and life in general).

      1. Maggie says:

        Maybe just cleaning out of one item type? Trinny and Emily Wheatley do one category clean outs on YouTube.

        Whatever you decide, I will be reading it.


        1. Maggie says:

          Hi Debbie, FYI – I am looking at jeans again. The petite bootcut pull-on style that I bought a year ago in several denim washes is not available anymore at HSN and the ones I have are shrinking in length.

          My spouse suggested considering Levi jeans because you can find them anywhere in your desired waist/length size and each style is numbered (at least in mens). They number the styles so he just buys the wash he wants in his preferrred size and style (sometimes on sale) as they wear out. Every 5 years or so, he will try on a few new styles in the Levis store or outlet and see if he finds something he likes better.

          I tried on a few jeans in Kohls over the weekend and I was surprised to find that a slim boyfriend jean actually looks better than the slim bootcut style I had been wearing. (Prices on the Levis website and Amazon seems to match the current store prices but different washes are available.)

          I will keep you posted.


        2. Debbie Roes says:

          Good luck with finding new jeans, Maggie. There are SO many variations out there these days that it can seem daunting! I always like to be able to just re-buy what worked for me in the past, but styles are always evolving and changing. Sometimes what things are called doesn’t line up with how they look and fit, so it can be worth trying a whole bunch of items on. It sounds like you have some good options lined up, so hopefully you will find some great jeans soon. It’s such an individual thing, and it’s harder for those of us who need special sizes like petite, tall, or plus.

        3. Maggie says:

          FYI – I just talked to Levi’s customer service at length so we will see what happens. The rep did suggest that I always look at fabric composition because it vary between colors in the same style. He said for the best stock selection to look at the on-line store or go into one of the Levi’s stores or outlets.

        4. Debbie Roes says:

          Good idea to do a category at a time, Maggie. I love Emily Wheatley’s channel and highly recommend it! Thanks for being a loyal reader regardless of what I post.

      2. Terra Trevor says:

        Debbie, Yes! The tub with clothes of different sizes. I had to do that too! It was very necessary back when I used to wear styles that looked best fitted, and pants that needed to fit a certain way, and even if I only gained or lost a couple of pounds I could not wear them. But now the only thing I wear fitted is jeans with some stretch, and I just keep both sizes together, and wear them when I’m in the mood for extra comfort, or a close fit. 🙂

        But I’m very , very careful now because remember when I had lost weight and brought a pair of my skinny pants to San Diego for the weekend, and then after sitting and eating they were way to tight. That taught me a lesson. LOL

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Being as petite as you are, I’m sure a few pounds up or down can equal a full size. Like you, I sometimes want to wear looser vs. more fitted pants, so it makes sense to have different options. I have to allow for bloating and water retention, as I experience both issues fairly often. It’s tough to either have a very small wardrobe or to pack for travel when one has to consider these types of variables. But we don’t need to have TONS of options, just enough. You seem to have figured out what you need well, but sometimes we learn some painful lessons…

  7. Katrina B says:

    I always find the “why” of these posts so interesting and helpful. I need frequent reminders to consider all aspects of a new purchase (as with your printed cropped pants) because that seems to be one of my major blind spots. I get so focused on finding the exact shade of blue tee shirt or the right length of jeans that when I find it I overlook all the other crucial aspects.

    I haven’t been doing much buying or purging of clothing lately. I don’t have a holding zone, unless you consider my entire wardrobe which is sort of in stasis, waiting to find out what size I’m going to be a month or a year from now. Gaining 30 pounds in less than a year really makes life difficult! My doctor has suggested it may be a thyroid issue so I’ll be getting some tests for that. I don’t really care what weight I am, as long as it will just stabilize somewhere so I can get some pants that fit.

    I look forward to reading your next installments on this topic.

    1. Maggie says:

      FYI – You don’t say your age range but the perimenopause can last up to 10 years before menopause and doctors don’t typically test your hormone levels for this (at least not in my day).
      If you are post menopausal, your metabolism does change so there is that…


    2. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you find my “whys” interesting and helpful, Katrina. I think a lot of us zero in on ONE detail of an item and forget to consider other aspects that are very important. I always hope that these types of posts will help all of us to make better decisions and learn from our mistakes.

      I hope you find some answers to your weight gain soon. Low thyroid can definitely lead to weight gain. I have hypothyroid and have been taking medication for it for years. That was probably part of why I gained weight, but menopause also played a large role. Getting your hormones tested might also elicit useful information, even though I think you are well past menopause (if I recall correctly, but it’s hard to keep commenters’ information straight in my mind).

      I know how difficult it can be when our clothes don’t fit. I’ve gone through that multiple times and it was very unpleasant. It sounds smart to hold off on major wardrobe updates until you have some answers, but of course you do need clothes to wear NOW. But even a small capsule could be enough to make you feel better about how you look and prepare you for most of the occasions in your life (which I think is similar to mine in terms of being at home a lot). Best wishes to you with getting to the bottom of what’s going on AND finding useful solutions.

      1. Maggie says:

        Wise words…

      2. Katrina B says:

        You do have a good memory – I went through the menopause roller coaster almost 15 years ago and that certainly did a number on my weight but things had stabilized for quite a few years before this recent change. Probably not a lot of information to be had from estrogen/progesterone testing at this point but the other hormones (thyroid, insulin, cortisol) could certainly be acting up. This whole aging process is very interesting!

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Interesting is one word for the aging process, Katrina, but I can also think of a few more “colorful” words… I guess we just have to roll with it as best we can and try to have a positive attitude. I think the hormone testing could help you figure out what’s going on, as we have a lot of hormones at play, not just estrogen and progesterone (like you said). It’s very unsettling when we’re going along doing what we’ve always done and then bam, our bodies behave differently. I really hope you can get to the bottom of everything soon. I feel for what you’re going though and I remember all too well when something similar happened to me. I hope you can get to a place of being stabilized again soon!

  8. My “hone in on one thing and ignore the other aspects of the purchase” nemesis is when it’s a color that fills a theoretical wardrobe hole (like a T in a shade of pink that will match my pink cardigan that doesn’t have a mate). My second nemesis is probably prints that I immediately am attracted to. I can easily default to purchasing these items, particularly when seen through sales goggles! A reminder that the item needs to check multiple boxes, not just one, is very helpful. It makes me think of the checklists that pilots etc. use to make sure everything is right before flying the plane. I could probably use a checklist to review before making a purchase.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Since my husband is a pilot (for recreation, not as a vocation), I know those checklists well, Sally. I agree that having a similar checklist to review before making a purchase would be wise. I’ve seen a few such lists over the years, but I think we all need to come up with our own since we face different challenges. I like to ask myself if I would buy a sale item at regular price. That often helps me to hone in on a possible buying mistake, but I don’t always remember to ask it! I have the same purchase nemeses as you do, along with some others. The color and pattern issue is particularly problematic with colors and patterns that can be hard to find or that are to fill a wardrobe hole. I think the “power pause” (Jill Chivers’ concept) can be the most helpful because if we walk away from an item for a while, it often loses its allure and we come back to our senses.

  9. Meghan says:

    I wear an item in season and decide just for that one item. Making multiple decisions at once does not work for me. Now I try to do things in an unhurried manner and be able to sit on unresolved issues. I was bad at this. Always can’t wait. Always trying to get everything straightened out as soon as possible. If I decided to purge something I jot down a few keywords on my phone note. This helps me to know myself and my style preference. I put purged items in a bag for my next resale or donation trip. Not really having a holding zone as I don’t bring anything back from the purged bag. Wearing an item in season a few times and writing down the purge note is enough due diligence for me, and I don’t want to over-think and be undecisive. I try not to worry too much about money wasted. If I didn’t try it and made the mistake, I would never know about it and become wiser.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you’ve found a system that works best for you, Meghan. There’s no one right way to manage a wardrobe, as we’re all so different. That’s why I love when others share their processes here so it’s not just about me and what I’ve found to work or not. I like the idea of jotting down some keywords in a phone note about why you purged something. The better we know our style and what does and doesn’t work for us, the fewer mistakes we will make.

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