My Wardrobe, Myself

The intersection of clothing, emotions, and life

This is part three of a three-part series. In the first installment, I wrote about ten wardrobe items that I recently purged from my closet and why I opted to pass them on. The second post summarized the eight key lessons that I learned from letting go of those particular pieces. In today’s essay, I address my wardrobe “holding zone” and how I’ve changed my approach to it this fall.

As a review, my wardrobe holding zone is a place where I store items that I’m not currently wearing. This may be due to either size or style issues. Many of us worry about being too hasty in purging closet pieces, so storing “on the bubble” items in a different location for a period can help us feel more secure. I’ve often found that I’m able to make better decisions a few months later, after the items have been out of sight and out of mind for a while. Using a holding zone can also be helpful for those who regularly fluctuate in size, as it’s best to only store garments in our main closet that currently fit us.

wardrobe holding zone

Do you maintain some sort of wardrobe “holding zone”?

My wardrobe has been in flux in recent months for size-related reasons. As I wrote about back in June, I have lost a decent amount of weight such that many of my closet pieces no longer fit me. I’ve opted to alter some of my favorites, but the bulk of the too-large items are now housed in my holding zone. This has meant that I’ve needed to modify the way in which I deal with my holding zone, which I will detail below.

An Expanded Holding Zone…

For the past several years, my wardrobe holding zone has consisted of one large plastic bin that I stored in my garage. I had a hard-and-fast rule that my holding zone could not exceed that one bin. I made a point of going through the items in the bin at least twice a year (usually at the change of seasons) to make determinations about what to bring back into my working wardrobe and what to purge. This system worked well for me and forced me to make hard decisions about the fate of many items that I otherwise might have held on to for far too long.

I wore roughly the same size for about five years following menopause, but I’ve gone down one to two sizes this year, depending on the garment.  As a result, I’m back down to around the same weight and size as I was prior to “the change” (I don’t weigh myself, so I don’t know the exact numbers). But because I spent so much time at a higher weight, I had mostly let go of all my clothes in smaller sizes, save for a few basics. I probably wouldn’t have wanted to wear most of my old, smaller garments anyway, as my style preferences have shifted in the ensuing years, so I’m at peace with the fact that I gradually purged those items.

I like the idea of maintaining a relatively small holding zone, but I have now expanded mine from one to two large plastic bins. One of those bins houses my out-and-about pieces that are now too large, and the other holds my outsized at-home items. I only plan to keep garments that I still like and would happily wear again, just as I did when I gained weight during menopause. If I find that I simply don’t like something anymore when I review my holding zone items, I will either donate or sell it.

I’m not thrilled with having expanded my holding zone, but I think it was the right thing for me to do. I don’t want to be too swift in letting go of items that are now too large for me, as I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to maintain my new lower weight. I think it makes sense to hold on to the larger sizes for six months to a year to see what happens. However, I don’t think I should extend my holding zone beyond the two bins, and they’re already becoming quite full. So, I may need to make tough decisions soon about letting some things go (which may be the subject of a future post).

Shifting to My Cool Weather Wardrobe and Doing Some Alterations

I’m currently in the process of shifting over to my cool weather wardrobe, as the temperatures have been decreasing where I live. As such, I have been trying on lots of pieces that haven’t been worn for many months, including the contents of my original holding zone bin (before I expanded it to two bins and separated my out-and-about and at-home items). I had last reviewed that bin as I was shifting over to my warm weather wardrobe in the early summer, but my weight dropped quite a bit since then. Thus, it was necessary to try everything on and decide about each of those pieces, in addition to the cool weather items that were still hanging up in my closet.

These try-ons were what precipitated my expanding my holding zone, as it quickly became clear that one bin wouldn’t be enough to contain all the outsized items. Items that were much too large were placed into the holding zone, but I opted to alter some other garments that didn’t require too much tailoring in order to fit me well. I only did this with tried-and-true pieces that were worn often last year and that were relatively easy to alter.

It’s usually simpler to tailor tops and toppers than pants, as the latter tend to be too large in multiple places, resulting in a very expensive alteration. Of course, if you like to wear very tailored tops and toppers (i.e., blazers and button-down shirts), those will be pricey to alter, too, but I typically wear knit pieces that can be nipped in at the sizes without too much trouble.

If I maintain my current weight, which I hope and plan to do, I may have some additional pieces altered to fit me. However, I didn’t want to jump the gun on doing too much tailoring, as alterations can be expensive and aren’t always worth doing (as I wrote about HERE and HERE). I’ll probably opt to pass some items on rather than paying to have them tailored, especially if the changes needed would be too extensive and costly.

For the time-being, I’m keeping the bulk of my too-large clothes in my holding zone bins and will revisit them in a few months. This will also allow me to fine-tune my style as I start dressing for the cooler months. We only really get two seasons where I live (summer and “not summer”), but I find that I always tweak my style at least a little bit each time a new season rolls around. Perhaps I won’t even be interested in some of my holding zone items when I revisit them down the line, so it’s good that I’m not jumping the gun and either tailoring a lot of pieces or opting to let them go right off the bat.

Revisiting Old Items and Some New Purchases

One bright point in going through my holding zone box was that I discovered three pairs of jeans that now fit me! These jeans were among the small number of basic pieces that I still owned from prior to my menopausal weight gain. I had contemplated letting go of these jeans several times, but since it’s so challenging for me to find good-fitting jeans, I continued to hold on to them.

reclaimed jeans - October 2022

I haven’t worn the reclaimed jeans yet because I’ve still been wearing my cropped pants, but they will be welcomed during the cooler weather season. These jeans are varied in terms of wash and fit, so they will add versatility to my wardrobe. The pair on the right is a bit lower-rise than I usually prefer, but they’re comfortable and fit well, so I’ll see how I feel when I wear them.

To fill in gaps in my wardrobe, I have also purchased some new pants and jeans, including the next size down in four pairs of my favorite pants. I was able to take advantage of end-of-season sales to buy the three pairs of cropped pants shown below, which I’ve already been wearing in the late-summer, early-fall weather. The black slim-leg pants (the second pair pictured) are actually full-length on me in the tall size, and the pair I own in the next size up was my most frequently worn pant last winter and spring. I was able to buy the new pair on sale, too, so the overall cost of replenishing my pants wardrobe was fairly minimal.

new-purchases - smaller size pants

Future Purchases – and Traveling Soon

I may opt to purchase a few more pairs of pants in the coming months, but we’ll see how I do with what I have. I so often think I need more than I actually do, so it’s best to proceed slowly with purchases (I don’t always heed my own advice here!).  I’d still like to find a great pair of black jeans (they’re surprisingly elusive!), and it might be fun to get a pair of pants or jeans in an alternate color, too. I usually only wear blue jeans and black pants during the cooler months because it’s difficult to find good-fitting full-length pants in tall sizes. I love that I now own some cropped pants in alternate colors and a few patterns, but buying longer pants like that has been more challenging (fingers crossed, though…).

I’m continuing to get my wardrobe ready for the cooler weather, and I’ll have a bit of a head start because I’m taking a trip to visit my family in “cold country” next week (below freezing temperatures are forecast – Brr!!). Packing is always challenging for me, but that’s especially the case now for two reasons. I haven’t worn my cool weather pieces for many months, and I have the additional challenge of figuring out what does and doesn’t fit me.

However, I’m confident that I’ll be able to pull together a decent travel capsule wardrobe to serve my needs. As usual, I’ll probably make a few mistakes with my packing, but it usually works out just fine nonetheless. I’ll likely do a travel packing debrief following my trip, as those types of posts are helpful to me and seem to be of interest to readers.

Getting Back to One Bin

Over time, I plan to get back to having just one holding zone bin, but I want to give myself some time and space to see what happens with my weight/size. Neither of my bins are full now, but there’s not a lot of room to spare. Since I have yet to review all my cool weather pieces, it’s possible that one or both bins may soon reach capacity. If that happens, I’ll take some time to do a “bin audit” to see if I can pare things down.

Even if my bins aren’t full once I complete my cool weather item review, they may still reach capacity before my next seasonal switchover. This is because I periodically add pieces to my holding zone if I try to wear them and find them to be “off” for some reason. If it’s just a matter of “I’m not feeling it” on a particular day, I generally give the item another chance because my general mood and what I pair things with can impact my assessments.

But if I reach for something a few times and ultimately end up wearing another garment instead, into the holding zone it goes. Because I can be quite moody with my wardrobe, it’s good to have a “way station” for closet items in case I later change my mind. It’s also nice to have a place where I can store off-sized items that I may need to pull out in the future if my weight changes. All in all, I find the holding zone concept very helpful. It’s saved me from making too rapid decisions with my clothes, and I often do end up bringing pieces back into my closet later on.

Conclusion – and Your Thoughts?

Not everyone needs a wardrobe holding zone. Some people maintain a very consistent weight and have a clearly defined sense of style. Such individuals usually keep their clothes until they either wear out or become out of style (either in general or just for them). I envy women like this, and I hope to be able to emulate them one day! If I keep working on honing my style aesthetic and cultivating a more workable wardrobe, perhaps I’ll get to the point where I won’t need to maintain a holding zone. But until such time arrives, I’m happy to have my holding zone bins and a system for managing them.

Now I’d like to hear from you… Do you maintain some sort of a wardrobe holding zone? It may look very different from mine but serve a similar purpose. Perhaps it’s a spare closet in your home or a box that you keep in your main closet. But if you do have a holding zone, I’d love to “hear” about what it looks like and how it works for you.

Do you modify the way you manage your holding zone in case of major body or lifestyle changes? Most of us had lifestyle changes related to the pandemic that affected the way we dress for work or other areas of our lives. I welcome your thoughts on these and other issues related to wardrobe management.

Feel free to share your experiences and tips in the comment section of this post. It may take me a while to reply to comments because I’ll be out of town, but I appreciate what you share and will respond when I’m able to do so. As always, thank you for reading!

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33 thoughts on “A Changing Approach to My Wardrobe Holding Zone

  1. Jenn says:

    I think you are smart to hold onto the items that have worked well for you but no longer fit. I have long regretted getting rid of a pair of jeans I “grew out of” that would’ve fitted in a year or so if I’d have kept them. I also think it’s smart not to rush to tailor your clothes yet. Not only do sizes sometimes change, you may later decide to resell them as they are.

    I maintain a holding zone in a closet in my basement, but it currently consists of only 8 items. Most will likely end up being consigned, but I’m not ready to part with them yet. They fit–I just don’t enjoy wearing them right now for one reason or another.

    Speaking of which, I’m still working on wearing all my seasonally appropriate clothes and accessories. Once I’ve done that, I’ll narrow my focus to newer items, the pieces worn three or less times, and those with a CPW over a set dollar amount—ideas taken from Sally’s blog.

    In addition to the 14 items I reported last time, I’ve am consigning or donating 3 more items of clothing, 5 pieces of (inexpensive) jewelry, and 2 coats. I also added a pair of booties and a handbag to my holding area.

    Meanwhile, I am happy to say I am shopping much more mindfully—waiting at least one week to purchase an item that I’ve decided I really want or need. And as a result, I am having greater success with those few purchases. More importantly, I’m feeling so much better about myself. I believe Jill Chivers has said that over-shopping erodes our self-esteem, and I so believe that is true.

    Save travels, Debbie!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      That’s great that your holding zone is only 8 items now, Jenn! I’ve had mine as small as that before, but not usually for very long. You’re doing amazing with wearing all of your seasonally appropriate clothes! I’m going to start in on that project after I return from my trip, as it felt too overwhelming to start beforehand. The weather is also very “cusp” where I live now, so “seasonally appropriate” is currently a wide net. I think the rule/guideline of waiting at least a week to purchase a new item is very smart. When I wait, I often decide that something I thought I “had to have” is no longer that important.

      In regards to over-shopping eroding self-esteem, it totally does. I don’t feel very good about myself when I’m focused too much on shopping or enmeshed in the “buy and return” cycle. This can be so exhausting and draining, and it’s not what I want to be about. I get frustrated when I go through those cycles, but I think what you’re doing is a good way to break the chain and make great forward progress. I look forward to continuing to hear about how it goes for you.

  2. Terra Trevor says:

    Good plan Debbie.

    I also always kept a number of things that had either become too small or large. We just never know what’s ahead and it makes good sense to keep what we might want for later use.

    1. Terra Trevor says:

      As an aside, I’m going through a deep reflecting phase right now where I am accessing where my current work, home and social lifestyle is compared to how it was before the pandemic, and how it is now after moving to a new city last year.

      First, it’s important to note that I’m content with my new drastically different lifestyle. But there is a part of me that seems to assume that this is temporary and eventually the world will return to how it was pre-pandemic and I will somehow magically resume my usual social life and work life, instead of mostly Zoom work and social gatherings.

      I’m noticing this a lot in terms of my wardrobe. Like life is still on hold right now, and some day I will again need to own more clothes for going out. Out to regular social events, work conferences that require nicer clothes.

      But my current work and social life is nice, and very casual with people who do not have any need to wear special nicer clothes to the barbecues, picnics we attend. Nor do I need anything special to go hiking, or beach walking, or to the kids soccer games. I also have plenty of what I need to wear for Zoom interactions.

      It’s just now hitting me hard that I only need about 5 nicer outfits, and I have those, and every single other thing I buy, or dream about, or want… needs to be in line with my actual everyday current life, and it doesn’t require all that much.

      This is a new concept for me. I’ve always been about the next thing, planning, plotting, waiting to arrive. And now that I’m aware that I’ve already arrived, it’s weird. Good stuff to me to ponder! Anyone else feeling this way? Is this a topic you might want to blog about Debbie?

      1. Terra, this is very interesting to hear about. It sometimes feels like everyone in the world but me is back to pre-pandemic normal, so it’s always helpful to hear that others are also figuring out what their current and future “normal” is going to be. I’m still working from home, which means that my winter wardrobe doesn’t need to be as ready for the daily commute in extreme weather, and it’s weird that I’m not needing to do a yearly check in with my wardrobe to see if I have all I need for that. I wonder if for many of us, this is a good opportunity to up our “stay at home” outfit game.

        1. Terra Trevor says:

          Sally, I also have decided this is great opportunity to up my “stay at home and work from home” wardrobe. Debbie has mentioned that she has been doing this for a while and for the past year that’s what I’ve been doing too. And now it has suddenly occurred to me that I will likely never return to the kind of city lifestyle I had before.

        2. Debbie Roes says:

          I think there are a lot of people who don’t feel back to pre-pandemic “normal,” Sally. Many of us aren’t sure what life is going to look like a year from now, so we’re just looking more at short-term needs and making sure we’re “set” for them. I have definitely gotten my at-home wardrobe to a much better place over the past 2.5 years, so that’s somewhat of a silver lining to what’s been a challenging time for all of us (some more than others, of course).

      2. Meghan says:

        Maybe there is no such thing as “arrived” for those who enjoy fashion? I don’t think there is anything wrong with owning more clothes than the actual “needs”. It is a pursuit of beauty that is not inferior to any other forms like painting, gardening, design, etc.

        1. Terra Trevor says:

          Meghan, as a great fan of having fun with fashion and style, I agree with you! Yet my tiny closet is currently already filled with everything I need for the time being. But next year maybe my needs will change. What I should say to clarify is that I have “arrived for the time being” and since I love clothes, when something wears out, or shifts and changes (and definitely come next summer) I will likely want to make some changes to my wardrobe. ❤️

        2. Debbie Roes says:

          That’s a really good point, Meghan. Style/fashion can for sure be an art form for those of us who love clothes. I view getting dressed as a creative outlet, and I don’t think I will ever reach an “end point” with my style. I’m okay with owning more than I actually need clothes-wise, but sometimes I can take it too far.

          Terra, I think it’s great that you feel that you have “arrived for the time being.” That’s a good place to be! I think a person can be a minimalist and still love clothes. It’s a balancing act that’s not necessarily easy, but it CAN be done.

      3. Meghan says:

        Terra, I am by no means encouraging shopping. What I am trying to say is something you have already achieved which is living in the NOW dynamically and feel content about your wardrobe at any moment without worrying about future changes and needs. Trying to “arrive” somewhere is elusive given the changing nature of life. If buying a few things is beneficial and makes us happy we should go ahead do it, and we can stop it if it is no longer beneficial and doesn’t bring any more joy. Trying to experience “freedom” in this process. We don’t have to Buy, and we don’t have to Not Buy.

        1. Terra Trevor says:

          Meghan, me too. I feel the same way you do.

        2. Debbie Roes says:

          What you describe here, Meghan, is the type of “happy medium” that many of us are trying to reach, where we don’t have to deprive ourselves and we’re also not over-buying. I would for sure like to experience more freedom in the process. I think it exists on a continuum, and living in the now rather than always looking ahead to the future can help us to feel freer about the whole thing.

    2. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you so much for sharing some of the reflections you’ve been doing, Terra. I very much resonate with what you wrote, and I’m sure a lot of others do, too. So many of us feel kind of “in limbo” in that we don’t know what’s next, if there actually is a “new normal,” or if we will return to the “old normal.” I think I probably only need about five nicer outfits, too, or maybe ten at the most. I still like the idea of having 25 outfits for each season, but many of those will be ultra-casual to match my actual life. I can definitely see blogging about what you wrote about here. I felt like my life was in limbo before the pandemic due to many factors, but I feel even more so now. I will do more of my own deep reflecting and then I will likely share my thoughts on the blog. I hope others choose to weigh in here, though, as it’s always helpful to read how people are approaching some of our collective challenges.

      1. Terra Trevor says:

        Debbie, I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

  3. sewtypical says:

    Hi, Debbie –
    I always enjoy your well thought out posts. I too have a holding zone (also limited to one large plastic bin at the bottom of my closet.) I go through it when I do m 3-month closet refresh.

    Like myself, I know you’ve suffered from ordering clothes with too short sleeves. So, I thought I would mention this online company that I just found. I have NO previous experience with them, and I can’t really vouch for how good they are in any respect. However, I just ordered the denim jacket:

    I hope it fits well, with nice long sleeves. I’ve been looking for one for a couple of years now, so I jumped on it. Wish me luck!

    🙂 Chris

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you for sharing the link to the denim jacket, Chris. I really hope it works out for you! I bookmarked that page (and the site) because I definitely struggle with sleeves being too short. Shorter-style jackets also tend to be too short in the body, so I would imagine the ones on the American Tall site would fit better all around. I will keep that site in mind for my husband, too, as he’s 6’4″ (I’m 5’10”, which isn’t THAT tall, but I have very long arms and legs). Please report back on how the jacket works out for you. Your holding zone strategy sounds like a good one. I think reviewing every three months is helpful, especially when one lives in a four-season climate (which I think you do).

  4. I think a holding zone makes a lot of sense, and if a person has the space for it, I wouldn’t worry too much about whether it’s one bin or two. Fluctuations in body size, currently preferred clothing styles, lifestyle needs, etc., are totally normal, so having a place outside your working closet to keep things that are not part of your current wardrobe is just a good idea. Wardrobes always going to be a work in progress, a dynamic entity, not a thing we “finish” or “perfect” and can then ignore. For me, accepting that there will be ongoing management takes some of the pressure off. For items that are favorites or that would be costly or difficult to replace, it is especially reasonable to hold on to them. Like many aspects of personal style, what to hold onto and for how long is a very personal decision. A few years ago when my mom visited me, we went through my holding zone of too-small items and she went home with a bunch of great things, so I was glad I had held onto them. I actually could stand to do another pass through my extraneous items – I have things in 4 different places that have gotten really mixed up: my true holding zone, a donation collection, a stash of items for upcycling, and a small set of items for dirty work.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      You raised some good points here, Sally. That’s great that you were able to pass some of your holding zone items on to your mom. I don’t really have anyone to whom I can give my outsized clothes, but I can and do sometimes sell them on eBay or Poshmark. In fact, I have a big pile of such garments now, but they’re ones that I wouldn’t want to wear again (either mistake purchases or things that no longer fit and aren’t in line with my current style). I agree with you that our wardrobe is never really “finished,” but I would hope to have more stability in it, at least for a while. I think I will get there, but I will likely always have some shifts as time goes by. Yes, if we accept that there will be some changes, the pressure will lessen, which is always a good thing! We have plenty of other things to worry about; it would be nice if our wardrobes can be more fun.

  5. Sue says:

    While I keep off season clothes in another wardrobe, I was thinking that I didn’t have a holding zone. But Sally in St Paul’s comment about passing too-small items onto her mum made me realise that my daughter sometimes enjoys mine. Very occasionally, she’s even returned them and I’ve worn them again for a while. Perhaps she’s my holding zone ☺️.

    But what seems to work better for me than the holding zone concept is more in line with Jenn’s comment on your last post about wearing each item of a season once before wearing it twice (thanks Jenn for helping me become aware of this idea). I have been consciously applying this rule to my long-sleeved tops and it has really helped me see what could be purged (old multiples of lesser quality and poorer fit).

    I think though that I find it harder to apply this wear-it-all-once rule to items like jeans and blazers that have become a little too loose 🙂 or perhaps [ahem] a little too tight 😐. But I keep them in my closet where I can monitor their fit or until I see that I have enough more current versions that fit well. They might survive one seasonal closet change but not two (well, there is this one blazer 🤭 …).

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Sue, I think it’s wonderful that both you and Sally can pass some of your clothes on to family members (and sometimes even get them BACK later). I love what Jenn suggested above, too, and I’ve started to loosely apply it to my wardrobe. I plan to do it more formally after my trip (which got pushed out a week) because it can be hard to remember what I wore recently. I’m trying to figure out how best to implement the wear-it-all-once rule for myself. I always kind of do this at the beginning of a year after I turn all of my hangers around (to the “wrong way” – and then turn them the “right way” after I wear things). Maybe I’ll just turn the hangers around NOW instead, at least for the cool weather items. I think we all have items like your one blazer… It can be tough to get rid of some pieces, but it sounds like you’re doing a good job of letting go of items that are of lesser quality and poor fit.

  6. Maggie says:

    Hi, Debbie – thanks for the post! I am actually rebuilding my wardrobe for moving back from Colorado back to New England and returning to finish school Since I am one size bigger than when we moved out to Colorado almost 2 years ago, I had gotten rid of of a lot of my casual wardrobe that didn’t fit anymore if it would be easy/cheap to replace. (I kept my goretex boots, outerwear, and long underwear.)

    I went very boho here – printed pants & flowy tops – mainly from the thrift store.

    In assessing my wardrobe for my move back, I decided to start from scratch. After a few disappointments, I gave up buying jeans on HSN and went back into the dressing room. I started with Kohls and bought the following:

    1) Sonoma Goods For Life® Midrise Bootcut Jeans (dark wash but can’t remember the name)
    2) Women’s Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Classic Jeans in Hazelnut
    3) Lee Legendary Mid-Rise Boyfriend Jean (wash is called Inner Strength)
    4) two pair of straight leg jeans from thrift store.

    1 and 2 were bought on sale in the store as well a 20% off coupon.
    3 was bought in the store on sale (coupons don’t apply)

    I wore everything for 2 weeks then ordered 2 more pair of Lee on the website – same size, stye, wash.

    The proportions have all changed so I now tuck in my tee and wear a belt.

    I am now looking at dark long sleeved tops to wear with them

    So nice to have pockets again!

    If I go down in size, I will do what you did and buy the same style in a smaller size if available.

    FYI – Amazon has expanded it “Prime – try before you buy” program.

    Warm Regards

    1. This sounds like a smart approach – nailing down the pants, then selecting tops that work with those pants. We often buy tops and bottoms kind of randomly, then struggle to put the pieces together into outfits. This approach is a great way to side step that issue in a “start from scratch” situation!

    2. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for your very detailed response, Maggie. I always like to read about how people are approaching their wardrobes, especially in instances when they need to (or decide to) start again from scratch. It sounds like you’re off to a great start with your new wardrobe for moving back to New England. I think it makes sense to begin with pants, as that’s often an area that trips people up (or at least it does for me!). Good idea to buy a small number of pieces and wear them for a couple of weeks before purchasing more. Good luck with finding the dark long-sleeved tops to pair with the pants.

      I agree with Sally that many of us buy pieces quite randomly, but your methodical approach will hopefully serve you well and make things much easier for you!

      I have tried the Prime “try before you buy” program a few times and I really liked it. It’s much easier in terms of the accounting, that’s for sure. I didn’t know that they had expanded it, but thanks for the heads up on that.

      1. Maggie says:

        Hi Debbie, I did keep my cashmere sweaters – I couldn’t live without them!

    3. Maggie says:

      I wanted to add that I started a Pinterest board of skater/street style. The boyfriend jeans which I just bought new and a pair of Crevo Cardi sneakers (black suede and snakeskin) from the thrift store with my own insoles are creating the start of a skater chick vibe… Now, I am looking for graphic short sleeve tees to crop and layer over my own long sleeved tees. I have cruised Zumiez and PacSun at the local mall and liked the variety which I saw. (PacSun has a collaboration with the MET which is quite original.)

      FYI – I have noticed that there the age demographic checking me out in public has definitely gotten younger as in MUCH younger. I find this all very interesting…

      Will keep you posted.


      1. Maggie says:

        FYI – I bought a pair of sweatpants with 6 pockets – 2 of which have zippers – at Duluth Trading Company. I went in to try the Women’s No-Yank Long Sleeve T-Shirt and ended up with Women’s Souped-Up Sweatpants in size XS in grey. I might have to get a pair in black because I haven’t taking off the sweatpants except to sleep. (I even went hiking in them today.)

        Also, I decided to look for unusual t-shirts to layer over a long sleeve and am also considering adding tees with my favorite musical groups.

        I have also discovered that wearing my hiking boots while I am out and about draws the attention of a certain demographic here in CO.


        1. Debbie Roes says:

          I’ve heard good things about Duluth Trading Company, but there are no stores near where I live and I haven’t done any online orders as of yet. I like the idea of layering t-shirts of your favorite musical groups over your long-sleeved tees. That can be a fun and edgy look (while still allowing you to stay warm).

      2. Debbie Roes says:

        Pinterest boards can be very helpful when we’re cultivating our style. It sounds like you’re doing well with your skater/street style outfits. The fact that younger people are checking you out is a testament to your doing a good job with those new ensembles!

  7. RoseAG says:

    I think it’s prudent to expand your holds. The fit-again jeans are a good example of the value of not giving things away before their time… A size change doesn’t happen all the time, and what if by Winter’s end you’ve gained a bit of weight back? It happens and in inflationary times we owe it to ourselves to get maximum value out of what we already own.

    I did some giving away recently, not for size as much as for lifestyle, and all of a sudden had a dressier even arise, which had me looking around for a pair of shoes I’d just given away. The shoes didn’t fit that well and I had a another pair in the same color I intended to wear instead, but they weren’t as dressy as the ones I had given away. I don’t regret the giveaway, but it’s left me thinking that I need to have a dressier outfit capsule in my wardrobe. Running out to buy dressier shoes for a once a year wear is not efficient. As it was I didn’t buy shoes, but I spent several hours looking to buy shoes before deciding to wear something else.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I agree that we should do what we can to get maximum value from what we own, Rose. A holding zone can definitely help with that, as we can sometimes be too quick to get rid of things. Of course, it’s all about moderation, and some people hold on to clothes for TOO long. I hope NOT to gain some weight back in the coming months, but I’m aware of the possibility that it could happen, so it makes sense to hold on to some of the larger items for a while.

      I think it makes sense for most of us to have at least one dressier outfit in our wardrobes, or at least the “building blocks” to pull something together if the need should arise. Even if we don’t have dressy occasions all that often, they do come up from time to time, and it’s much less stressful to have the clothes and shoes on hand instead of having to run out to buy them. Good luck with pulling your dressy capsule together in the coming months, including a new pair of dressier shoes that fit well.

  8. Clara says:

    Debbie, I love your blog and your previous one, and I’ve learned a lot from your posts about what to buy and what not to buy…
    I used to have a really big wardrobe (over 300 items of clothing, not counting accessories), but I managed to cut it down by around half.
    I tracked my wears by putting everything on a spreadsheet and ticking off what I wore every day for a year. That taught me for example I should stop buying skirts and dresses because I almost never wore them (I live in a cool climate, work from home and have a small daughter), but that it was worth buying good quality knitwear as I wear my jumpers till they fall to pieces.
    After that year I bought a new house and was temporarily very short of money so I only allowed myself to buy new clothes with money I made by selling ones I didn’t need. That really focussed me on what I did and didn’t need.
    Well, it’s still a work in progress but I’m much happier with my wardrobe these days.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you for your comment, Clara, and thank you for being a longtime reader! Congrats on the excellent progress you’ve made with your wardrobe. Tracking wears helped me a lot, too. I stopped a few years ago, but I might go back to it in order to gain the types of insights you mentioned. Your practice of only buying new clothing with the proceeds of items you’ve sold is very sound. If you also buy secondhand items, I’m sure you’re still able to get a decent number of pieces this way. I’m glad you’re much happier with your wardrobe these days!

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