Closet Rehab: Why We Keep Clothes That Don't Fit

New survey shows most women possess 12 outdated outfits

Suffering from an overstuffed closet? You're not alone. A new study has found the average woman owns about 12 outfits that don’t fit her. That’s about 450 dollars worth of shrunken sweaters, muffin top-producing pants and skinny jeans that are, quite literally, too skinny to be worn. Half of the women surveyed admitted they had also once bought clothes that were too small with the hope that they could diet down to one day fit into them.

A quick scan of my own closet revealed similar results -- I spotted several outfits I haven’t worn in years. I’ve kept them because they remind me of days when I was younger, thinner and hipper -- days when I could instantly answer the question, “What’s the hottest hip hop club in town?” without having to Google the answer. A few highlights: Some crazy revealing tank tops and a few miniskirts the size of postage stamps.

Why do we all feel the need to hang on to this kind of clothing? True, they serve as reminders of our once fabulous bodies (of course, our bodies may be a new kind of fabulous now, but they’re likely not the same as they were 10 years ago) but don’t they also make us feel badly about the ways our figures have morphed?

In My Formerly Hot Life, writer Stephanie Dolgoff’s bestselling book about embracing our older selves, she writes about her "crisis of fashion" several years ago when she realized her clothes were Just Not That Into Her any more: She had tried on a black leather skirt purchased five years earlier, and wondered if the trendy staple which “once said ‘downtown rocker girl’ now said ‘Jennifer Leather sofa upholstery.’…I was no longer the person I used to be, the person who bought all of these clothes.” The truth is, trying to squeeze into our stashes of previously flattering and trendy (but now plain uncomfortable) clothes is just a sartorial version of refusing to accept ourselves for the women we’ve become.

So take an inventory of your closets, ladies and throw out anything that makes you feel less than stellar. Writing this blog may be just the kick in the vinyl pants I needed. I'm going to donate my hooker leggings to Salvation Army. Let them live on someplace else. Maybe some college girl can wear them for Halloween next year?

What item lingering in your wardrobe needs to be tossed? Chime in below!


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