How to know when to trash the trend

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You don’t have to clean out your closet overtime a new trend begins, but it is a great idea to do it once a year to prevent a stock pile of outdated clothes from ruling your wardrobe.

Each season, stylists and designers encourage women to indulge in the latest trends (and sometimes, to revive the old ones). Of course not every popular style that comes along will mesh with your personal style, but it is fairly common to end up with a collection of clothing that spans over years. Or in some cases decades. Since closet space usually dictates how much we can hold on to, there are times when we must make some tough decisions about our beloved clothes. So, how do you know when it’s time to toss?

The most common advice for the overstuffed closet is this: If you haven’t worn it in the past year, get rid of it. Hmm. That formula might work, but what if a particular style or color wasn’t “in” this past year? Does that mean I should throw out my favorite fab-fitting cocktail dress that makes me feel like a million bucks? (I can just imagine the rejected color being splashed across every runway and style magazine in years to come. And back in the closet it goes.)

The best litmus test I’ve found for closet cleaning is this question: Would I buy this article of clothing again right now? The one simple question takes into account several factors, such as: Does the item still look flattering to my body shape? Is it in good condition? Is the style too outdated? Am I too old to be wearing this?

The last question brings up an entirely new area of concern when sorting through your closet: age appropriateness. Although you may feel strongly that certain clothes can the test of time, styles that are considered “too young” mixed with “outdated” will undoubtedly create a fashion disaster. If you are wondering where to start and when to trash the trend, below is a list of closet-cluttering items that may have outstayed their welcome:

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    Dressing for your age is one of the most important factors in any wardrobe. You can be wearing the newest trend, but look silly because it is the newest trend for tweens not adults.

    Hip Huggers: These slinky jeans have a waistline well below the belly button. This might have looked great in college paired with your Abercrombie tube top, but those are over. Opt for a boot cut jean that is much more flattering.

  • Baby T’s: Over the past two years, the skin-tight and short shrunken tee has been replaced with the exact opposite – oversized tee’s that flow easily over curves and accentuates the shoulders. Hallelujah!
  • Patent Leather Casual Sneakers: Although the skater-style shoe topped the charts in the 90’s, they are now a thing of the past. Sell your shoes to a collector on eBay and get yourself a pair of cool canvas slip-ons.
  • Choker Necklaces & Baby Backpacks: Trade in your Clueless-era chokers for long pendant necklaces or colorful acrylic statement jewelry. Ditch the baby backpack for a sophisticated leather tote with a matching tablet case.
  • Fishnet Stockings: Thankfully, this 1920’s trend only makes its debut once a year – on Halloween. Feel free to toss out your colored knee-highs, too.
  • Skorts: The “skirt-meets-shorts” combo was most popular in the 1990’s (think: Kelly Kapowski in Saved by the Bell). Even though the style has threatened to come back to the runway several times, the only true place that skorts remain fashionable is on the tennis court.
  • Shoulder Pads: Big belts might come back in style, but shoulder pads have stayed safely in the 80’s. Even though the old trend takes inches off your waist, it’s not worth getting voted worst dressed. Opt for a tailored jacket, or a top with shoulder embellishments to achieve the same goal.

Finally, when tossing out older trends, don’t overthink it. The style wheel will continue to turn, and even if bellbottoms and tube tops are the coolest new thing in 2016, there will be plenty on the store shelves to choose from. Besides, “out with the old and in with the new” means another excuse for you to go shopping!

 

 

Kristin Hauch-Melton

Kristin Hauch-Melton is a writer and communications consultant. She earned a degree in Communications and Business from University of North Florida, serves on the board for the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and lives in Peachtree City with her husband, horse, and dog.

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