Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sell, give, up-cycle, toss ...

I spoke about becoming a fashion minimalist in my last blog post and that I would discuss what to do with all your discarded clothes as you free yourself from too much "un-fashion junk." First and foremost let me say that an elegant woman is not a wasteful woman. Your unwanted items could bring you some cash if you sell high quality items (so you can go shopping again). Or, help out a charity -- something an elegant woman should always try to do often!

While going through your closet when slimming down your wardrobe, you might have looked like the tasmanian devil on old Bugs Bunny cartoons. When you finally stopped spinning you were looking at a pile of "stuff" on the floor of your bedroom. Not to worry. Step away from the pile, sit down in another room of your house for a few minutes (make a cup of tea or coffee) and develop a plan. Your plan of disposal should look something like this:

1) Create four piles of "stuff"-- sell, give, up-cycle, toss

  • Put anything that is of worth (designer labels, unique items, high-ticket clothes) in the "sell" pile
  • Put anything that is not salable but still in good condition in the "give" pile
  • Put anything that can be repaired or repurposed the "up-cycle" pile
  • Throw things that are severely stained, torn, moth eaten or threadbare in the "toss" pile
2) Decide where to sell

  • Consignment shops -- one of my favorites is Wardrobe Rescue in Vienna, VA (www.
  • E-bay as a back up

3) Decide where to give

  • One of the best thrift stores is The Twig, an organization that donates funds raised through the thrift store to the Inova Hospital (
  • Dress for Success (call 202-269-4805 for the Washington DC location)
  • The Lupus Foundation and Disabled American Veterans will pick up your donations
  • There is always Goodwill and Salvation Army as a backup

4) Try to up-cycle any clothing before throwing it in the trash

  • Cut up clothes into squares for a local quilting club. A good one to try is Project Linus in Fairfax County ( contact JoAnn at 703-581-4270). 
  • Try your hand at making shorts out of trousers with a frayed hem or dying an old faded shirt to a new vibrant color.
  • Clothing with missing buttons or broken zippers might still be saved. Perhaps you could try bartering your mending with a skill you possess (someone mends your clothing while you run errands for them) through 
5) As the old Kenny Roger's song goes "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." Know when clothes are beyond repair or use and should be tossed in the trash. This step should be reserved for moth eaten or severely damaged clothes and especially used under garments (I don't know why I needed to even add that!). 

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