How To Know If Something Is Worth Keeping: Why I Hold On To Clothing | In Search of Sheila

How To Know If Something Is Worth Keeping: Why I Hold On To Clothing

April 7, 2016

Even though I'm trying to downsize my closet, I still find myself holding on to certain pieces because I feel like I will find use for them in the future. Any minimalist will advise you to not to do this, but hey, I'm no minimalist. I thrifted this skirt ages ago, but never liked how it looked on me. This, however, was during a part of life where the only kind of skirt I wore were skater skirts. Now my tastes have shifted to more of the a-line mini style. This is part of the reason why I hold on to pieces, as I always seem to return to them later in life. Now don't get me wrong, I don't hold on to everything...anymore at least. You could say I used to "hoard" clothes, although the archivist in me would argue that the operative word in my situation would be preserve. Today I'm sharing some tips to consider whether an item you aren't currently wearing is worth keeping.

1. How is the Quality?
You want to make sure the piece you're thinking about keeping is even worth keeping. What is the material made out of? Will it fall apart in a year? This skirt I kept is from a lower-end retail store, but for being produced in the 90s, it is still in great condition. Vintage items are worth holding on to because even low-end items were better crafted than modern low-end (and some high-end!) pieces. It's a harsh reality, but most clothing produced today are of sh*t quality! I used to buy cheap items of low quality, only to end up not wearing it in a few months time. That is such a waste. Now I focus on only purchasing high quality items that I know I will get use out of for years to come.

2. Consider Its Uniqueness
Is the item something you've never seen before? Did you wear it once and received compliments or questions about where you got it? Whenever someone asks me where I got an item and I reply with, "a thrift store!" part of me feels like I failed the person in helping them find the same piece, but part of me also feels a sense of joy because I have such a unique piece and the chances of anyone having it is slim. You don't want to go overboard and buy and keep everything you see in a thrift or second hand shop, so I recommend considering this tip along with the others in this post.

This sweater is another gem I thrifted late last year and feel like its such a unique piece. I'm in love with the collar and its shape. I feel like it gives off a classy school-girl vibe, but the chunky boots and tights edge it up. Totally into this kind of style right now!

3. Does it fit into your style?
I'm not even sure how long I've had this skirt...years and years to be honest. Yet, it remained in my wardrobe as if part of me knew I would want to rock it later in life. I talked about how a-line mini skirts were never my thing in this post, but now I'm all about them. You can't predict how your style will be in a few years, but you can make a general guess when considering a piece. In regards to this skirt it was black and a bit edgy, which have always been two major elements of my style. Now I'm at a point on my life where I'm confident enough to wear a mini skirt like this.

4. Does It Bring You Joy?
I'm going to throw in this tip that I've picked up from my readings about minimalism and capsule wardrobes. I know an item is worth keeping when I wake up in the morning and I want to wear it. Or I wish that I could just wear it everyday. Those are the items you want to keep, opposed to those that you don't fantasize wearing, hate how it feels or looks on you, or you feel like you have to wear it because you bought it. If it doesn't make you happy, get rid of it.

Although this post has focused on why something should be held on to, I still want to stress that it is more than okay to get rid of something. I personally am in the process of getting rid of so many things whether by posting them on my Depop, taking to a donation center, or giving away to friends. If a piece of clothing fails to match any of the criteria mentioned in this post, chances are it is just taking up space in your closet and adding stress to your life.

What do you think of this look and the tips I shared? Do you like to hold on to pieces because you think you will like it later in life or do you just get rid of it? If you do hold on to pieces, but never wear them have you ever thought about why you can't get rid of it?

Sweater + Skirt + Bag: thrifted /// Boots: ASOS


  1. Lovely post!

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    What makes you beautiful

  2. Loving these tips, Sheila! I find that the reason I hold on to certain pieces of clothing is because of the memories I associate with them -- say for example a childhood sweater that reminds me of some of the best times in my life, or a certain cardigan I wore out once when my boyfriend destroyed one of the buttons. I'm a romanticist and hold on dearly to these memories. Other times, I look for the uniqueness. A lot of the items I still possess are ancient. Very 90s, like maxi dresses without belts or elastic waistlines (in its place are two strings of fabric to tie them up) -- these are the kind of pieces that we don't get in the modern days and I LOVE keep the uniqueness of authentic vintage pieces alive.

    I'm LOVING the sweater you have on here, Sheila, and I'm loving the entire look in general! x


  3. love your shoes!

    dont forget to visit me back,

  4. First of all, I LOVE THIS LOOK SO MUCH <3 It's giving me badass 90s schoolgirl vibes and I adore it. Also these tips are great, I'm trying to downsize my wardrobe at the moment and have been finding it tough to let go of things so these really helped! xx

  5. I really like the shoes and bag you have in this OOTD! It's always tough for me when I need to make space for new clothing. I can never make up my mind what to toss or keep!


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