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How to Make Your Closet Accept that You’re No Longer in College

Let’s throw it back, shall we? I wore this dress back in 2016 and it has still stuck in my closet like glue. I mean clearly from my last post I have a thing for paisley items. But as I have been looking through my closet, I’ve come to the realization that I may need to accept that I’m no longer in college. Yes, ouch, that hurt just typing those words on my screen (and hurt even more rereading that sentence). I’m getting older and I need to realize I don’t really need 25 Siena college basketball shirts taking space in my closet (yet again… ouch) and I definitely won’t be wearing some of these short shorts anymore. So where do we begin? Read on to find out…

How to Make Your Closet Accept that You're No Longer in CollegeHow to Make Your Closet Accept that You're No Longer in College

Can You Bend Over Without Something Being Exposed? 

Okay, I admit, this dress is s-h-o-r-t. 2016 was all about wearing short shift dresses to make your legs look like daddy long legs. Yes, it worked but it also made you feel a tad bit exposed. My solution to this is wearing tights and a very long cardigan, but that doesn’t work with every dress. I recently had to sell both of these dresses on eBay because they were too short. Mind you I’m only 5’4″ and short dresses really shouldn’t be an issue. Nonetheless, it was time for us to part ways. So if you have any dresses that may have shrunk in the wash (I’m looking at you cotton dress from 8th grade) it’s time to say good-bye and hello to something that actually fits.

Invest in “Grown-Up Pieces”

It hurts me to say, but I used to be a big fan of fast fashion stores like Forever 21, Zara, and TopShop. That was until I realized the effects fast fashion has on the environment and the communities that make the clothes. Besides the ethical standpoint of quitting fast fashion, I realized that when I bought these clothes they never really lasted. A few washes and the seams start to rip, the cotton tears, and the colors fade. I’d much rather invest in quality pieces that I love and know will last instead of a $2 t-shirt that will get two wears. For example, I used to buy the same grungy, Steve Madden boots every year because they would fall apart by the end of the season. Instead of buying the same pair I always do, I decided to invest in a pair of high-quality boots last year. This year, I’m happy to slip them on with them still looking like brand new.

A list of “grown-up” pieces to invest in:

  • Boots: Make sure they’re comfy and you can easily walk in them.
  • A well-fitted blazer: Instantly elevate any outfit just by putting one on.
  • A thick winter coat: Fast fashion coats will not keep you as warm.
  • Jeans: Light wash, white wash, and black wash is all you really need.
  • Pair of Comfy Flats: I have yet to find the perfect pair. If you know of any good brands I should invest in pleaseeee let me know.
  • Jacket: One that can easily be worn for day or night. I’m a big fan of brown and black suede jackets for just that.

How to Make Your Closet Accept that You're No Longer in CollegeHow to Make Your Closet Accept that You're No Longer in College

If you can’t part with that basketball shirt or flimsy crop top, put it in a box.

I fully admit I’m not a minimalist in any way. I hoard clothes like it is a game. But it all comes down to space in my closet. Do I really need a whole shelf or drawer that is dedicated to Siena College fan shirts and Hideki Matsui shirts (still a big fan by the way)? Yeah, you’re right, I probably don’t. However, there is that little flutter in my heart that is making me latch onto them like gum. So when I know I probably won’t wear them again in public (or even around the house) I put them in a box. If I don’t touch them in a year… then it’s time to let go.

Anything Ill-Fitting Needs to Say Good-Bye

Are you holding onto something that you hope you’ll fit into one day? Whether it is shorts from the 12th grade or a sequined top that is waaaay too low cut… it’s time to good-bye thanks for the memories. Just like the short dresses, it’s pointless for it to take space in your closet if you’re never going to actually wear it again. It’s actually cruel and unusual punishment to hold onto something that is two sizes too small because you may fit into it again. Bodies change and it’s time to accept your new figure proudly. The same goes for jeans or dresses that are too long on your body. Take them to a tailor and get them fitted. You’ll be shocked at how much of a difference it does for your look.

What to Do if You No Longer Want it

  • DIY: You can actually make your favorite college t-shirts into a quilt. You can do it by hand or you can send your shirts out to a company that will do it for you. For example, this company looks like they do a great job. It’s a great way to recycle your old shirts. You can also transform some of your older pieces with a little bit of needle and thread. Check Pinterest or this post for some ideas.
  • Sell on eBay or Poshmark: I sell all my unwanted clothes on eBay so I know it is getting a good home. Check out this post to see how you can sell your own clothes on eBay.
  • See if anyone you know might want it: Before I packed up all my things senior year of college, I went through all my clothes and asked my friends if anyone wanted it. Some clothes were claimed and others were not. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
  • Give it to Charity or Goodwill: This should be your last result just because not all of these clothes end up getting sold and reused. In fact, a good chunk of the clothes still ends up in landfills. But if no one wants it, you can’t turn it into something, or don’t want to sell it donate it to a charity. Just make sure it is in good enough quality to resell.

How to Make Your Closet Accept that You're No Longer in CollegeHow to Make Your Closet Accept that You're No Longer in College

Shop This Look

[shopr_shopthepost collection=”cozy-outfit”]

Do you still have some college… or even high school things still hanging in your closet? How do you make your closet a little bit more grown up? Let me know in the comments down below. 

As always,

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  • Anika May

    I just found your blog from your comment on mine and I have to say I love it! Sustainable fashion is something I’m quite interested in so I’m glad I visited! Also loving this post, I still have dresses that are waaaay to short/small from my school days that I haven’t sold on yet. Love the list of things to invest in, so helpful! 🙂

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

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