If you have even a tiny bit of hoarder in you, you likely find it really hard to part with the piles and piles of clothes,
shoes, and accessories hiding in your closet. Some reasons are legit and are bound up in the fears and insecurities about what it means to give up something that you used to identify so strongly with. Other reasons are just crazy, because, no — despite Justin Bobby (all hail the return of ) making them look oh so good, baggy hipster The Hills beanies are never coming back in style.
Of course, for those of you for whom some of these items are still integral to your wardrobe, we salute you (after all, there’s nothing more stylish than a woman who loves and
owns her style). But for the rest of you, we’re about to make things really, really easy. We ID’d 12 items that almost all of us probably own, but most haven’t (or shouldn’t have) worn in ages, and will not want to wear again — donate these space wasters, reclaim your closet, and rest happy knowing that you couldn’t accidentally dress like an extra on Laguna Beach, even if you tried.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Swap: Way Too Big Clothing Pieces There’s a big difference between purposely opting for oversized clothing and just wearing things that don’t fit. Drowning in fabric isn’t a lewk.
For: A Well-Fitted Alternative On the other hand, a dress that hugs in all the right places or a pair of jeans that look like they were made just for you — those are definite winners. ASOS CURVE City Maxi Tea Dress With Split , $51, available at ASOS
Swap: White Sneakers That Just Won’t Come Clean Everyone has that one pair of Adidas Superstars or white Converse high-tops that you wore one too many times to a muddy day in the park or had beer spilled on them every weekend in college. So why do we always hold onto them for so long? They’re gross — toss them.
For: Chunky Sneakers Nope, we’re not giving up on dad sneakers quite yet. Adidas Falcon W in Triple White, $100, available at Need Supply Photo Courtesy of Need Supply.
Swap: “Interview” Pants Someone convinced you that you needed to have a “business professional” look before interviewing for your first jobs, and you spent too much money on a pair of pants that did you no favors. It’s time to let those go.
For: High-Waisted Flair Trousers Unlike an untailored pair of slacks, these add shape while still managing to be office-appropriate. & Other Stories Skinny Flare Trousers, $115, available at & Other Stories Photo Courtesy of & Other Stories.
Swap: Counterfeit Handbags Not only are you not fooling anyone, you’re also contributing to a whole industry of crime, human trafficking, and child labor.
For: Real, Second-Hand Bags With e-commerce sites like The RealReal, Heroine, and Vestiaire Collective, you don’t have to scour 150+ pages of eBay listings to find the designer handbag you’ve always wanted. Gucci Vintage GG Marmont, $800, available at Heroine Photo Courtesy of Heroine.
Swap: All The Tote Bags The one from that conference your best friend dragged you to. The one from your cousin’s wedding. The one you bought when your purse bottomed out that one time. Get rid of ’em, get rid of all of them (except for maybe one good one).
For: A Patterned Tote When it comes to practical, durable totes for all your grocery, gym clothes, and junk-carrying needs, there are a lot more options than just another sand-colored tote. Baggu Standard Baggu, $10, available at Baggu Photo Courtesy of Baggu.
Swap: All Your Frumpy Pajama Options We’re grown-ups, which obviously, has its downfalls (i.e., bills, bills and more bills), but it also means getting to do all the grown-up things you always dreamed of doing. And for us, that means real, proper pajamas.
For: Grown-up Pajamas Whether you go for a two-piece set or a nightgown, finally ridding yourself of the 20+ college T-shirts, flannel pants, and boxers will do loads for your closet space and your confidence. Sleeper Black Pajama Set, $265, available at Sleeper Photo Courtesy of The Sleeper.
Swap: Slouchy Beanies Finally, the days of slouchy beanies that don’t fit and require constant adjustments are behind us. And while you’re tossing those in the donation bin, maybe do the same with all the non-prescription horn-rimmed glasses you bought at Urban Outfitters to “look smart.”
For: Fisherman Beanies These more-fitted and less over-the-top beanies will keep you warm and look cool this winter. Acne Studios Ribbed Beanie Hat, $150, available at Acne Studios Photo Courtesy of Acne Studios.
Swap: Pilled Leggings No matter how delicately you wash your leggings, if you’re rolling around the carpets at Pure Barre and wearing them on repeat, they’re going to pill and it’s not going to be cute.
For: An Investment Pair If you’re serious about getting #fit, you’re probably wearing leggings on at least a three-day-a-week basis. And if you’re not (we feel you!), we’re betting you still frequent your leggings drawer because, well, they’re great. With all that stretching and wearing out, investing in a good pair is never a bad idea. Alo Yoga 7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Legging, $78, available at Alo Yoga Photo Courtesy of Alo Yoga.
Swap: Your Too-Many-Winters Coat Face it, there comes a time in every coat’s lifespan where it needs to be replaced — especially if you live somewhere with real, negative temps, white-out blizzards, winters.
For: A Stylish Coat You Can Hold Onto Of course, you’ll need some sort of parka to survive the cold, but a good wool coat will last you forever if you take good care of it. H&M Cashmere-Blend Coat, $399, available at H&M Photo Courtesy of H&M.
Swap: Super Skinny Jeans You don’t have to suffer, you know. There are indeed well-fitting jeans that don’t restrict your organs and force you to sit in contoured positions all day.
For: Vintage-Style Denim There’s a reason Levi’s have been around for…well, pretty much forever. Levi’s 501 Skinny, $98, available at Aritzia Photo Courtesy of Aritzia.
Swap: Socks With Holes In Them There are other fish in the sea.
For: Socks That Act As Accessories More and more, we’re turning to socks for an extra oomph to any outfit. Rachel Comey Biles Metallic Crew Sock, $65, available at Rachel Comey Photo Courtesy of Rachel Comey.
Swap: Tarnished Jewelry If you’re anything like us, your jewelry box is a mess of tangled chains and rings that all look like they could use a good scrub. And for some, that’s exactly what you should do. But for a lot of lesser quality jewelry pieces, the best you can do is toss them out.
For: Minimal Jewelry You know — those wear everyday, with anything pieces of jewelry that’ll last you forever if you take care of them. Knobbly Petite Locket, $325, available at Knobbly Photo Courtesy of Knobbly Studio.
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