FBFF: Been There, Worn That!

Today’s Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday post is a Q&A about what we do when we’re done with clothing, shoes, and accessories.  I know I’ve posted about closet clean-outs and “the one-time wear piece” before, and while this has a similar ring to it and will probably echo a lot of what I said in those 2 posts, this one’s still a little different, so yea.

How often do you go through your closet to purge the things you no longer wear?
Generally, I do a full closet clean-out once a season.  So quarterly, I suppose, I go through everything I have–dresses, pants, tops, shoes, accessories, bags–and get rid of things I’m no longer wearing, don’t fit, or whatever.  Sometimes I got through things again later in the season, but that’s usually a quick pass through that usually only relates to certain items.  For example, if I’m going through things just before winter, chances are I’m more likely to hang on to sweaters I didn’t wear the previous winter.  But mid-way through the season, I realize they don’t fit right, don’t work with my style any longer, or whatever, so I’ll do a quick purge of sweaters again and be a happy camper.

What do you do with the things you are through with?
Some things I hang onto with hopes of revamping them in one way or another.  Nicer things I sometimes run past a handful of friends who are close enough in size to me that what I’m getting rid of may fit.  Some things I’ll take over to Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor, and see if they’ll buy any of it–usually I limit that now to jeans, shoes and bags, as it seems a lot of my wardrobe is very “in between” the two stores’ markets, and those items seem to sell best there.  The rest, I donate.  Previously it was to Goodwill, but I’m thinking of starting to support some of the local organizations more, like Home of the Sparrow, Wings, and Shelter Inc.  While I appreciate what Goodwill does, I frequent thrift stores run by those three organizations, and it’d be nice to do a little more that just shop there, you know?

Growing up, my mom made old t-shirts into rags.  I’ve done that as well, but don’t do it too often as I’d rather donate items that are good enough to be worn again (and very few items of mine end up rag-worthy when I’m done with them).

Have you ever sold on consignment or through online boutiques? What has your experience been like?
I have not, though I’m most definitely interested in trying out Poshmark at some point soon.  I just have to update my iPhone software so I can download the App…

More and more people are concerned about the fast rotation of fashion and how that is filling our landfills.  What are you doing to decrease your clothing trash pile?
I’ve been trying to find what I’m looking for first at thrift stores, and going the DIY route before buying new.  In fact, shopping my closet, doing more DIY, and thrifting first were 3 of my New Year’s Resolutions!  Since the new year, I’ve dyed 2 pairs of jeans (making it 3 that I’ve dyed), a skirt, and a sweatshirt over the past 6 months or so and it’s so easy that I’m finding I now look specifically for items that I can dye when I’m out thrifting.  I’m also working on revamping some pieces I already own–updating them a little–or ones that I’ve thrifted that are either too big or not cut right for me.  I have two suits I need to get moving on before they become out-of-season, as well as a dress I need to completely refashion and a pair of jeans I need to make into shorts.

So what I’m trying to say is, instead of just going out and buying new digs every time I want something new, I’m trying to check out pre-worn stuff, do more DIY, and otherwise re-use and recycle what’s already out there first.  It’s kind of a triple-bonus too–not only do I get something that’s a little greener than outright buying new, it’s often cheaper, and very often, ends up being a unique item no one else has!

What’s been your favorite/best score from a thrift store or consignment shop?
This is a tough one, because it seems my favorite things change –I go through phases where I can’t get enough of something, and then suddenly I’m onto something else.  I do have a few things that I’ve thrifted that I’ve used/worn quite often, though, and I imagine their longevity qualifies them as a “favorite”.

The first is my purple purse.  I got it at Clothes Mentor for $30.  It’s real leather, has both a shoulder strap and a crossbody strap, and is big enough for everything I could possibly need.  The only thing that’s missing is an outside zipper pocket for my keys and cell, which I hate having to dig for.  But otherwise, it’s a great bag, and I love the pop of color!  I don’t have very many pics, ’cause I tend not to include my bag in outfits posts (I don’t change bags all that often, and it doesn’t always work with what I’m wearing).

The second is my cream chunky sweater.  I snagged it for a couple bucks at one of the various Wings thrift stores in the area and for fall and winter (and even into spring) it quickly became a go-to comfort piece.  In fact, I picked up a couple other similar oversized, chunky sweaters (intending to dye them, but never getting around to it) so that I wouldn’t over-wear this one.  But this one still remains my favorite.  Oddly enough, I seem to only have 2 outfit pics with it.

And the vast majority of my “arm party” bracelets were gotten at estate sales, or were dug out of a grandma’s jewelry box.  A couple of them (such as the teal rhinestone one) I DIY’d, and others were gifts.

So, what about you?
What do you do with clothes once they’ve worn out their welcome in your closet?  Do you sell, donate, or give away?  Do you recycle items for DIY projects or other things, or do they just go in the trash?  How do you feel about buying used clothing?  Some people get weirded out by it… are you one of those, or does it not make a difference to you?  Share your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook!

Oh!  Don’t forget to check out other FBFFer’s thoughts on the subject here!

20 comments for “FBFF: Been There, Worn That!

  1. June 22, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    I generally donate them on Freecycle. Some go to my daughter since we wear similar sizes.

  2. Sabrina Radke
    June 22, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    I give away pretty much everything that doesn’t work for me, you have some hot looking scores-super jealous!

  3. Celebrate Woman
    June 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    What a beautiful summary of what you do with things that are 2nd-hand! I absolutely enjoyed this post, Rachel.
    And what a gorgeous collection of bracelets!

  4. June 22, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    I am with you on the DIY route! Love your ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  5. June 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    We donate our clothes to Deseret Industries. They are an international charity, and whatever they don’t sale in their stores they ship to third world countries and disaster areas.

  6. June 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I’m a garage sale girl. Usually there will be the one person in my size who will come and snatch up everything. I’ve thought about consignment shops but just have never done it!

  7. June 22, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Those are some really bracelets. Who knew..

  8. mel
    June 22, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    I usually give them to my mom or give them to a local charity depending on what it is. I love your ideas!

  9. June 22, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    I think I am part hoarder – I so need to go through my closet and donate a bunch of it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. CC
    June 22, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I sell a lot via consignment or donate to Savers or Goodwill. Those are also the places I shop! Convenient. 😉

  11. June 22, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Lol I used to shop at the goodwill I donated to and occasionally would pick up items I liked and discover my initials on tags lol!

  12. June 22, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    I love garage saleing! I’ve gotten a couple pairs of shoes and a few purses from garage sale before.

  13. June 22, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Oh that’s really neat! I’m going to look them up and see if there are any in this area! Thanks for the tip!

  14. June 22, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    I’ve heard good things about freecycle but can’t seem to hit it right in this area.

  15. June 22, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    I buy, sell, and donate recycled clothing. I love it all! I never toss clothes or books in the trash. 🙂

  16. June 25, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    I need to check out Poshmark for sure, I had never heard about it before. Love that purple purse you got for $30. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting!

  17. June 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    I love thrift stores! I shop at them all the time and also donate most of my used clothes – In Vegas there was a clothing drop box right by our apartment.

  18. June 25, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    There’s a used book drop box on my way home from work that I’ve stopped at before. But generally, I prefer to hand my stuff to someone… I am never sure what the conditions of the boxes are like and how often they get picked up, and in this area, there’s definitely potential for mold growth, and I’d hate to have when I’m donating be ruined because of it!

  19. June 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    All of your jewelry is so pretty!

  20. June 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Thanks! 🙂

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