Expert Styling Tip: You Must Let Go Of 3 Things In Your Closet

I’ve got this sheer dress in my closet from 1997 that’s baby pink with lace trim. My friends used to call it my floozy dress because I wore it in my 20s when I went gallivanting around the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I haven’t worn this dress for 25 years, yet still it sits in my closet. It’s hard to let stuff go! But there are things you must let go of in your closet.

Good times were had in that dress! So while seeing it today reminds me of a fun party in the late 90s on a rooftop in the East Village, the reality is I’ll NEVER wear it again. And the longer this floozy dress holds precious real estate in my current NYC closet, it’s holding me back. Especially when I need to get dressed!

Clothes You Must Let Go

You know when you need an outfit, and you see nothing to wear in your wardrobe? It’s because you’ve got too many floozy dresses in the way. They may not look like mine — baby pink with lace trim — but they’re doing the same thing. They’re making it hard to get dressed!


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The floozy dress is just one example. Through the years, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of clothes that you won’t wear. When the buildup of un-wearables gets so dense — which it does for many women — it not only makes getting dressed harder, it dilutes your personal style. And when this happens, you end up wearing things that feel uncomfortable and don’t look right.  

The solution is simple. Clean out your closet and get rid of your un-wearables! But like I said, it’s hard to let stuff go! So to help you get started, I’m sharing 3 things to clear from your wardrobe right away. This is what I do with my private styling clients to help them have less clothes, and more outfit options. 

Let Go Of These 3 Things From Your Wardrobe

1. Clothes That Are No Longer You

Your floozy dresses need to go because anything in your wardrobe that’s from a past life is outdated. Clearing these items will be tough because they are tied up with your old identities. They’re a reminder of who you used to be. But you can keep the good memories! Just get the clothes out of your house. This way when you want to find an outfit, you won’t be derailed by a trip down memory lane. Each time you’re forced to pass over your floozy dresses, you’re unconsciously keeping yourself stuck in the past. Once those pieces are out of the way, you can be present with who you are today!

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2. Just In Case Clothing

I used to have a pair of tall black boots that I held onto, just in case. They seemed like a practical item that would come in good use…one day. But I never wore them. Because as practical as they seemed, I didn’t love them.

I had a styling client who held onto 10 pairs of black pants, just in case. Half were a couple sizes larger to accommodate a weight gain. The rest were smaller, just in case she could fit into them one day. 

It’s normal for bodies to change. That’s why it’s important to keep current with your body shape so you are well informed about what fits and what to clear. (Go here to get the free style guide to determine your body shape.) 

Your body may change again, but it’s likely that those just in case clothes won’t be what you want to wear. By letting them go, you make space for what fits now.

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3. Clothing That Was Never You

These need-to-go items will be easy to recognize. It’s the gifts from friends and family like silk scarves and wool sweaters. Although well intentioned presents, they aren’t to your taste. 

Also the deals from the bargain basements. You bought them because they were on sale, not because they were your style. (Go see this post on how to stop buying cheap clothes you won’t wear.) 

And lastly, the hand-me-downs. We tend to think that only kids get throw-aways, but I am often offered things from friends that they don’t want anymore. A simple “no thanks” can be a beautiful thing for your wardrobe.

A Streamlined Style

When I mention a streamlined style to my clients they are torn. Part of them wants to have less, but better clothing options. But then there’s the other part that doesn’t want to let go. If you’re still struggling to clear out your clothes, ask yourself this straightforward question: “Why is this in my closet?” Answer honestly and you should feel good about whatever you decide. 

If you know you need a closet cleanout, but you never find the time to get it done, join my wardrobe purge party! It’s going to be a fun way to clear your clothes and make space for your 2023 personal style. Get the details here!

Oh, my floozy dress…yes — it’s still in there, but not with the rest of my wardrobe. It’s in my styling prop closet, and I use it to help encourage others to let stuff go. Go here to get the full story on my floozy dress!

–Elysha Lenkin

Dresses and Boots Photos: Canva Stock

Elysha Lenkin is a personal fashion stylist who helps women look current, feel confident and stay true to themselves. For over 20 years she’s styled hundreds of women in all shapes, ages and sizes including Carrie Underwood, Tina Fey and Serena Williams. Learn more about her holistic approach to style here  and follow her on Instagram @elysha_nyc.

You may like to read more of Elysha’s styling posts like Am I Too Old To Wear That Trend? 3 Questions To Ask and How To Simplify Your Holiday Style With A Signature Look.

Are you following Fountain Of 30 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest? We’ve got lots going on, so join in on the fun! Subscribe to our newsletter here.  You don’t want to miss a post and promise not to bug you to death. We also started a Facebook Group called Growing Younger for women to discuss everything good and bad about being over 40. Additionally Lauren now hosts a podcast called Beauty is a Bitch! and a weekly Instagram Live series called “Growing Younger Gabfest with Lauren.”

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