Toss It or Tailor It: Here’s What To Revamp in Spring 2023

The start of spring is typically when we clean out our closets and see what to keep, store, or toss. And there’s a fourth option – what to take to the tailor, or revamp yourself if you have the skills, the time, and the inclination to bust out a sewing machine.

Spring Closet Cleaning

What you should keep is obvious, and it’s always a good idea to clean and store your coats and sweaters for the season. And of course, some things you should definitely toss. Anything that’s too worn out, damaged, or stained to conceivably wear out should go. Or at least be relegate them to messy tasks like gardening or painting. 

What’s more, anything that you need to significantly adjust your weight to be comfortable wearing should probably be sent to the consignment shop. Or perhaps it’s time to hand it down to a friend or family member. If a piece has significant sentimental or monetary value, perhaps consider reworking it or consigning it as well. 


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What To Toss or Tailor

So how do you decide what to toss or tailor? There are a few key indicators…

  1. Quality of the fabric/workmanship
  2. How it feels to wear
  3. Difficulty to update

It’s pretty obvious that if you have a high quality piece that just needs a little tailoring, you should probably hang on to it. However, if that piece isn’t comfortable to wear or something that you personally deem to be flattering, then you may want to pass it onto a new owner. Finally, if you love a particular piece but it is clearly a product of its time, it might be best to hang it up, literally. 

Here are some of the pieces that you might have in your closet that could be revived with a trip to the tailor.

cardigan buttons revamp wardrobe
J. Crew Ribbed V-neck Cardigan Sweater, now $99

Button It

Cardigans never go out of style, but modern looks have bigger, bolder buttons, often made of wood or horn. Replace the buttons on your older pieces for an instant update; for example, buttons like the ones on this J. Crew cardigan are current. 

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Triumph Hybrid Wide Crop, now $89

Crop It

If a pair of pants isn’t doing it for you at full-length, ankle length looks have been trendy for some time and will definitely still be around for spring. Consider chopping off some – or a lot – of the length of your older pants to bring the look update to date. These Athleta pants are a good length and perfect for showing off cute flats or sneakers.  

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Rit 8oz All-Purpose Dye, $3.49

Dye It

If a piece is faded in a bad way or you just hate the color and it can be safely dyed, why not give it a refresh? Black items in particular can benefit from being re-dyed (just pick up some RIT dye for a DIY project), and sometimes a darker dye can even hide a stain. Shoes, belts, and bags can also be dyed for a fresh look. 

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Blue and White Stripe Sleeveless Cotton Poplin Kenzo Dress, $119

De-Sleeve It

Removing the sleeves of a top or dress can change the whole look. If you are over fluttery or cap sleeves but love the rest of the piece, try it sleeveless for a new take. We love the sleeveless silhouette of this Tuckernuck sundress if you need some inspiration!  

add darts tailor to fit fountainof30
J. Crew Sheath Dress In Four-Season Stretch, $288

Dart It

Make a boxy top or dress more flattering by taking it to the tailor and having darts put in for shaping, like on this J. Crew sheath

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Banana Republic Denim Midi Skirt, $100

Slice It

Long skirts can look matronly, but not if they have a slit. Give your midi and maxi skirts an update with a slit that shows a (small) flash of leg like this dark denim skirt from Banana Republic

Do you clean out your closet every spring, or every season? What is your strategy and do you have any tips and tricks to share? How do you decide what to keep and what to donate or toss? Do you ever consign items?  Let us know in the comments or in our Growing Younger Facebook Group! 

–Jacqueline Zenn

You may also like to read more of Jacqui’s styling post like The Best Ways to Wear Cargo Pants for Women Over 50 and What Is A Cocktail Dress And Why You Really Need One.

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