Learn which 10 clothing and accessory pieces sabotage your wardrobe, plus shopping tips on how to choose outfits realistically.
Is your closet drowning in a bunch of stuff you never wear? Do you find yourself saying “I have nothing to wear” at least once a week? Do you hate going out for Date Night because you think everything you own looks terrible on you?
The problem isn’t you. It’s your clothes. The things you spend your hard-earned money on are stabbing you right in the back and aren’t serving you, your lifestyle, or your body. Why? Because your closet is full of these 10 things.
10 Items That Sabotage Your Wardrobe
1. Clearance Stuff
Ouch, did that just punch you in the gut? If you’re a clearance-only shopper, this message is for you: Would you buy that same item if it were regular price? If you wouldn’t, then it should’ve been a hard pass. It was on clearance because no one wanted it enough to take it home…that’s why the store marked it down.
2. Things You Didn’t Try On
You know that day you went straight into the store, bought the exact outfit that was on the mannequin in the window, brought it home, ripped the tags off, and put it on two weeks later? And do you remember the feeling you had when you realized it looked way different on the mannequin that it did on you?
PSA, always try stuff on. Nobody wants a shirt with an awkwardly placed flower in a place a flower shouldn’t be. Don’t act like that hasn’t happened to you before.
3. Trendy Items
Sure, Instagram trends are fun. But they’re ridiculously short-lived. Next thing you know you’ve got a closet full of random stuff that was only cool for a week and you’re out $300. Save your money and buy timeless pieces that will outlive every trend to be thrown your way.
4. Bad Quality Pieces
Cheap clothes and accessories look cheap, feel cheap, and wear out quickly. Good quality lasts forever.
5. Things That Don’t Suit Your Lifestyle
If you never go to formal events, you don’t need fancy gowns. If your job is business casual, you don’t need an abundance of dress clothes. And if you never wear blouses, don’t buy one “just in case.” Dress for the life you have, not the life you daydream about.
6. Event-Specific Items
Never buy something you only intend to buy once. There are so many companies that allow you to rent an outfit for one-time use, so take advantage of that.
Do you really need five black tees? Unless that’s all you wear, then no. Keep a list in your phone of basics you already own and things your wardrobe actually needs. That will help you stay on track when you’re shopping.
8. Costume Jewelry
This could be your biggest money waster. That cheap $3 pair of earrings isn’t doing you any favors. Instead, invest in three to four timeless, versatile staples and rotate through them. Or become known for always wearing pearls. Having that one defining accessory gives you unique and incredibly sexy character.
9. “Around The House” Clothes
You probably already have your go-to faves, so why go trying to change it up? No matter how many funny graphic tees and yoga pants you buy, you know you’re always going to throw on the old college t-shirt and the oversized sweatpants.
10. Clothes For The “You” You Want To Be
Until you are that person on the inside, you won’t feel comfortable looking that way on the outside. For now, just be who you are. You’ll always feel good about that.
Related Post: Why You Can’t Find Anything To Wear In Your Closet
Need A Wardrobe Detox?
Join the Organized-ish Purge-A-Thon! I’ll send you a free prep guide and five daily decluttering prompts, so you’ll know exactly what to do to get rid of extra house junk. We’ll cover the closet, of course, but once you see how this method works, you’ll want to apply it to other spaces too. Sign up here, and I’ll send you the prep guide right away.
Want me to tackle the Purge-A-Thon alongside you? Watch highlights from all five days on Instagram.
Originally published May 2019. Updated March 2023.
I became committed to the try it on before buying a few years ago. I was at my local mall on boxing day. One store had cute clothes with a great afterCChristmas discount but thier changing rooms were closed in fact the whole area around the charge rooms was roped off. Including the mirrors. I asked the cashier if the items I was considering were returnable and was told they were. I tried the items on at home and they were really small even more than that the tops were short. Like they were incorrectly sized. I could just squeeze into them but the look was not good. As they had thier after Christmas sale happening, they were not allowing returns until the next week. I returned then with the items in the store bag with the tags on and receipt in hand. I was shocked to be told that the purchases made on boxing day were a final sale – But after complaining to the manager and asking for thier managers contact information, I was told they’d make an exception and give me a store credit only, for the new further reduced price. I tried on the replacement top I was going to get and realized all the stock was cut really really small and literally nothing in left in the store would fit. I ended up giving the store credit to a friend for her 11 yr old.
Lela Burris says
Oh man, that stinks! Trying things on at the store is definitely the way to go when you can. I started buying things from Stitchfix so I can try them on at home and send back what I don’t like. If you’re open to having a stylist pick out options for you, I highly recommend that company.
Sandra Gandy says
you are so right. I I buy new things thinking that I will wear them, but I always go back to my favorite clothes. I have t shirts that have holes in them, but they are so comfy, and they are my go to clothes around the house..
Lela Burris says
Definitely! it’s so much easier to have a small wardrobe of things you love than a large collection of things you don’t feel good about.