What Do You Do With Your Old Clothes?

After writing Wednesday’s post (just before bed Tuesday night) I woke up feeling much more rested than I have in the last week or so, and I think that’s a good sign though I plan to speak to the doctor today or tomorrow.  I appreciated the comments yesterday.  I always do, of course, but some of them yesterday made me laugh, a couple made me cringe and a few made me think that I should contact the doc so I am.

And now, on to other things…I received an email recently asking what I do with my clothes when they’re too big.  And I’ll share my answer, but I’d love to hear yours too.

What do you do with your clothes when they become too big?  Do you keep them, or do you get rid of them?

I’m not a fan of clutter.  I really don’t like it at all so when clothes get too big, they do not stay in my closet very long.  I’ve lost 10 to 12 clothing sizes since the beginning of my journey, and I’ve given away almost all of the old clothing.  I did, however, keep a pair of khaki pants and a few other pieces of clothing from my heaviest weight because I like to look at them when I feel like I haven’t done enough.  And I want to have that moment someday…You know, the moment that you hold them up to show what you wore before.

I think it’s important to recognize how far we’ve come so keeping a piece or two of clothing is a fantastic idea, but I don’t keep it all because I have no desire to go back.  Why even leave that option open?  Instead, I wear clothes that fit and flatter my shape now.  I picked up a few stellar pieces at Lane Bryant today with the help of  Danny, a fashion designer for LB that I plan to see again when I’m back in New York in January.

I have pretty good taste in clothes (humble, aren’t I?)  So it’s fun to share with friends and strangers who can benefit from the larger sizes.  I typically share with friends first, and if I can’t find someone who wants what I’m sharing, I donate it.

What do you do with your old clothes?  Do you enjoy the process?

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    D
    December 8, 2011 at 4:54 am

    I have to admit I have a fairly small wardrobe and those things I want to last I try and adjust to fit a bit longer, otherwise things go to charity. I completely agree about keeping a couple of things to look back on. I haven’t moved a lot in the last couple of years but I put on a blue top that I considered a smart work top at the time and it’s now a dress and it’s great to have that affirmation isn’t it.

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  • Reply
    Maren
    December 8, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but I can’t wait. 😉

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  • Reply
    Nan
    December 8, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Talked to my little sis who is a nurse in a gynecologists/obstetrician’s office. She says lethargy/fatigue is not a side effect of the pill and that the doctor would probably tell you to go to bed earlier! How many hours of sleep do you get? I am a morning person and always up around 5 AM but I am usually asleep before 10 PM. My girls are night owls but now that they are grown, they go to bed before midnight LOL. As for clothes, I purge things quickly and my closet is very sparse. My mom used to say don’t wait to lose weight to look good though and she was right- I have a couple of outfits I call my uniform. If I was younger, I’d go for a goal of buying clothes from Anthropologie- I just love to go there with my daughters!

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  • Reply
    Nikki
    December 8, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I’ve lost 63 pounds and I have quite a few clothes that don’t fit me anymore!! It made me sad at first because I worked hard to have clothes that fit and flatter my body…but I realize that I just have a new challenge now, that’s all!

    I’ve given away most of my professional wear to a friend who graduated college recently 🙂 she won’t have to spend a fortune on new clothes now! I’ve also given away jeans and other items like that.

    I’ve also used some of my old clothes to help me practice sewing! It’s been a lot of fun to use old jeans to create a handbag or an old shirt to create a plushie 🙂 I don’t have to spent all that money on fabric!

    I’m also in the process of selling some of my old designer clothes so that I can use the money to fund my new clothes.

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  • Reply
    Sabrina
    December 8, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I always take my old clothes to the sharing center at my church. About once a month they get a bag of clothes from me, but lately I haven’t been losing to much.

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  • Reply
    Kelly @ No Thanks to Cake
    December 8, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I do a combination of giving them away and consigning them. One of my friends had gastric bypass this year and is flying through sizes. I gave her all my work clothes to help her with the costs of replacing her wardrobe every month. I also have a plus size consignment store that sold a ton of stuff for me as well. Selling was nice because I had a little extra cash for more clothes that I needed. I was also able to pick up some slacks for next to nothing for me new and temporary sizes.

    I’m like you… Always cleaning out. if it doesn’t fit, it’s got to go!

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  • Reply
    Brooke
    December 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I heart clothes! I always say that I might have a problem. Every season, I always add new clothes to a few things that I keep from previous years, some staples. I haven’t lost enough weight to really change my sizing too much. Mainly just one size (depending on where I’m shopping). Things fit better though. I consider myself pretty fashionable and I like to keep up with fashions, not start them, lol. I’ve tried a few things that I never would have after reading a fashion blog by a plus size woman and feel great that I’m taking risk. Since I have a high turnover with my clothes (I’m a bargain shopper, so I’m not too bad), I generally give my clothes to my aunt. She can generally fit into my shirts. I don’t buy a lot of pants, black slacks don’t really go out of style. So, when a new season comes in, I clean out my clothes and put things I’m done with and are in good shape in a bag to take to my aunt the next time I see her. It works for us. She has a family and can’t really afford to go shopping too much and she likes my style. She will go through the bag and get what she wants and then depending on how much she takes, she will give me $40-$50 for it. Probably could get more for it other places, but I like helping her out. I would have given it to her for free, but she insist. I also hope that having nice clothes will make her feel better about herself and maybe help push her to getting healthier b/c I really worry about her.

    You guys should also consider donating your nicer clothes to a woman’s shelter. These women often need clothes for interviews and such, but obviously can’t afford them. I’m sure they probably run low on plus sizes.

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  • Reply
    KCLAnderson (Karen)
    December 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I donate my clothes to a local women’s shelter…and I also keep a pair of jeans that’s one size “too big” for days when I need them 🙂

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  • Reply
    Brandi.
    December 8, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I don’t have many cloths, and right now, all but a few shirts and my sweats are maternity. I go through my closet often, though and end up donating to one of the two thrift shops in town still taking donations.

    I do that with the kids’ clothes too. I don’t see a point in keeping them around if we aren’t going to wear them?

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  • Reply
    Gail @ Shrinking Sisters
    December 8, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I give them to my sister — that way I can “visit” them again when I see her in them. But now my workout pants are getting too big — never thought that would happen — and she doesn’t want those.

    Wish she did.

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  • Reply
    Lisa
    December 8, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I donate mine, too. I’ve pretty uch stalled in my weight loss at this moment, so I’m not getting rid of any that is too big – just stuff I don’t like anymore.

    Now if only I can get the hubby to get rid of his old stuff that he hasn’t worn (or been able to wear) since college…..

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  • Reply
    Lisa
    December 8, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I donate mine, too. I’ve pretty much stalled in my weight loss at this moment, so I’m not getting rid of any that is too big – just stuff I don’t like anymore.

    Now if only I can get the hubby to get rid of his old stuff that he hasn’t worn (or been able to wear) since college…..

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  • Reply
    Kristin H.
    December 8, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I am a member of Weight Watchers, like you, and so far I have lost 52 pounds which was about 6 sizes. (20 to 14). I kept one pair of black pants, the light-weight ones I wore to every meeting thinking they were buying me a pound over heavy jeans (ugh!) I can’t wait to lose the other 50 lbs. on my agenda and pull those giant pants out for a before and after picture! Anyway, I have been giving all of my old clothes to a place here called the Hope Center that gives clothes away for free (unlike Goodwill, which is great, but they charge). Hope Center serves our homeless population and the Women’s Center across the street. Many women flee an abusive relationship with little to nothing, and need to rebuild their lives. They come in all shapes and sizes, so I figure having a good selection is important. I do not keep a larger size than I am currently wearing, which forces me to stay on track. If my clothes get snug it’s time to double down on the treadmill or be extra careful about points.

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  • Reply
    MO
    December 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I recently donated over 4 bags of clothes, as I have gone down 3 sizes since January (with just 40 pounds lost). Everything from dresses to shoes to pants. It was a hard process, because I was a bit attached to some of those items. However, a good process as now I am experiencing some amazing back of the closet moments. There are a pair of sweats I still have that I have been told to toss – they just sit in the top of my closet shelf right now, think because I want to see the before and after, but they really do need to get tossed rather then donated (too beat up).

    MO

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  • Reply
    Jane
    December 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I have lost 64 pounds since last January, and every time I drop a size I go through my closet and donate EVERYTHING that not longer fits. It feels wonderful to release those old clothes and the old me. I have started buying a few fabulous pieces in a smaller size so that when I drop a size and I am going through my closet I find these little treasures and try them on too. It is so exciting to put them on and they fit.

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  • Reply
    Bella
    December 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I’m with you – I hate clutter! I always give away my large clothes to a shop in my neighborhood that benefits the Lucille Packard’s Children’s Fund. I feel good knowing that the proceeds of the sale of my clothing will go to help sick kids.

    I love the idea of keeping a couple of the large sizes, just to measure how far I’ve come. I think I’ll keep one of my current pairs of jeans.

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  • Reply
    Nina Patricia
    December 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I am the heaviest of my siblings so I can’t pass them on (except when one got pregnant-yikes). I donate every season, not so much for size but, for example, if I didn’t wear something this past summer I’m not going to wear it next one, so by this time is in a pile to be donated.
    I do the same with house linens like towels and sheets.

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  • Reply
    Ann
    December 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I haven’t even grown out of anything yet:(. Some of it’s baggy, but it was all too tight before. I wish I had you close to pick out cute things for me. Most things in my size are still old lady clothes 🙁 I guess I was waiting to be able to get into normal sizes again instead of being plus.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      December 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      If I were waiting to get out of plus, I’d be waiting too long. I like clothes now though I can’t wait until it’s less challenging (more variety, cheaper, etc) than it is now when I finally wear regular sizes. 🙂

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  • Reply
    auntiekim
    December 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I kept one pair of pants to show me how far I’ve come (down 100 pounds in a year, and 125 pounds since 2007!), but I donated all my clothes. Either to Goodwill or women’s shelters or the community center that provides free clothes to needy families/homeless.

    I agree…you have AMAZING style!

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  • Reply
    Steelers6
    December 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    It was kind of fun to get rid of a lot of things due to initial WL. Maybe a bit overwhelming too. I felt like a new version of me, bc I was getting smaller, my clothes were new, stylish, and I kind of got to ‘reinvent’ my look. Woo! I would love to be having to face that again about now..gotta work alittle harder.
    I have offered some things to a friend..It would make me happy to see her benefit from stuff that was barely worn. While she is a very, very close & dear friend, she is not the comfiest with her body right now, and it can make me feel less than tactful. SHE doesn’t make me feel that way, but ..it’s just a wee bit awkward for me. [it feels like; “oh, hey, I lost weight, go me, here are some things that are TOO BIG, would you, the bigger person, like to have them?? In yo face?] Again, I’m tactful, she is grateful (when they work, they haven’t worked that great lately..) it’s just ME I guess. I have tried a consignment shop, but there wasn’t one that specializes in plus sizes when I needed to sell those. Our resale shops don’t make selling too easy/streamline either, so many rules & regs. Making some $$ is nice though! I have put a thing or 3 on ebay too, but don’t want to spend the time at that anymore. Mostly I give things to Goodwill, which is currently my preference. I get a receipt incase my donations add up over the year and are a benefit at tax time.
    Nice you can bless your friends, bc you do have a wonderful sense of style. Looking fwd to seeing the pics of your wedding ensemble!
    Chrissy
    ps-I like the new email notifications added. Thanks

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  • Reply
    Sandy
    December 9, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I love dress for success, and any professional clothes go to them. I do hpwever have a hard time editing all mu larger sizes. It is scary, I have gom=ne from a 22 to a 12/14….but have gone up and down to a 16 o occasion. I need to get better at letting go.
    Other than Dress for Success, I love the salvation army. I drop at my local and they sell in my community.

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  • Reply
    Jessica
    December 9, 2011 at 6:39 am

    When I was done with my old sizes I took everything to a good friend and said for her to take what she can/will use and donate the rest..She was very appreciative. I was also able to take 3 huge bags of Mens stuff to her for her and her husband to sort through from my husband… With 4 young kids and a tight income/budget they were thrilled, it was a huge blessing to have those items. I also had taken a large amount of dress clothing of my husbands first sizes lost to another friend ( same situation- 4 kids small income) and they were perfect for her husband! We consigned some but to be honest that was not a lot of money and more hassle then worth it for me personally!

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  • Reply
    Cheryl
    December 9, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I’m working with a surgical weight loss consulting company (I’ve had gastric sleeve surgery) and we have a clothing exchange program so that in the various weight phases, our clients have access to clothing at no cost. I kept a pair of pants of my highest weight but that’s it 🙂

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  • Reply
    kristi
    December 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I gave away all of my too big clothes. Not going back THERE!!

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  • Reply
    Laura
    December 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    In the past year I have gone from a size 28/30 to a size 8/10 (120 pound weight loss).

    I kept my everyday go-to jeans. The last time I compared them to myself I was able to fit my entire body in one leg (it might have been extremely tight, but I could do it). I think I will always keep that pair of jeans to remind me of how far I have come and that I can do anything I set my mind to.

    Apart from them, I have slowly been selling my clothes on Ebay. I say slowly because Ebaying is TIME consuming! I still have some pieces from my very heaviest. I have clothes lying around from size 12 up to 28.

    The pieces that aren’t in the best condition get donated.

    But a good number of the clothing I bought when I was big sat in the closet. Some still had tags – others were only worn once or twice. I’m a stay at home mom and I’m on a budget; I would rather try and sell my clothes at a low price and help someone else out and receive the profits myself so that I can buy clothes that fit, than to donate to my local Goodwill or Salvation Army so that they instead can make a profit from my clothes. I’m all for donating, but for the moment it’s a win-win situation when I sell my clothes on ebay.

    I won’t keep my bigger size clothing because I refuse to allow myself to gain the weight back. I feel like keeping the clothes for the “just incase” purpose would be setting myself up for gaining the weight back.

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  • Reply
    kari
    December 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    The last time I lost a significant amount of weight (50lbs) I didn’t really go down that many sizes. I mostly just bought new jeans, and some more fitted tops. I didn’t get rid of old clothes and I sorta wish I had because if I did I wouldn’t have had those clothes to grow back into. This time around, when the clothes start to get to big, and I start to fit into my smaller ones, I’m packing up the bigger ones and getting rid of them. Of course I’ll save a pair of jeans just to remember where I’ve come from.

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  • Reply
    Noodle
    December 14, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I have been giving mine to a women’s shelter. Most of them are 3x, and I remember when I shopped at thrift stores, my sizes were so hard to find. I had to buy new (and spend more on them), so I give them to a place that can give them to people who really need them.

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  • Reply
    niki
    January 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I give them away on Freecycle.org

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