Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: The Modest Budget: 5 Things You Don't Need in Your Closet

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Modest Budget: 5 Things You Don't Need in Your Closet

Good morning, my lovely readers!

Taking a break from outfits today, only for the silly reason that Jon and I are in our last week of living up here in Maryland, and all of my outfits are on repeat!

But after spending a month up here with the same closet, I have been thinking about things that I will be throwing out of my closet as soon as I get back home. Living on-the-road or in a hotel with only one suitcase will give you some perspective on how many articles of clothing one gal truly needs... So that leads me to...
I centered these things on creating the "dream closet," which, for me, includes:
A closet that is completely comfortable
- A closet that can be worn a million different ways full of endless possibilities!
- A closet that I love and look forward to
- A closet that looks great on ME!
- A closet full of things I actually wear

5 Things you don't NEED in your closet

1. High-maintenance clothing

The dream closet that is completely comfortable.
What defines high-maintenance clothing? These are the pieces that require "futzing" with all day, or the constant feeling like you have to fluff/fix/resituate/or watch your clothing all day.

For me, this includes shorts or skirts that are too short and require me to watch them or tug at them all day. OR a shirt that is too low, and requires me to be pulling up on a tank top all day or making sure I'm not bending over wrong. These things typically lead to mistakes, or just feeling uncomfortable.

Another example could be skirts that are too short and have to be worn with leggings, or a maxi skirt that has to be worn with heels. If they have to be worn with anything, consider getting rid of them.

(Some of these things might not have to be cleared out, but maybe packed away for winter when layering is more practical. But if that's the case, pack them up and away out of your closet and away from creating clutter.)

2. Pieces that can only be worn one way (or only go with one piece)

The dream closet that can be worn a million different ways full of endless possibilities!
This is pretty self-explanatory, but these pieces of clothing can be such a trap. Do you have a shirt that only works with a certain skirt? And doesn't go with any pair of pants you own?

The trap is that us girls hate wearing the same outfit twice, so what this means is that this piece of clothing is hardly ever warn because this outfit can only be worn once-in-a-while.

One example, is that I tend to keep button-downs or flannels that don't fit me right (darn my broad shoulders!) so they only really fit when I tie them like a cowgirl instead of button them. This works great until you marry a man who hates it when you wear your flannels like that and you never wear the flannels in your closet...

Another example, is the one pair of high-waisted pants I own. I bought them because they were comfortable, not because I like crop-tops or the way high-waisted pants look (that fashion trend will always look awkward to me...). Because of this, even though they are super duper comfortable, they do not work with any of my shirts (i.e., normal-length shirts). These need to go.

3. Clothes you don't look forward to wearing

The dream closet that you love
Have you ever had that moment when you're going out and you're flipping through your closet and you have "nothing to wear" because nothing in there excites you? This may be a sign that you need to get rid of a few things.

I tend to hang on to dresses longer than I should because a great dress is hard to find. But just because I have a few dresses in my closet doesn't mean that I want to wear any of them! (Something that never fails to confuse and bewilder my husband!)

If you consistently don't want to wear something, just chuck it.

4. Pieces that don't fit perfectly

The dream closet that looks great on YOU
This one should be obvious, but I think every girl has items in her closet and stuffed in the back of her drawers that either no longer fit or she hopes to fit in one day. Like a shirt from high school, or a pre-baby pair of pants.

I am awful at this, because 1) I hate going out and buying more clothing, and 2) I am always optimistic that I will be losing more weight than gaining it (lol). However, it means that there are a lot of things I don't wear simply because they're too big/too tight/not right.

You don't need the discouragement of feeling like you need to lose 20 pounds (or gain them in the right areas!) every time you put it on. Clothes are supposed to make you feel more beautiful and confident, not less.

5. Clothes you haven't worn this summer

The dream closet that is full of things you wear
This is probably the hardest one for me! Like I've mentioned, I'm an optimist when it comes to clothes and how often I will wear them in the future. But truly, if there are pieces that I haven't worn all summer, what are the chances that I will wear it next summer?

Push yourself to throw out those t-shirts and those cute dresses that you haven't touched all summer (even if they were pieces you wore all the time last year).

If you only wear it once a semester or twice a year, it isn't worth letting it take up valuable space in your closet.

The Cleaner-Closet Challenge:

If you're still a little hesitant, here's a 3-step challenge:
       1. Be really, really hard on yourself and take these things out of your closet and put them in a trash bag.
       2. Hide the trash bag in the back of your car and try and create new outfits from what you have left.
       3. If you don't miss anything that you put in that bag after 2 weeks, drop that bag off at the thrift store
           (which is already conveniently in the back of your car).
       4. Don't look back!

I think you'll be surprised how few of these pieces you will miss, and how few pieces you actually need to have a cute, creative closet.

Let me know if you try it!

Don't get me wrong, I am all for trying to "shop your closet" instead of shopping the internet. 
But I am finding that my new married life does not have the time or the closet space to hang on to a bunch of stuff that doesn't get worn properly or often. 

Hope you're Monday is off to a great start... I personally feel like I am drowning in what feels like 99% humidity and wishing I had 3 more cups of coffee, but I am excited for what this week holds.
We head home to VA on Wednesday!

And, as always, share your cute, budget-friendly outfits on Insta with #TheModestBudget!


  1. This is such a great post! I am thinking about purging my closet and doing a capsule wardrobe for a couple of months.

    Join my link up here:


    1. Thanks for linking up to Grace + Lace!


  2. These are such great tips! Love this perspective — I don't usually think about which items I DON'T need!!

    xx emily

    1. I don't either! This was a challenge to myself as well, lol!

  3. These are great tips! I always try to keep my closet to just things that I really love!

    Cristina /

    1. I'm really not very good at it, but trying to get better!

  4. Great list..I know of some shorts and a romper that I didn't wear this summer versus last that I just need to toss. Happy moving!
    Rachel xo

  5. This is such a great post! I really try to keep only things in my closet I love, but items always slip through the cracks. I do a variation of the clean closet challenge you mentioned and it really works for me! Also, note on the button ups-I do the same darn thing! Stupid broad shoulders! ;)

    1. Haha, I'm glad I'm not the only one!! It is seriously so hard to find the perfect button-down!

  6. I am going to clean my closet with these tips in mind!

  7. These are such good tips! :) I'm being a lot more ruthless with what's in my wardrobe and I find that the tip of getting rid of things that can only be worn one way is the best one! It makes it much easier getting dressed each day if things all work together, rather than trying to find the perfect missing item that needs to be worn with something! :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

    1. Exactly! But it really is so hard to me to get rid of cute things, even if they don't go with anything else... but if they're never worn, what's the point?
      Glad I could help!

  8. Ahhh... love it! Very insightful! Number 3 is something that most of us are probably guilty of or unaware of! There are indeed some pieces that I dread the thought of wearing simply because they 1) don't fit well, or 2) just not comfortable. I need to do some closet edit soon!

    Abby | Life in the Fash Lane

  9. I am in the midst of closet purging and really need to take a harder look at what to keep. Great post.

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!


  10. This is a great closet clean out post. I also avoid pieces that need to dry cleaned or have special washing instructions.

    1. Same!!! I need to get better about looking at that before I make purchases... I'm really bad at accidentally buying dry clean only or handwash clothing :/