Hi, my name is Hannah Amini and I’m a recovering shopaholic.
I’ve been plagued with a clothing addiction since middle school. At a time when the local mall was a prime hangout destination, I would bring a snack from home to eat while my friends browsed the food court so I could spend the money on an extra shirt at Forever21. I’ve carried this habit with me all the way to college, eating dollar slices and Kraft Easy Mac to save a few couple bucks for my next shopping trip.
For someone who shopped so much, I barely had any clothes that I wanted to wear more than two or three times, and I wore the other small portion of clothes so excessively that they were getting ragged and outdated. Last month, I finally had enough and did a full revamp of my closet. I’m no Marie Kondo, but if I can change, anyone can.
First, let the purge commence. As a sentimental person, it was hard for me to let go of my clothes. But the only thing I wanted more than holding onto the memories they held was space. Living in a tiny New York apartment meant having clothes everywhere. I stuffed unworn clothes in suitcases under my bed, stacked piles of jeans in my bookshelf, and “accidentally” left some pieces in my boyfriend’s bare closet.
If there’s clothes you know that you absolutely want to get rid of, form two piles: “to donate” and “to sell.” People aren’t going to line up to buy that tank you’ve held onto from 8th grade, but it would be so useful to someone in need.
Break down your “to sell” pile even further. If you’re willing to package and ship, Depop is a great way to reach a wide range of people. You could also check out a resale store in your area. To our New York readers, my favorites are Beacon’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange. If you finally got over the guilt of returning that designer piece your grandmother gave you five birthdays ago, try The RealReal.
Once you’ve finished your piles, it’s imperative that you get those clothes out of your hands as soon as possible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let bags of clothes sit in my room for weeks only to end up fishing half of their contents out later.
Be honest with yourself. Even if you like the pieces you have left in your closet, it’s not worth it to keep them all. Take your lifestyle into account. As a full-time student who has worked in relatively casual environments, I had absolutely no right to spend hundreds of dollars on skirts, dresses, and heels. Whittle down your closet even further. For cute dinners and special occasions, I’ve kept only a few of my favorite pieces.
Now that you have some extra cash and space in your closet, you might want to go shopping again. The absolute best advice I can give is to buy the type of clothes you wish you had while rushing to get ready in the morning.
I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that my style is pretty laid back and minimal, and the way I’ve learned this was by realizing how many mornings I spent ripping apart my closet wishing that I just had a good black tee and pair of jeans. Because I was spending all of my money on dressy clothes I never wore, I was stuck wearing a few cheap tees, my worn (and frankly outdated) Adidas Superstars and the one pair of jeans I actually liked. Let me tell you, they did not spark joy, but they were all I had at the time.
Now that I’ve have been carefully allocating my clothing funds, I’ve finally been able to splurge on high quality clothes that I actually want to wear. My closet’s filled with jeans that actually flatter me, tees and tanks that don’t fall apart after three washes, and fun shoes that won’t kill my feet after a 20-minute commute. No, I haven’t carried out my high school dream of dressing like Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. And yes, I’m kind of giving off a Steve Jobs vibe (watch out, Elizabeth Holmes). But, I finally feel polished and confident on a daily basis.
Feature Image via Victoria Morris