I Just Cleaned Out My Closet, and These 11 Things Made Me Cringe

Allyson Payer, Who What Wear



I love adding to my closet, but I hate cleaning it out. I usually wait until things get completely out of hand and I can barely even walk into it (see photo below), and then I begrudgingly attempt to clean out my closet in the shortest amount of time possible, immediately followed by a trip to Goodwill to purge myself of the items before I change my mind.

I got married earlier this year, and one of the things that fell by the wayside while wedding planning was the upkeep of my closet. The worse it got, the more I put it off. But I finally bit the bullet and tackled it from top (as in literally shoeboxes touching the ceiling) to bottom. Among the items lurking in the depths of my closet were certain outdated trends and items just taking up space that were enough to make me cringe. Keep scrolling to find out what they are, as well as what I'm keeping and replacing the offending pieces with.

My Closet Before the Clean-Out
How to clean out your closet



See what I mean by out of hand?


Cringeworthy: So Much Trendy Fast Fashion

I love a good fast-fashion buy as much as the next girl, but 75% of what I remove from my closet when I clean it out is fast fashion that I loved for a moment and then ghosted.

Cringeworthy: Pilling Sweaters

Even the nicest sweaters can pill, which is a bummer but a fact of life. To combat this, I plan on investing in more merino wool sweaters, which tend to be the least prone to pills.

Cringeworthy: Anything With Tags (That's More Than a Few Months Old)

If you haven't worn something new within the first month or so, you probably didn't need it in the first place and probably aren't going to wear it ever (at least that's the case in my experience…).

Cringeworthy: Overly Distressed Denim

There was a time when distressed denim was a staple for me, but it feels dated and unpolished to me now. Instead, I'm keeping all of my clean denim close at hand.

Cringeworthy: Shoes Stored in Their Boxes

Sure, keeping shoes in their original boxes is great for the condition of the shoes, but if I can't see them, there's no way I'm wearing them.

Cringeworthy: Approximately 10 Black Dresses I Don't Wear

I'm not sure why or when I started stockpiling LBDs, but I usually reach for something a little more casual or a little more exciting when I'm dressing up. That said, a couple special black dresses are a wardrobe must.

Cringeworthy: So Many Bomber Jackets

Bomber jackets were a big trend for a few seasons, but that didn't mean I needed seven of them. On the flip side, I'll never part with my leather jacket or my essential puffers.

Cringeworthy: Special-Occasion Pieces I Wore Once

After weeding out plenty of pieces that I bought for a wedding or party and never wore again, I'm making a concerted effort to buy more versatile special-occasion pieces in the future.

Cringeworthy: Low-Waisted Anything

Even if the low-waist look comes back, been there, done that. High-waisted pieces are infinitely more versatile, not to mention comfortable.

Cringeworthy: Scuffed Heels

It drives me nuts when the heel of a shoe is scuffed and nicked. I plan on taking a trip to the cobbler or replacing a few pairs in the near future.

Cringeworthy: Super-Short Dresses and Shorts

Nothing against short hemlines, but I've moved away from them a bit in my 30s and have been investing in longer shorts and more midi-length dresses.