9 Items I Purged From My Closet and Lived to Regret

I don't consider myself a particularly impulsive person, except when it comes to cleaning out my closet. When I run out of hangers or can't cram another thing in drawers, I start throwing things in the donate pile with abandon. Most of the time, the items that I choose to toss are justified, but getting rid of a good basic or a trend that still has legs is something I'm admittedly guilty of.

The question you're probably thinking is: Well, how is one to know what we'll regret getting rid of in the moment? It's a valid question indeed, as it's so easy to just look at an item and think Well, I'm tired of this, so away it goes. The way to avoid this is by asking yourself a few simple questions: Does it still fit me? Is it in good condition? If the trend came back around, would I still want to wear it? Is it a basic? And last but not least: Did I stop wearing it because I just forgot about it? If the answer to any of these questions makes you think twice, perhaps you should keep it a while longer to avoid any closet clean-out regrets.

Keep scrolling to find out which items I mistakenly purged (along with which similar pieces I'd replace them with) and how I'm wearing the trends now.

Babydoll Dresses

Assuming I was too old for this oversize minidress trend, I cleared my closet of them, but here I am, buying them up again. They're quite comfortable for wearing around the house now and will be a staple in my summer wardrobe once I start going out a little more.


(Image credit: @allypayer)


Like many of you, I'm sure, I was anti–flip-flops for years, but here we are in 2022 and everyone is wearing them. Even brands from H&M to Prada are making them. So I'm buying them again after getting rid of all of mine.


(Image credit: @allypayer)

Light-Wash Jeans

After a long period of only wearing medium-and dark-wash denim, I'm back on the light-wash train, and so is everyone else, it seems. It's perfect for summer and gives everything that coveted '90s feel.


(Image credit: @allypayer)


For quite some time, I deemed cardigans too preppy for me, but in the past year, I've bought more of them than any other type of sweater. All of my previous conceptions of it being a preppy piece that didn't suit me have faded away.


(Image credit: @allypayer)

Baseball Caps

Don't ask me why, but I use to wear baseball caps a lot (it may have had something to do with growing up in Baton Rouge, Lousiana). I eventually wore them less and less, so I rid my wardrobe of most of them, but here I am again buying them up left and right.


(Image credit: @allypayer)

Oversize T-Shirts

In recent years, I've only wanted to wear T-shirts that are cropped and more fitted, but my 2021 wardrobe is filled with baggy tees, which I've been busy collecting again.


(Image credit: @allypayer)

Silver Jewelry

Gold jewelry has been my go-to in recent years, but more and more lately, I've been reaching for the silver pieces I have left. It feels a little more casual to me, and just looks better with certain colors than gold does.


(Image credit: @allypayer)


Sweatshorts were barely on my radar a year ago, but they were once a wardrobe staple of mine. These days, they're all I want to wear while working from home. And they're much more comfortable than bike shorts, in my opinion.


(Image credit: @allypayer)

Nylon Bags

I loved nylon bags when I was younger, as they were durable and cheap, but they were all replaced by leather bags. Now, thanks to Prada again embracing them as much as it did in the '90s and early 2000s, I'm back on board. (Disclaimer: Prada's nylon bags certainly aren't cheap, but they're cheaper than most of its leather bags.)


(Image credit: @allypayer)

Up Next, I Travel a Lot, But I Still Make These 5 Airport Outfit Mistakes

This story was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.