I Never Wear These Outdated Staples Anymore—9 I'm Buying to Freshen Things Up


Despite the very limited amount of square footage in my SoHo studio apartment, I have a terrible tendency to hold on to clothing, shoes, accessories, and handbags that I never wear. Years will go by of me not even seeing a garment or purse, and still, when I do lay eyes on it again, I get attached, so much so that I hold on to it for another long stretch of time. But this year, I'm determined to be different, and instead of holding on to things that never get wear or feel stale in my closet, I'm dropping the dead weight. 

First stop: former wardrobe staples, aka the hardest items for me to get rid of. To hold myself accountable, I went ahead and outlined my closet-purge process below, pinpointing the nine outdated staples that I never wear anymore and the fresher-feeling alternatives I'm replacing them with. (Who needs space to live? Not me.) Scroll down to find out what I'm sending straight to Crossroads this month and what I'm ushering in. 


Though distressed denim certainly has a place in my wardrobe, I don't need four different pairs that, to the untrained eye, look like carbon copies of each other. That's why I'm preparing to donate three of the four styles to make room for a more sophisticated and universally wearable jeans style that I know I'll wear far more: dark-wash denim. Paired with other basics or alongside a bold jacket or sweater, the grown-up jeans option is the perfect staple for the season ahead. 

Shop dark-wash jeans:


There was a time when I wanted to wear a chain belt with everything, looped into jeans, on top of a midi dress, or bare on my waist like a belly chain. But now that the Y2K craze has died down a bit, so too has my desire to accessorize my waist with such an impractical item. Instead, I'm leaning into classic belts for the remainder of winter as well as spring, looking for styles that have subtly stylish touches like an interesting colorway or oblong buckle. 

Shop classic belts:


Whereas oversize, well, everything dominated our wardrobes for the last three years, I'm now calling the end of the shapeless silhouette. In the place of all those baggy coats, blazers, and vests, at least in my wardrobe, will be hyper-tailored, almost hourglass-looking pieces that show off my waist instead of camouflaging it. 

Shop fitted tailoring:


Knitwear isn't something I like to think of as outdated ever. Getting rid of it feels wrong to me, especially if it's soft and comfortable. I will, however, store away a style that's taking up too much space in my eye line to make room for one that feels more wearable at that moment. Such is the case with chunky sweaters, which I'll be safely stowing until next winter, and tissue-thin turtleneck sweaters that create dozens of outfit possibilities when layered correctly. 

Shop tissue-thin layering turtlenecks:


The days of carrying about one tiny "fashion" bag and another canvas tote for all the things that don't fit in said tiny bag are officially in the past. In a far more practical move, I'm investing heavily in XL shopper totes that are just as stylish but fit a whole lot more. 

Shop XL totes:


One swipe through my Instagram feed, and you'll find visual proof of my newfound obsession with sheer tights. Whereas I always wanted to love and repeatedly wear split-hem leggings, they never seemed to get a ton of use, no matter how many times I put them on. Sheer tights, however, are one of my most frequently worn wardrobe items, styled with skirts, dresses, and even on their own (call me Kendall Jenner). 

Shop sheer tights:


For years, the only earrings you'd find me wearing were chunky, gold hoops. I loved them and swore I'd never get tired of them. But shockingly enough, the day has come that I begin craving another bauble to accessorize my lobes day in and day out, and the particular style on the job is the oblong drop earrings, from brands like Jenny Bird and Cult Gaia. 

Shop oblong drop earrings:


I've officially outworn my quilted jackets and am currently on a very intensive search for a much fresher-feeling piece of outerwear: a floor-sweeping maxi coat. Luckily, brands like Nanushka and Frame have plenty of drool-worthy options to choose from at a mid-level price point that feels more than worth the quality and style level.

Shop floor-sweeping coats:


The days of dad sneakers dominating every fashion girl's daytime shoe routine are officially behind us. Though they felt fresh when the style first arrived on the scene, it didn't take long for their chunky silhouette to stale for me. These days, I'm steering more toward simple, old-school sneaker styles like Adidas Sambas and Gazelles. 

Shop retro sneakers:

Coming up next: Sorry, But These 8 Basics Are "Expiring" in 2023

Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.