I recently cleaned out my closet. The new year, and the fact that I’m moving in 3 months, inspired me to go through my clothes and get organized! I made a Poshmark account and listed clothes that I haven’t worn much, just don’t like, or ones that don’t fit me. Side note: I’ve had some success selling things on there. I’ve already made more on a few pieces than I did with several bags of clothes sent to ThredUp in the past. I haven’t bought any clothes on there yet, but for selling, I highly recommend it!
The day of my closet clean-out, I posted a few Instagram stories talking about getting rid of clothes that don’t fit anymore, and that sparked this post idea.
Wearing clothes that I like, that fit and feel comfortable makes me feel good in my own skin. In my experience, it helps with positive body image. Wearing clothes that are tight just doesn’t feel good. It can actually make digestion worse and cause a stomachache! When I was beating myself up over my body in the past, an ill-fitting pair of clothes reinforced my negative comments. I thought I didn’t deserve to buy ones that fit me well. I wanted to fit the ones I already had. But those made me feel bad, and hate my body more. Rather than buy new ones that allowed me to just move on with my day, I counted down the hours until I could get into cozier clothes.
Similarly, it isn’t comfortable if clothes are too big and you have to adjust them constantly. I’m focusing on the opposite issue because I know that’s what we struggle with replacing more often.
It can be really tough to part with clothes you love that no longer fit. Even if it doesn’t fit right now, there’s the hesitation of… “Well, I might fit it again one day.” I’m not saying to get rid of everything that doesn’t fit you perfectly right now. After all, our set point weight is a range, so fluctuations are normal. But most of the clothes I got rid of hadn’t fit me for quite a while, or I just didn’t like how I felt in them. Like.. I’m probably not naturally going to fit back into a pair of shorts from high school again. (Also, that was 6+ years ago, why am I a hoarder?!) Bodies change throughout life. If I do need smaller shorts one day for some odd reason, I could just buy a new pair at that point rather than keep the old ones around. I would rather make some $ and let someone else wear them than let them collect dust.
Why is it that if our clothes are too small, we blame ourselves, but if they are too big, it’s something to be celebrated? I know the answer to that, of course. We live in a word that praises thinness and shuns being fat. How many images have we seen of someone who lost weight, holding up their old clothes? Let’s imagine that there was no societal pressure to lose weight, be smaller, take up less space. In this world, all sizes are celebrated and no body size or shape is better than another. The celebrities we look up to and ads we see are representative of this. (OMG, can I move there now!?) If that were the case, would we still be upset when our clothes get snug?
Getting rid of clothes that no longer fit and/or buying clothes in a new, perhaps larger, size does not say anything about your worth. It’s not something to be ashamed of! Our bodies can change for a number of reasons, or no reason at all. Trust that your body knows what it is doing-you don’t have to fight or micromanage it. I know that’s not easy in our society. Surrounding myself with other people who promote body acceptance has certainly helped me. So has filling my Instagram feed with people of all sizes. I know that I only get this one body. It does so much for me every day. The least I can do is try to feel comfortable and confident in it!
If you’re thinking, “Great, but I don’t have the budget to buy new clothes,” I feel ya. I’m ballin’ on that grad school budget and also can’t afford to drop a lot of money on clothes. Luckily, being in school means I can get away with wearing a pair of leggings and a T shirt rather than an actual grown-up outfit. Selling your clothes can help offset the cost, and shopping on places like PoshMark or ThredUp also helps. I also never buy anything unless it’s on sale, and I typically buy items I can wear several different ways.
I understand it’s a huge privilege to be able to go into a store and find clothes in my size that are stylish. It is such a shame that so few companies make affordable, stylish clothes to fit all bodies. I try to support companies that make clothes for all bodies, but I’m always looking for more! Please let me know of other companies you love so I can give my few dolla bills to them.
Maybe you’re upset because you have a closet of clothes that no longer fit. Perhaps you’re not allowing yourself to buy new, stylish clothes until you are a certain weight. No matter where you are, and no matter where you want to go.. you deserve to feel comfortable in your body today and to wear clothes that make you happy. Even if you can only bring yourself to buy one new shirt for your current body, that’s a great place to start.