Give It to Goodwill

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Does everyone have those clothes they simply cannot seem to give away? Some items you cling to even though they are two sizes away, or totally impractical, or you will just never ever wear again?

Once upon a time, I had a gift card or a really good coupon to Ann Taylor LOFT. (I really love their clothes, but I’ve always been a little hippy for them.) I loved this dress. Oh, how I loved it. It’s a size 12. The last time I wore I size 12, I was 13. Seriously. But as I remember, they didn’t have it in a 14 so I bought it anyway.

At the time, with a very good “tummy” (our family code word for girdle) and a scarf to cover up the cleavage, it was cute.


Thirty pounds and a child later, it feels highly unlikely that it will ever fit again. But I can’t seem to give up hope. It was a $75 dress and I just can NOT give it away!

Oh, sweet jean jacket. For years, I wanted to be one of the cool kids and wear a jean jacket. Because in 1993 I was not anywhere near cool and had not even purchased my first pair of jeans, nevertheless an awesome, acid-washed, boxy denim jacket.

I wore this jacket all the time in the year or two before I got pregnant. And then, ahem, the bosoms grew. And I nursed for 11 months. And I never really lost all my baby weight (yet). My body is simply shaped differently, and the jacket is not what it used to be.

But I can’t seem to put it in the Goodwill pile.

I will gladly proclaim that this dress is NEVER going to Goodwill. I will carry it around with me from house to house until the day I die. It was custom-made for me in China, where I studied abroad for 6 weeks in the summer of 2002.

Seriously, it took about 10 trips to the seamstress in a different part of Beijing to finally secure this dress in an appropriate size. Because I am not an itty bitty Chinese woman, it’s really not that attractive on me. But it is luxurious, lined in silk, and makes me remember those crazy taxi rides with my friend Danny. It makes me think of being in a boat on the lake of the Summer Palace in Beijing, still one of my favorite places in the entire world.


Do you have clothes like this that you can’t/won’t give away?

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15 thoughts on “Give It to Goodwill

  1. I'm not one to hold onto clothes, but I do have this one dress from my rehearsal dinner 15 years ago and I am holding out hope that I may fit in it again. *le sigh*

  2. I only keep prom dresses/my maid of honor dress from Jen's wedding. My chest is now so much larger that it would be pornographic if I wore any of my prom dresses, and the rest of me probably wouldn't fit either. The rest of my cool stuff I just give to my (little) big sister. And then I constantly tell her how much I loved wearing those clothes when they fit me.

  3. I'll admit to being a clothes hoarder. I have a pair of jeans that I used to wear all the time, they are so cute…and so out of style now, but I just want to be able to wear them again! I have an entire closet full of clothes that don't fit that I'm just hoping someday will.

  4. I have a black dress that I wore to a formal dance in college that I just can't bring myself to throw away. I don't know why, it's not even that cute. I also have a few bridesmaid dresses hanging in my closet Most are stained, yet I can't bring myself to throw them away. It's so silly

  5. I joke that I have everything from a size 4 to a size 14 in my closet, and due to some health stuff and two pregnancies, I've fit in all of it at some point in the past three years. I've finally weeded out some of it because of our move, but some things–the $100 dress I wore to my bridal showers, the Colonial dress I made when I was 12 to wear to a period ball–I keep toting from house to house.

  6. OH yeah. I have the outfit I wore on my first date with Mark. Which is ridiculous, because I think it's a junior's 9/10. I feel pretty secure saying I will NEVER wear THAT size again! I also have the dress my aunt made for me for the first prom I went to. It's beautiful, and I will never wear it again, even if I lose 100 lbs. But I won't give it away.

    And that's just the beginning of my clothes hoarding! 🙂

  7. I have a dress I bought right before I quit working retail, fourteen years ago! It still has the price tag on it. It's a classic shirt dress style, pale yellow, sleeveless. It was a bit tight in the top, but I was so sure I would lose the weight.Well, didn't lose the weight, but can't part with the dress. I think it reminds me of the time when I was seven and my mom made matching shirt style dresses for us. I felt so grown up and proud walking with her in our matching dresses. Oh, the memories!

  8. That's 70% of my clothing. I already got rid of the stuff that totally won't fit or I won't be wearing around the house. Shorts, I can't seem to throw out my shorts from 1998, like my rear end will ever be that size again. LOL

  9. I have a couple of dresses my mom made that I can't give away even if they never fit me. I also have a red skirt from Generra (hello 1988!) that I love but hasn't fit since I was 14!

  10. I am great at giving away everyday clothes. I always think of how much room it will make in my closet for new ones!

    But I am way to sentimental about "event" clothing. I will never give away prom dresses, the dresses I wore to my graduations, my wedding dress, my maternity clothes (yes- even though I couldn't stand being prego, I am attached), my son's baby clothes…oh the list goes on and on…

  11. I know what you mean. I've gotten to that place though that I'm tired of all the clutter taking up space in my closet that I will donate them. The only exception is if it's a brand name article of clothing and in good condition, I will sell it instead of donating it.

  12. Love your honesty in your post! And LOVE that denim jacket…I wouldn't want to part with it eiter. 🙂 I have a few items I won't part with….like my wedding dress and a hand-made silk skirt. There are some things I keep pulling out to get rid of and then putting them back b/c just maybe….lol. I usually end up getting rid of them but it takes a few "clean outs" before it officially happens. 🙂

  13. I'm pretty good about letting my clothes go. Though I am not letting go of my current jeans even though 2 of the 3 do not fit at all (living with my mama has rewarded me with some extra pounds!)

    I am more inclined to hold on the the kids' clothes. I just think that if I let them go, then I'll never remember what they were like at that size. It's silly & I'm weeding out reluctantly, but still…

  14. I heard something about saving some of your clothes as "future vintage." So see, there's an excuse!

    Most of the stuff I can't imagine parting with actually came from my mom or grandma (my rehearsal dinner dress was my grandma's mother-of-the-bride dress at my parents' wedding). Oh, and t-shirts. They're not in my drawers but I keep thinking I'm going to make myself a t-shirt quilt. I'll let you know when that happens!

  15. How about my black and white houndstooth blazer with humongous shoulder pads! Reason? I bought it in Paris (in 1989!). Aside from the shoulder pads, it's way too big!

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