Covid Closet Cleanout

Between family and friends, everyone I know and care about is coming down with Covid or recovering from it. While it’s scary, this wave is nowhere near as terrifying as our world was a year ago — before we all could get vaccinated. Spoiler alert: if you’re Anti-Vax, stop reading now. And I guess, if you want to take it further, stop following me. Because while I’m concerned about becoming infected this time around, I trust the science that’s given us all a weapon against this killer Pandemic. If you’ve hesitated, please, please, please get vaccinated. And if you are vaxed, don’t skip that booster! And if you’re vaxed, boosted and bored, think about a closet cleanout.

These days it sometimes feel quite frivolous to focus on fashion. But when life is gloomy, indulging in activities that make you feel better, dare I say happy, can have real psychic benefits. And that’s a good thing.

Focusing on fashion doesn’t necessarily mean shopping. For me, it also means a thorough annual wardrobe assessment before I buy anything new. I’ve been on a serious closet purge over the past few years, but I’ve really accelerated it since the start of the Pandemic. That means going through every shoe, every bag, every sweater, every pair of jeans, EVERYTHING. If I haven’t worn something for 2+ years, it’s time to seriously think about saying goodbye. I try to be brutally honest about ill-fitting clothing and uncomfortable shoes — no matter how nice or expensive (ouch!) they are. If it’s not flattering or fun to wear, it’s gotta go. I’ve also been streamlining my color palette, so outliers that don’t easily go with anything else typically don’t make the cut. Truth be told, I can count on one hand the pieces I kinda sorta regret purging. And I love how organized my closet is…and stays. I even think Marie Kondo would give it a thumbs up.

All my high-end designer items that didn’t make the cut have been sold on The RealReal. Some bloggers are calling this the Resale Revolution. The site’s buyers are very (very!) picky and literally go over your stuff with a blue light. But, I’ve sold all 87 items that were accepted. 13 items were returned for some imperfection I never saw, but there you have it.

For regular items like J. Crew, Zara, H&M, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, etc…I go to Crossroads Trading. They have locations all over the US: Northern CA, Southern CA, Pacific Northwest, Midwest, East Coast and Texas. A word of advice: just because the items they look for are more affordable, that doesn’t mean their buyers aren’t selective. They are! And they have to be, because everything they take in goes straight to the selling floor. That’s why I make sure all my items are immaculate without any loose threads or buttons or rips/tears. To avoid wrinkles or creases, I neatly fold everything before I bag it all up for each selling foray. I’ve also learned a lot while I wait by watching how much they reject. And to be honest, I would too. People show up with huge bags filled with bedraggled clothing and beat-up shoes. They might end up having 2 or 3 items accepted. You also need to make sure what you are selling is appropriate for the season.

Lastly, I happily give away coveted pieces to friends and family, then donate what’s left to our local Adirondack thrift store. Pay it forward!

I know this post may not be what you were expecting, but one of my 2022 goals is to embrace the unexpected. And maybe even share it with you. Hope you enjoyed. And if you feel the urge to purge, embrace it.

Top: (Target, still a keeper) Have my eye on this super-affordable floral version (also in charcoal, red and white) and this leopard organic cotton-poplin bestseller at 50% off (also in pastel pink).

Pants: (Mother, re-sold) Similar here (on sale), here (also on sale), and here (Spanx!).

Belt: (Telfar, old)

Bag: (Vintage Louis Vuitton, present from Chris)

Boots: (Wonders, tried-and-true wardrobe staple, as seen in many posts, waterproof and so comfy!) Love this current style.

Photos by Kristin Moore-Gantz @artdirectthis.

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14 thoughts on “Covid Closet Cleanout

  1. MP,

    I wish I could write like you!! Awesome post. Don’t let covid slow you down. Masked up and enjoy. Dan

  2. You are so brave cousin to post your thoughts about Covid!! I have lost several close friends and that makes me so sad when we all have the capability of getting vaccinated for free! I was so happy to get my vaccinations and feel like I’ve done something not only for me, but for everyone else that I cross paths with. Your blog is amazing and so are you!

    1. Laura! So happy to hear from you and that you are healthy and vaxxed!! I’m thrilled you follow the blog and like it. I know we’ll see our way out of this pandemic one of these days (soonish?), but until then I’ll keep posting…and cleaning out my closet. xoxo

  3. MP, you are inspiring me to do the same with my clothing and purses and oh, too many pieces of luggage. Your boots are such classics. I have similar in black and navy and they dress up or down, pants or skirts, and stand the tests of time. And can always works for me! Love the look and YAY for your VAX message!

    1. Kathy…the biggest compliment is to inspire someone else, so thank you so much. The VAX message is too important not to speak up about. Hopefully I inspire someone on that score!

  4. MP, you are thoughtful and eloquent as always! Thank you for being transparent about your experience and approach to how you edit your wardrobe and prepare it for its “next life”. Conscious consumerism is the future and may it always be in season! 🥂

    1. So glad you appreciated the post, Melissa. Like I said fashion isn’t always about shopping, but when we do we should do it consciously!

  5. There is a bright side to saving, I have a beautiful collection of my dear mother’s scarves, truly a piece of her heart ❤️
    BUT, a raggedy old sweater isn’t even meant for charity. People in need like nice pieces too !
    Just like MP- Pay it Forward ⭐️

    1. I totally agree with saving special pieces, especially ones with an emotional connection! I have one of my Mother’s scarves that still smells like Chanel No 5. It’s nor going anywhere!

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