Clothing - How much clothing is too much?

We are downsizing and de-cluttering. Both my mother and I have too much clothing.

So how much clothing is too much and do you have ideas for a multi functional wardrobe?

I know mix and match ideas work well and overall we do not dress up to go out often so we can cut back in that area and really make each piece of clothing do double the work ;)

I also need farm and work clothing. A good pair of overalls would work well.

Normally I would recycle to clothing into other useful things but this time I am just donating it


  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 995 ✭✭✭✭

    Interesting question. I don't think there is an overall "too much" rule because it depends on your climate. After that layering, mix and match and bottoms in basic neutral colors can help. If you don't dress up often, some outfits can be dressed up or down using accessories. And for me comfort rules over everything else, I'd rather be comfortable than stylish so I'd get rid of clothing that doesn't meet that criteria. Then the when is the last time I wore this can help reduce even more. That is the hardest for me because some things I don't wear for awhile, then I go "shopping in my closet" and rediscover things ;)

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @annbeck62 Yes, taking in to account cooler climates makes more clothing.

    Right now, I am going through and removing any stained clothing and clothing that needs work (unless it's fantastic)

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,423 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is an interesting question. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration. I would have to say that it would definitely be different for each person. My husband probably has four or 5 times more clothes than I do. He is constantly saying that he needs more clothes. I almost never feel the need to get new clothing. He does more things that require specific clothing items or styles than I do. Most of my clothing is for around the house, and I don't care if it gets dirty in the garden and kitchen or cleaning up after kids/animals.

    @Monek Marie I would keep in mind that there are going to be continued supply issues and they may affect clothing. It might not be a bad idea to keep some of the extra clothing if you have the space just in case.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Anything stained gets used at the barn or outside in the yard. I'm trying to "weed" excess clothing out, too. I usually try to keep some sort of "dress up" capsule wardrobe. Working in a manufacturing plant with foundry dust on tubs, hydraulic fluid on machines means that most of my clothing comes from Goodwill. I refuse to spend $$ on clothes that will get messed up.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021

    If my stained clothing gets too bad I try to toss it. I have this bad habit of working on then forgetting I have on nasty clothing and going downtown!

    I buy a lot of my clothing at Goodwill. Quite a bit of the clothing still has the original tags on it.

    I had to pop top ther local store ther other day and jumped in ther car to see my shit had new fresh dirt marks on it. So I sat in the car and put it on inside out. It looked cleaner!

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It depends. In a 4 season climate, I find I wear more =, and different, clothing than when I lived in a more moderate area. Layering is so important for staying comfortable, too. I've got categories of clothes in the closet.

    • Work Uniforms (3 plus a couple of extra shirts)
    • Dress up (weddings, funerals, fancy occasions - which are rare in my life and what I have is probably so far outdated as to be comical. I should probably scrap the few I have and go to the thrift shop for 2 new-to-me, less dated outfits)
    • Go to town (clean, attractive, and presentable for shopping, appointments, church, and the like)
    • Staying home (sweatpants, shorts and t-shirts mostly, but some tank tops for hot weather)
    • Raggedy chore (a couple of Ts that I don't care if they get dirty or painted or torn)
    • Hunting/fishing (this is a large category because hunting dove in September is way different than hunting deer in November or December. And lots of layers here, too.)

    Comfort over fashion for me, and I have only work shoes, sandals, and a couple of pairs of walking shoes, waterproof garden clogs, and some hunting/snow boots.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,226 ✭✭✭✭

    Lots of interesting comments about clothing. I guess I see clothing as what I need at the time of the event. Sometimes I go years without purchasing clothing of any kind. Then I have years where I purchase clothing.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    I just went through my overcrowded tee shirt shelf and moved any old thread-bare or ragged ones to the scrap bag the other day; keep thinking I need to do the same with my closet. But I am reluctant to part with any clothes that are still wearable because the supply chain and the economy is so uncertain these days. I'm not convinced right now is a good time to be downsizing on anything useful.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021

    @dipat2005 I buy most of my clothing at good will on the two days they have 79 cent clothing, yes coats and shoes too. Or at our local fire department sale where they are a buck a bag, so my mom and I have too many clothes.

    @MaryRowe Normally I would save them for crafting but I think this year they will go to goodwill if they are good or be cut up for rags. If I had time this winter and rag rug would be a good project. And clothes can make great funky planters

    Yes, with our economy downsizing may be a project best to hold back on or really think about

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,842 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I retired back in June I decided to get rid of most of my "work" clothes while keeping some nice clothes for going out. I made two piles, for new or nearly new clothes I am taking to a consignment store once they are open and the nice but more used and mostly non-work clothes went to either Goodwill or Salvation Army.

    Next will be my shoes!

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 332 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Over the years I have turned hangers backwards and if I do not wear the item in a certain time frame (like a year) I immediately put it in the yard sale bin. This method requires a passage of time to do, however. But, this alone showed me how much I truly do and do not wear. Currently Have the hangers of about 5 sweater-y type things backwards. If I do not wear them by the end of the upcoming cool season, into the bin they will go!

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 721 ✭✭✭✭

    Eventually i see owning 7 pairs of clothes😬

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,375 admin

    I need to cut down on clothes. I have lots that no longer fit. But, I keep hopelessly hoping.

    I think a couple good sweaters, shirts (long and short sleeved), shorts, pants, sweats & skirts are enough. Those should be mix & matchable. Repeat all for at home use if you do anything messy outside. As far as mix & match for those, who cares?

    Undies & socks, well, they really don't take much space, so that is whatever number you wish to own.

    For us, then there is winter wear, & maybe fall & spring wear (which are the same thing) but that's pretty simple. Overalls are handy. Insulated ones are good for winter, but if your summer ones are large enough, one pair works. Two pair of long underwear is a good thing in winter.

    Remember, if something is in the wash, you need an alternative!

    I just have to finally comment on the title...If you can't move with the clothing on, you know you have too much.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning lol. That is so true! I used to have a job where I traveled. I learned how to mix and match for many looks (business) and have extras pared way down. My camera equipment took more space than personal items

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm the wrong person to ask. I have way too many clothes 😂

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Yes, I should probably downsize my wardrobe. Problem is a lot of things that I volunteer for have free tee-shirts which are unique with nice artwork even though I generally don't wear tee-shirts a lot. So hard to part with those things though.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,375 admin

    @marjstratton Maybe you could made a quilt with the shirts? Then they could become more useful to you. Just a thought.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,226 ✭✭✭✭

    I learned in the last year that China puts Teflon in the material. I noticed last year that some of the material I looked at said it was from China.

    One thing that I have been doing is repurposing my clothes. I used to do a yearly garage sale when we lived in a house and made a bag to put change, pen and paper in so I wouldn't have to keep going into my house. It served the purpose well.

    I was shopping one day last year and never realized that my 3 year old pants had ripped quite substantially and I discovered it when I was close to being done. The pants I am wearing now are at least two years old. They seem to be stronger material.

  • Ruth Ann Reyes
    Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 576 admin

    I like to purge. However, for something like clothing. I keep it around as sort of a "prep" in case of emergency. Clothes are useful for more than just wearing.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a plethora of plain t-shirts that I wear to work. Some have stains on them from various sources. I was in Walmart today, (buying romance novels to stop the complaining/whining😕) and found assorted stencil packages. I'm thinking of refreshing the t-shirts by stenciling them with fabric paint.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,842 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I tend to wear my at-home work clothes until they are too ratty, the problem is that I seem to accrue new stuff before the old stuff is done. 🤨

  • lewis.mary.e
    lewis.mary.e Posts: 225 ✭✭✭

    I definitely have too many clothes, and dealing with them is on my list for October. I have t- shirts I never wear and sweaters I love that are at the point of falling apart.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @Monek Marie At the beginning of this year, my wife & I made a pact not to buy any new clothes, except basics like underwear. So far so good! A couple of recycled items from charity shops but that is all. Gotta say I’m impressed we’ve stuck with it. We also went through our wardrobe and got rid of anything we haven’t worn in a while and donated them to charity. We need to do that again! I have 3 categories for my clothes, work, casual & good, I have a few combos of each for summer/winter. Overalls are a good thought.

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    I watch the Minimalist Mom on You Tube. She shows you how she goes through her closet to rid excess. I am not a minimalist, but I have been influenced to head that way because it makes life easier. I went through my closet and got rid of most of the things that did not fit me. It is nice to be able to pick out something to wear that fits. I need to get rid of some shoes that make my feet hurt. I would emphasize that you need to feel comfortable with how much you keep or how much you get rid of. Don't let someone else dictate that. You can always get rid of more later. Thred Up is a good place to buy used clothing, purses, shoes; it is an online site. You can also sell or donate on it.