How to Refresh Your Wardrobe for Free

I did a major closet clean out this weekend — I know, wild times. It was so necessary though. My wardrobe needed a major refresh. I was holding on to a lot of pieces from my past lives — office attire, super preppy stuff from the sorority days, cheap trendy items, etc.

While I’m definitely not on the “wear it once and get rid of it” team, it’s nice to pare down your wardrobe to just favorite pieces and fresh, on-trend items to complement them. My test is one part Kon Mari (“Does this item bring me joy?”) and one part blogger (“Would I be happy if I was photographed in this?”). If an item doesn’t make you happy or make you feel good, why hold on to it?

Whenever I’m refreshing my wardrobe, I also think about my current lifestyle as well as the type of person I want to be. If you’re always walking the dog in grimy old sweatpants but envy the girls who do it in chic athleisure…why are you holding on to pieces that make you feel dumpy? As much as I love comfortable clothes, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” is solid advice!

Things to toss or donate

  • + Worn items (check for stains, pilling, falling hems, broken straps, etc.)
  • + Cheaper items that aren’t on-trend anymore
  • + Timeless cheap items you wear enough to warrant an upgrade to a higher quality version
  • + Things that don’t fit you — unless you take them to the tailor RIGHT NOW
  • + Stuff that doesn’t make you feel good
  • + Things you’d be embarrassed wearing if you ran into your ex 
Things to keep or add: easy athleisure weekend wear



There are a few different ways to get rid of your unwanted clothing items: recycle, donate, or sell.

Recycling Your Clothes

While it’s tempting to dump unwanted or worn out items right in the garbage, fabric H&M has made this process incredibly easy — just drop off your unwanted clothing, in any condition, to one of their stores. Details here.

Donating Your Clothes

There are likely a number of local organizations near you that would love your gently used items. If you’re serious about making a positive impact on your community, it’s worth it to do a little research on the organizations. Goodwill and The Salvation Army are controversial, while most locally owned women’s shelters are a safe bet.

Selling Your Clothes

Some women get really into Poshmark, but to me it seems like a LOT of work for little return. If you have high end pieces that aren’t doing it for you anymore, try The RealReal or Tradesy. Their programs for consigning your clothes are easy. I prefer The RealReal because you don’t even have to photograph items yourself — just get a free consignment kit and send your items in. The more you send in, the better your commission rate!

Items that have the best return
  • + Designer pieces
  • + Items that still have tags (am I the only one guilty of this??)
  • + Cult-favorite brands (like lululemon)
How to Get a New Wardrobe (for Free)
Special occasion dresses you’ll never wear again? Sell or donate ’em.


Other Ways to Get Free or Discounted Clothes

  • + Use Ebates while shopping to earn cash back on every purchase. This free service uses a tiny toolbar icon to alert you when you can be earning cash on things you buy any way. So genius. It’s legit too – and it works on a ton of retailers, not just your usual coupon-y ones. Sign up here to get a bonus $10 in your account.
  • + Trunk Club is a great way to expand your wardrobe, especially if you’re looking to switch up your style with a little (free!) professional help from a stylist. You can also tell friends about your stylist to earn credit!

Do you have other tricks to keep your wardrobe new and exciting without being wasteful? Would love to hear them!




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Free and low-cost ways to turn clothes you don't love into a refreshed wardrobe! | Wayfaring Rachel