Recycling clothes

I could easily be a clothes hoarder.

ryan shirt

It’s not like I would ever wear my “Ryan, Marry Me!” shirt again, but sometimes I get a little attached to the memories behind the clothes. They remind me of different times in my life, and it hurt a little when I got rid of the first dress the Pilot bought me when it was tattered and worn from so many trips to the beach. It was when he was living in Fayetteville, NC and I was finishing up my last year of school here in Tucson. We’d visit each other every 2 weeks or so, and one weekend he surprised me with a gorgeous white dress to wear to the beach.

Even though I have a tendency to get attached to clothes, I make myself go through the closet on a regular basis –especially when I pick up new pieces- and will find the things I’ll no longer wear. Usually if I haven’t worn it in a year, it’s toast (with a little extra leeway this year since I was preg) and I’ll either sell these items to invest in the current season’s trends or donate the rest. Somehow my Ryan Cabrera shirt stood the test of time, and is buried in a plastic bin in the depths of the storage closet.

Since I picked up a few things this weekend, I made my rounds through the closet and got a pile together to take to Buffalo Exchange:


They had long lives and are reminders of events and times that I’ll never forget.

When we were at the mall this weekend, I picked up this outfit from Loft:

loft stuff

and this dress:

loft dress

While I was trying everything on, I asked the Pilot if he’d mind grabbing me another size in the dress –even though he liked the smaller size, I felt like you could see my booty. When we left, I told him that the shorts, top and dress were $125. He said, “Whoa- that’s a great deal. I saw the price tag and was thinking it was a little unlike you to get an $100 dress on the fly”

While I like to shop (a LOT), the time in our life when we were in debt made me extremely careful about spending, even though things are more comfortable now (knock on wood, and something I’m very thankful for). When we were first dating/engaged, living apart, we spent everything we owned to pay the bills and buy plane tickets back and forth to visit each other. When I first moved to Fayetteville, I wasn’t working since we’d be moving in 3 months –ended up getting a management job at Target for 2 months.  We threw every extra penny back on the credit card to pay it off, and I remember when we had $50 to last us the week. We shared tuna steak for dinner and got very creative with pasta recipes. Things were tight, but we had the best time together. It was worth it to be able to see each other during that year we lived apart.

We started a budget and paid off the card during the Pilot’s second deployment, but are still very careful about how we spend and make saving a priority. We still have a credit card, but only use it occasionally and pay it off right away to keep our credit scores up.

Some of my money-saving shopping tips are *here* and I’ll always take advantage of online deals and coupons. I rarely buy full price, and follow the same strategies with Livi’s clothes. She wears a ton of Baby Gap and Gymboree, but I’ve hit up sales or used coupons for all of it.


Pinterest has been providing me with awesome outfit ideas lately,

like this one:

me and livi

(mint pants and a striped tank, both from H&M)

and I’m excited to see what I can pick up using the money from the clothes I sell today.

It’s the circle of life 😉

Do you sell or donate your clothes? Anything you’re keeping forever?

Post Navigation:


  1. Hillary on April 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I am a “memory clothes” hoarder, too. Bad habit!

    I donate my stuff, and try to sell things that are in REALLY good condition. I’m actually way overdue for a closet overhaul!

  2. Holli on April 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Yes, I donate our clothes. Usually, I closet clean spring/fall. It always feels good to purge and donate items that aren’t getting much love. I’ve never been “attached” to my clothes so I don’t tend to hang on to things.

  3. Shaina Anderson on April 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    This is completely unrelated – but I just opened a can of anchovies and have been staring at them for 5 minutes. I’m scared! Haha.

    • Fitnessista on April 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      do not fear the little fishie. put it on a cracker w some hot sauce and go for it! the calcium and protein are good for the bebe, too!

      • Shaina Anderson on April 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm

        The hot sauce! That’s what I forgot. I didn’t love them but I would eat worms with hot sauce if it was good for the nugget. I’ll try again!

        • Fitnessista on April 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm

          let me know how it is with that- a squeeze of lemon too if you have it!

  4. Lena @Fit on the Rocks on April 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I do the same and try to sell off the clothes that are in great condition and then donate whatever else didn’t get bought. It’s always nice to get paid without having to do much 😉

  5. Kristen on April 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I’m loving the colored pants and shorts this season!

    I go through my clothes twice a year. If its a piece I really like but never wear, I give it one more chance. If I still haven’t touched it by my next go through, it’s outta here.

    I will never get rid of my wedding dress or my going away outfit from the wedding. I just can’t do it! I’ll probably also end up keeping the shirt I was wearing the day my son was born. Those two occasions were the best of my life!

  6. LJB on April 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Cute dress! I’ve been looking for something to wear for engagement photos—and that might be it!!!! Thanks 🙂

  7. mandi on April 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I donate most of our clothing but if its designer or almost brand new I sell on eBay or craigslist.

  8. Lisa on April 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I keep sentimental things like the Senior High School t-shirt that everyone signed. Unfortunately a couple of those people died since then so it’s extra special. Most of it is pretty easy to let go of though, and I like to donate it. I had a friend that said she used to get mad because her mom would make her give something away if she got something new. Now, as an adult I can see where this comes in handy. My husband and I are both students so money is always tight, It’s nice to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel =) We know it’s there, just hard to see sometimes.

  9. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I was just at Buffalo Exchange last week! For 10 bucks, I found a really gorgeous J Crew shirt that is perfect for spring and looks hardly worn (if ever) and it was perfect for my mood, the day, just what I needed. Cheap thrills 🙂

    I love to sell (and buy) from Buff Exchange and for blogging dishes and props, thrifting and vintage and antique stores are my BFFs.

    Your outfit looks great. I noticed it in one of your weekend posts and even commented on it 🙂

  10. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on April 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    We usually donate our clothes, but we both just went through our closets and got rid of a LOT of nice things – I’m taking it to Plato’s Closet sometime this week to see if we get any cash. I’m very thankful that the Husband is so money aware and he knows exactly what to do in order to invest, save, pay things off, etc. He is definitely the money guru in our family. I just go along with what he says! 🙂

  11. Catalina @ Cake with Love on April 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I get also very attached to clothes if they were a gift from somebody I care, the things the I buy just to go thru live don;t have that importance to me!! We also try to save a much as possible to be able to open our business, there was one year that we didn’t buy any clothes at all so we can save more, but this year for Valentine’s Day mu husband surprised me with three new dresses and three pairs of shoes, I was so excited that it made me appreciate even more each dollar we make and save and definitely now I am very attached to those clothes they are just so gorgeous! 🙂

  12. Ellie @ healthy belly ellie on April 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I actually just did the same thing today. I am moving out of my dorm in two days, and I went through all of my clothes and made a “give away” pile… although I too get emotionally attached to my clothes – Just have to remind myself that they’re JUST clothes! great post!

  13. Laura @ She Eats Well on April 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    I donate a majority of my older clothes to Goodwill, as it’s 3 blocks away so it is SO convenient. In SF, there are a few consignment shops that will sell your clothes and give you part of the profit, however, the stores are SO so picky. Seriously…frustrating how picky they are. But it’s worth a try!

  14. Anita on April 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    This is such a great post! I am a huge saver, but I’m currently paying myself (mostly) through college, with a little help from my parents. Student loans are tough! It’s hard to find a balance between saving to pay them off, and making my life now comfortable. I do work quite a bit, though, to help!

  15. Patti @ This Starts Tonight on April 23, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Well, now I’m going to sell my clothes! I hoard, too, because my income is so unpredictable, and I often have to provide my own costumes for shows. Never thought of selling my old ones, though. We even have a Buffalo Exchange in town! Totally going to look into that.

  16. chrissy on April 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    dumb question: are you going to wear anything underneath that Loft shirt? I tried it on but was undecided… the outfit!!

  17. kirsten on April 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Who is the Ryan on that shirt? I couldn’t figure it out haha. I love your Loft finds!! 🙂

    • Brittany on April 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      she said a little further down that it is Ryan Cabrera.

      • Fitnessista on April 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm

        “on the way down, i saw you… ”

  18. Cait @ Cait Hates Cake on April 23, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I just did some major spring cleaning and ended up with several bags of clothes, purses, etc. to get rid of. I donated a couple of the bags and I’m going to try and sell the rest of it. It’s nice to actually have room in my closet again!

  19. Brittany on April 23, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I have some clothes that I wore when I was a baby in my room. even though it was only 17 years ago, those things would look so out dated on ANY baby now. Those I will keep forever and clothes that I wore when I was a little older (like 3 or 4) that I remember wearing I will keep!
    Like you I am very money conscious. My parents always make fun of me because I think that paying more then $20 for a single item of clothing is a waste of money. My brother is the same way. Is that a bad thing?!

  20. Amy on April 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    It depends on what it is. Adult jeans get made into straps for reusable bags, or into children’s shorts, pants or skirts. Shirts sometimes get turned into quilt squares. If I’m not going to use the clothing for a sewing project I donate it. For the kids, I pass it along to one of my siblings who have children just younger than each of my own. We started this with my oldest almost 12 years ago. Many of the baby items that I bought for him made their way through 5 cousins after him and then back to our family for #2 & #3 and then onto my youngest brother for their baby. I love that babies don’t wear clothes out quickly, many of the items have made their way through 9 babies so far. It makes me feel better about paying more for high quality clothing or sewing it myself knowing that it will have a long life.

    • Fitnessista on April 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      you are super crafty!
      i’m hoping we’ll be able to reuse liv’s baby clothes- i’m making sure to store them well for that very reason

  21. marci on April 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I love that dress and cannot find it on the site!!! If you still have tags on do you mind telling me the item number? I really want to get it for a babyshower this weekend 🙂

    • Fitnessista on April 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      just tweeted you 🙂

      • marci on April 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

        Thanks! I didnt mean to ask you twice 🙂 I just got too excited when i saw this dress!!!

        • Fitnessista on April 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm

          no worries, hope you can find it! it fits great 🙂

  22. Roseanna on April 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Oh my goodness, that strawberry outfit is adorable.

  23. Annette @ FitnessPerks on April 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Oooh I want mint pants too! SO cute.

  24. Kim @ HealthyNest on April 24, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Ohmigosh, I love the white lace!! Great finds.

    I’ve never heard of the Buffalo Exchange, but it sounds pretty awesome! Our good ol’ Goodwill has a bit of an attic stank to it that’s not super conducive to shopping… :/

  25. Jess on April 25, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I donate a ton of clothes every year, but I still have clothes from high school, almost 10 years later. A month or so ago I finally went on a shopping trip for new work clothes. I got three big bags full for $500 from Anne Taylor, Gap and Banana. I almost spit my water out at $125 for two things.

    For a good deal on kids clothes, go to a consignment shop. I’ve found some amazing things at one by my house that still had the original tags on them. Babies grow too fast to buy everything brand new.

  26. Rhiannon on April 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I completely agree about getting attached to the memories of clothes. I have several pieces that I can’t part with because my Grandma was my favorite shopping partner. Who else would run to get you any size you needed and then not let you pay for anything? I can’t seem to get rid of some of the last items she bought me. Maybe I could store them in a tote until I’m ready? 🙂

  27. Jennifer on April 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Gina, I hope we get to see a picture of Livi in the Red/Green outfit. It looks so cute. 🙂

    I can totally relate the to emotional attachment to clothes. I have a huge and I mean HUGE shirt
    that I wore when I was HUGE. Thankfully it is like a tent on me now but I still keep it in the back
    of the closet not becuase I think I’ll ever be able to wear it again but because it was the shirt I was
    wearing when I met my guy.

    Your story about y’all eating on $50 makes me think of my parents. They started their relationship and
    then marriage while he was in the Navy. He was based in Norfolk and she was finishing up school here in TX.
    They would always tell us the stories of how they lived on Bologna and cheese sandwiches or chicken pot pies
    just so they could be together every chance they could. They will have been happily married for 43 years in Sept.
    They had a big party for their 40th and as a joke we had the chef bring out bologna sandwiches. My Mom happy cried
    and cried.

    • Fitnessista on April 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      i love that story so much. it was a really hard financial time for us, but we were just so happy to be finally living together after being apart for so long. all of the pasta dinners were worth it 🙂
      and i’ll def post a pic of liv in her strawberry outfit

  28. Catalina @ Cake with Love on April 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I still love A&F

  29. Kate on May 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    I just stumbled on the cutest jammies for your little one! “Big Dreamzzz” Baby Pilot Two-Piece Sleep Set @

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.