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Marie Kondo really opened a can of worms. Decluttering your closet has now become a YouTube and TikTok phenomenon, with everyone claiming to be an “expert.” But let's be honest, for 50-plus women, a closet clean-out is way more than a tidy-up task. It's a painful process. Our clothes have helped us fit in, stand out and move up. They've made us feel sexy, slim, fashionable, smart and put-together. They've gotten us through jobs, relationships, breakups, reunions, hormones and diets. We're grateful to them, and letting go is not easy, even in this new world of comfort clothes and sneakers. Here are 10 things to never toss, sell or donate (no matter what they say).
1. Silk blouses
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They were elegant players in your work wardrobe, but in today's working-from-home world, is it time for buh-bye? Absolutely not! Stop encouraging your “good” blouses to be closet snobs and start treating them irreverently ... like tees. Even those with bows and peplums can get a cool new life as mates to joggers and jeans. Don't get hung up on perfection. The beauty is in the fluid, drapey look, so undo the ties or a few buttons at the neck, casually roll the sleeves, do a half-tuck and let the shirttails drift free. Try layering them under a denim or leather jacket or a slouchy sweater. They elevate a sporty look, just like a spritz of perfume or some red lipstick.
2. Your favorite old jeans
These typically belong in the “if only I hadn't thrown them out” category. If your jeans fit your current body (emphasis on current!) without squeezing, pinching or a struggle and they're not ridiculously extreme in rise or shape, keep ‘em! Good jeans are hard to find, and broken-in jeans molded to your own set of curves are worth even more. The best styles to rescue are straight-leg, cropped or even skinnies (yes, they're not going away!) in a consistent color like a dark or medium blue or an even-toned vintage wash. Then continue to wear them with attitude because, like us, they get better with age. If your jeans have gotten faded, worn in spots, or have a few small rips or a ragged frayed hem, so much the better. Extra style point for you!
Superstar designers like Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan taught us that a structured notch-collar jacket is all it takes to give a curvy body a stronger, sleeker shape. Throwing on a blazer whenever we felt schlumpy and dumpy, when the scale was five pounds over, or when we just needed a confidence boost was so reassuring — and it worked! So why stop now? Keep any blazers that still fit. Check the fit at the arms and chest (this is crucial for mature women), especially when you cross your arms and button the jacket. No pulling or creasing? Great! However, if your jackets have big retro shoulders or a boxy fit, a tailor can (and should) tweak the shape by removing the pads and taking in the excess fabric, raising the shoulder line, and slimming down the sleeves for a more modern silhouette. Though a blazer and jeans are practically a universal dress-up uniform, try slinging your jacket over a hoodie, pairing it with cargo pants or joggers and sneakers, or belting it over a dress. Get creative!