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Keep or Cull: The Clothes That Almost Fit Conundrum

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Love, Frank has returned as a weekly style advice column tackling your hard-hitting fashion issues and addressing a different fashion glitch each week. Submit a query here.


Are your closets overflowing with clothes that almost fit? Yeah, get in line, via Blogspot.

Dear Frank,

My weight yo-yos a bit and it's affecting my wardrobe. The gain and loss is only a few pounds but it can totally change the way that a pair of jeans or a dress looks on me. Right now I feel like I can only wear half my wardrobe; and I hold on to bigger sizes just in case I'll need them. I'd love to streamline but I don't want to throw a bunch of stuff out and then regret it when I put weight back on. What to do?

Sincerely,
Weighing the Decision

Dear Weighing,

Um, I feel like this is a pretty loaded message and I resent the implication.

Not that I take anything personally or internalize or make anything about me.

My clothes fit fine always and my weight is totally consistent and I couldn't possibly ever know how to answer this question.

That's not true.

Really, you have two options. You start working really hard to maintain your ideal weight—clothes-wise of course, health is irrelevant. And you sell off or donate the stuff that's too big or too small when you're at said ideal weight.

Or, alternately, you hold on to the best and most not-replaceable things at both ends of the spectrum; only letting go of such items that either aren't very special or you don't like very much.

To pull a totally random, not personal example out of thin air—there are two double-breasted blazers. A classic umber-colored Lanvin with broad lapels and indigo grosgrain trim as well as a charcoal Richard Chai with a zipper closure. Both are beautiful and unique and worth holding on to—even though the former is too large and the latter is too small. They should be held on to until they once again work—or maybe the Lanvin can just get taken in.

Meanwhile, the madras plaid Izod sample that never really fit right at any size? That was practically free? That isn't unique or special in any real way? That one is off to Buffalo Exchange the next time I make—I mean, whomever-so-ever makes—a trip.

So just prioritize—keep the good stuff under wraps until you're summer small or winter big. And/or find a good tailor. You know your body; you know your habits; you know how much closet space you have.

Got a style question for Frank? Leave it in the comments or email one in here. Then buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, because it's going to be ? Something.
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