Fall Fashion 2018: Out With the Old

Every September, the fashion industry introduces its new styles for the fall season. And while annual “fashion weeks” throughout the world serve largely to drive consumer demand for clothing manufacturers and retailers, most people like to express their personalities through what they wear and get a genuine sense of excitement from buying something new.

This year, the Elle trendspotters positioned at the edge of the runways say, “power red” will be huge. Western-style details will be common on everything from blouses to boots, and 1970s plaids will be back alongside futuristic “athleisure suits.” There will be “couch” florals, Victorian collars, fishnets and lots of velvet.

Vogue says the ’80s will be back in a big way, with designers showing off garments with big shoulders and neon colors. Fashions featuring sporty looks and logos will make their way to market, as well as oversized utilitarian outerwear, chain-mail dresses, shaggy furs, and lots and lots of scarves.

In other words, there’s a lot for the everyday fashionista to like in 2018.

Most of the trendsetting runway styles are already being adapted for people who can’t afford to spend thousands on a couture garment. Within weeks — maybe days — of the designer debuts, you’ll see ready-to-wear labels and fast-fashion retailers such as H&M adapt many of the hottest looks trends into affordable garments.

The only problem? When people go shopping and find clothes that fit their fabulous new look for fall, they don’t often throw out the old.

Your closet is probably teeming with all kinds of garments that were the tip of hip a couple of years ago, but are now no longer on your short list for daily wear. You might not wear a particular item due to a change in size, a change in styles, or because that garment just never fit into your overall scheme.

Those garments are still in your closets and dresser drawers because you formed an emotional attachment to them — a fond memory of wearing them or when you bought them, or a determination that someday, you will find a way to wear them. But right now, they’re just taking up space.

Do yourself a favor this year as you shop and integrate new styles into your wardrobe: Get rid of the old. Anything you aren’t wearing is occupying valuable real estate in your closets and mind. When you buy anything new, eliminate something old (or two of those somethings, if you really want to declutter).

Bag those lightly worn, once-fashionable rejects up and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup. There’s no better way to stay on-trend than to eliminate the clothing that just isn’t working for you.

Thrift to Save on Back-to-School Costs

Most schools across the country will be starting the school year in just a few weeks — and you can tell, since the back-to-school promotions have begun in earnest at the chain stores. But if you really want to save money, you don’t have to buy everything brand-new at a Target, Walmart or Gap. Back-to-school time is one time of year when it pays to shop at the local thrift store.

If you have young children headed back to school, chances are good that they have grown out of the clothes they were wearing last fall. Good news! Thrift stores are full of lightly used clothing and school uniforms that either fit someone’s kid until recently or didn’t get worn much at all. A lot of it is desirable, big-label stuff, points out The Well-Kept Wallet, that’s getting sold at a fraction of its original price.

If you live in a northern climate, you can get the jump on winter shopping, too. When people donate used or disused clothing to charities such as ClothingDonations.org, they often eliminate items such as sweaters and winter coats from their closets in the season they need them least — and that means you can score great deals well ahead of the onset of winter weather — and long before the selection gets picked-over.

One parent writing in The Penny Hoarder reports that she was able to outfit her two daughters, both in elementary school, for less than $40 by visiting thrift stores and rummage sales strategically. The children helped her shop on most trips, she says, and likely learned to appreciate a great value at the same time.

If the kids are headed off to college, a thrift store can be an even greater resource. There, you can find items such as desks, bookshelves, coffee tables, lamps and small appliances at bargain prices, as well as the bed linens, dishes and other household goods every college student will need for the first time when moving into a dorm or residence. The thrift can also be a great source for office supplies and backpacks.

Buying at a thrift store supplied by donations to ClothingDonations.org has the added benefit of saving you money while helping fund programs for veterans. And remember, you can contact ClothingDonations.org at any time to schedule a pickup of the clothing and other items your own kids have grown out of or just don’t use anymore. Somebody will be able to use that stuff, but to you, it’s just clutter.

Including clothing, electronics, shoes and school supplies, families will spend an average of $688 on each child during the back-to-school season, according to an annual survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), and $970 on every college student. But you can keep those costs down — way down — with a trip to the thrift store!

Chuck the Summer Clothing You Didn’t Wear

The first rule of switching your closets to the fall season? Chuck it if you don’t need it. “We [all] have clothes that we hold onto out of guilt, or habit, or hopefulness that we might wear them again,” author Erin Boyle told the the Sweethome blog. To cut down on that superfluous stuff, dedicate a limited space to a particular season’s clothing; anything that doesn’t fit should be donated (contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup) or tossed. And be ruthless: If you didn’t wear it this year, you won’t want to unpack it next year.

How to Store Seasonal Clothing

Before storing summer clothes, be sure each garment is clean and free of stains. If not, wash or dry-clean anything you’ll want to wear next year. If you plan to hang stored clothing, use plastic or wood hangers that won’t rust. If you plan to fold and box items, invest in quality plastic storage bins to keep moisture and vermin away from fine fabrics; polypropylene (stamped “PP”) is best. And while you’re sorting and rearranging your clothing, Garde Robe says, take advantage of the time to clean and dust drawers, shelves and closets to ensure that bugs such as clothes moths won’t get at your fashions.

Don’t Store Clothing You Should Donate

With temperatures cooling, it’s time to put away your light, breezy clothing and make room for sweaters, jackets and coats. First, take all of your summer clothing out of the closet and dressers to take stock. Sort it into categories, then sort each pile into the familiar “keep,” “donate” and “discard” piles. “If you didn’t wear it during the past season, you won’t wear it next year,” The Spruce says. Contact ClothingDonations.org to schedule a pickup for the donate pile, and you’ll be on your way to an uncluttered closet.