You may be shedding a tear for my loss right now, so I will give you a minute to mourn while I tell you the point of my story. Had my mother been a prophetess, she would have known to keep those dresses to secure future fashion gold for her fashionista daughter. Alas, while she is amazing, my mother gave those dresses away to the salvation army. While I was not able to reap the benefits of those dresses, it means someone else did. This, my friends is something called Tzedakah.
When it comes to clothing, I have a very hard time parting with things. When I buy something, I usually keep it for years, and not because I think it will be a brand name one day, but because a) I never know if I will like it in the future b) if it's too small, I think maybe I will fit into it if I lose five pounds or c) if it's too big, I think maybe it would look cute if I ever get pregnant one day (I know you think it too. Don't judge me). Parting with your clothing, though, is key in keeping up with trends and making sure your closet is up-to-date. Giving away clothing is not only a fast way to make sure your wardrobe is current, but it is one of the easiest ways to give back to other people.
Every three months, I go through my drawers to find clothes that don't fit, don't look good, are out of style, or are just not for me anymore; I pack them in plastic bags and call a local Yeshiva to come collect the clothing to donate to others who may not be able to afford new clothing for whatever reason. Who knew fashion could be so altruistic? Don't be afraid to give away clothing--there will always be more to buy.
There are a bunch of ways that you can recycle clothing and give to other people. One fun way is to get a bunch of your girlfriends together and hold a clothing-swap. Here's how it works: Go through your closet and find stuff you are willing to give away or part with. Then call up a bunch of your girlfriends and tell them to do the same thing. Pick a house amongst you and your friends where you will bring all the clothing, at which point you will all go through each others' clothes to see what you would want, and trade them like boys trade baseball cards. All the left over clothing that doesn't get snatched up goes to charity. Fun, no? Throw in a few cosmos, a viewing of The Notebook, and pull out the Girl Talk board game and you have yourself a party! (Not to mention, in this economy it's a great way for you to get some new clothes without having to spend a dime.)
I guess my mom's story isn't so sad after all, because giving to tzedakah is truly a wonderful thing...even when it's designer. Try calling local Yeshivot or click here to find a Salvation Army near you. Impart your keen fashion sense on the less fortunate and feel good about yourself. After all, true fashion is as much about looking and feeling good on the inside as you do on the outside.