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10 items you should lose from your closet

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Are you making room in your house? Top on the list should be clothes that should never see the light of day, because they are either too old, age inappropriate or for one reason or another you have never come around to tossing them out.

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To help you clear out your closet is a list of the top ten things that should be tossed out, even burnt if possible, since even donating them would be an insult to the recipient.

1. Faded blacks

It is so easy to keep old faded black sweaters, tank tops, t-shirts and cardigans around especially when they do not have any tears. It is about time you tossed those away.

Image consultant and fashion guru Robert Burale is of the opinion that black clothes fading out as a result of too many washes is not a problem in itself as chances are they will fade out evenly.

“The problem comes in when you try to wear them with other black clothes and suddenly you are just 50 shades of grey,” he says.

He adds that how you dress goes a long way in how people address you. “You are addressed by how you are dressed. Just by your dressing, one can judge in less than 35 seconds how you are feeling on the inside.”

His advice is that the next time you go shopping for blacks, opt for wool as they do not fade like cotton and will last longer.

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2. Promotional Tees

Promotional T-shirts as the word suggests are meant for just that, promotional events. “Wearing them outside of their season is just cheesy,” says Robert. He is, however, quick to add that if you must wear them, it has to be in the confines of your house while sleeping or cleaning.

Derek Bbanga, Image Strategist at Public Image Inc, agrees that wearing a promotional tee outside the confines of the company equals devaluation of the brand. As such, promotional tees should only be worn during the event in which they are purposed for and not as your go-to weekend wear.

“I myself have a couple of promotional T-shirts, which I am thoroughly attached to. To avoid the temptation of wearing them, I put them in a different room as memorabilia,” concludes Robert.

3. Make-up

According to Sam Omondi, training manager at Suzie Beauty, make-up should not be kept beyond certain lengths of time. For instance, lipsticks and glosses expire within three months as they are easily contaminated. Powder and concealer have a longer life of up to six months once opened while nail polish can survive up to a year.

The danger of staying with make-up beyond the recommended periods is that they harbor bacteria and sometimes fungi and may lead to ringworm infection once applied.

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For brushes used in make-up application, they should be wiped with every use and washed with shampoo, conditioned and left to dry in the shade every week. Brushes made from goat hair are preferred as opposed to those made from plastic or synthetic materials as they last longer.

He says that women should adopt the habit of using a brush in all their make-up application, including lipstick, as it is more hygienic and lengthens the life of the make-up.

He strongly advises make-up wearers to have a separate make-up bag in which to carry their make-up to avoid dirtying the bag and also to shield the make up from extremely hot conditions, which shortens their life.

Award winning fashion stylist and blogger Silvia Njoki concurs with Sam in that it is mandatory for make-up to be replaced due to health concerns attached to it.

4. Crop top

They used to go by the name of ‘tumbo cut’ in the yester years and are, sadly, said to be the in thing at the moment. They expose your midriff leaving nothing to the imagination and are even more unsightly when worn by women who are not so fit, leaving “love handles” bulging out.

“Men are visual creatures and will draw their attention to a lady in a crop top as it shows skin, pursuing you veraciously like hungry wolves,” notes Robert. “These are the same guys who will be adamant to commit to such a lady as they feel that the lady is free to everyone. Do not be too quick to put it on just because it is in fashion,” he warns.

5. Worn out inner wear

If you still have in your closet the bra you bought at the beginning of this year, be ruthless enough to throw it out. Far away. Do not donate.

According to Rosemary Wanjiku, a sales representative at Lingerie World, bras are supposed to be replaced every five to six months and panties and bikers every two to three months, whether they show signs of wear-and-tear or not.

“Do not wait for the underwire of your bra to start showing or your panty to lose its elasticity before you replace it,” she says.

When it comes to washing inner wear, never use the washing machine. Hand wash them with cold water. For a more thorough wash, Wanjiku advises soaking underwear in clean water for a few hours before washing them with perfume-free bar soap.

6. Beat-up shoes

In case you were wondering why your pair of doll shoes cost Sh200, it is because they were meant for a season. Once they have holes, get stretched out or get scuffed and ugly, get yourself a new pair. Please do not try to repair them. All the cobbler’s sewing and gluing will only go to make them uglier.

Then there are those shoes you have grown attached to because of how much you paid for them, how long you have had them or what brand they are. If they are worn out, it is time to part ways otherwise, they can just ruin a nice outfit.

However, to make shoes last longer, Director of Fab Guru shoes, Bright Muyoti advises that you should not wear one shoe more than twice a week to allow the shoe to air out. How you clean your shoes also determines how long they last.

He advises that when cleaning suede shoes, avoid using water and don’t dry them under direct sunlight. Store them in a box or a plastic bag that can be sealed to avoid dust.

“For patent leather shoes, just use a damp cloth to wipe and maintain them and apply neutral shoe polish. Use the actual shoe polish color when you want to restore the color of the shoe,” he says.

7. Ill-fitting shoes

Do not lie to yourself that the super-tight shoe that pinches you in all the wrong places will expand with time. If it hurts your feet after a couple of hours, the pain will show on your face, and do you really need to hang on to something that hurts you?

8. Faded denims

There is no point in having several pairs of faded denims. Bag those up and replace them with one or two dark pairs of really nice dark pieces.

Robert adds that wearing faded jeans, and more so the damaged or rugged alternatives, is a sign of wanting to hold onto something beyond its life expectancy.

“It is like trying to hold a pregnancy beyond its nine month threshold, you just cannot,” he says.

9. The outdated

Remember those suits you wore to work 15 years ago? Let me refresh your memory; the enormous shoulder pads, oversized blazers and polka dot dresses. They do nothing to complement your body.

And just in case you are convincing yourself that the fashion will come back around, don’t. And even if it does come back around, resist the urge to get yourself a pair.

However, Silvia Njoki is of the opinion that you do not have to replace an outfit just because it is not in season. “If you like it, wear it. Style is very personal,” she says.

10. When was the last time you wore it?

If you wore it less than a year ago, it is in great shape and you are still using it, keep it, otherwise, it is just clogging up your closet for no good reason. A good example is that sock whose partner you have been looking for since last year or that bridesmaid dress that you try convincing yourself you will wear someday.

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