The In Case of Emergency Clothes

I read this interesting article on Racked over the weekend, about getting rid of your “in case of emergency” clothes, and it got me thinking. In the article (which I’d recommend for a quick read), the author Alanna Okun talks about eliminating those items in your closet you’ve been keeping for random occasions, like black tie balls, super formal job interviews, or a skinnier former self. It inspired me to go through my closet and think about some of my own “In Case of Emergency Clothes” that I’ve been hoarding.

1. The I’m going to a fancy tea party dress. How many people do I know who throw fancy tea parties? Or heck, any sort of tea parties at all? I shouldn’t feel entitled to them, since my own social gatherings usually involve pizza. But I love Erdem and this is one of my favorite dresses so I opted to keep it. Besides, I love the lace.

2. Approximately one dozen various Theory jackets, skirts, and pants. I remember when a new Theory suiting item was something I really rejoiced over, since I usually waited until I could snag a sale and they were quite difficult to find then (remember the Gabe jackets and pants? And what an event it was when they started making 00). This was before Banana, J.Crew and the like made decent looking suit jackets so Theory was the only well priced game in town. I sucked it up and donated all of these. These days, a sweater/cardigan and a skirt are good enough for most interviews.

3. The I’m visiting a snowy tundra outerwear. Aka my Canada Goose and my Mr. and Mrs. Furs Parkas. I will never get rid of my Mr and Mrs Furs. First of all, I got it from one of the brand’s first seasons, when it was still called Furs and not Italy. Plus, it is the one wardrobe item I have which always gets me compliments in both Tokyo and Paris (basically everything else is I own is deemed close to sneer worthy in these destinations). These two shallow reasons are enough to ensure lifetime wardrobe longevity.

I have debated getting rid of the Goose (I have the Kensington) but I have secret dreams of visiting Alaska and Antartica one day and then I might need it, and then of course the brand will have gotten so expensive I can never buy it again. So I’m keeping both for now. Of course, each take up tons of wardrobe space. Ugh.

4. The I am going to an event where I will have to do no walking, but everyone will be able to admire my footwear, shoes. The most compelling example I have of these are these Miu Miu gingham heels, which are so difficult for me to walk in post pregnancy that they have been relegated to a piece of decoration in my closet. I’ve been saving them for an event where I am dropped off directly from the car to the door (these would not survive a trip across, for example, a muddy lawn),and where I sit on some sort of dias so that everyone can admire my shoes. Perhaps not surprisingly, I have yet to be invited to an event like this.

What are some of your “In Case of Emergency” clothes? Why do you keep them (or are you going to throw them out)?


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  • Reply
    February 13, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Thank you for a great post! I laughed when I read about your Theory collection! For years, I would run around trying to assemble Theory suits on sale, matching the fabrics and the colors. And I kept them for all the years that I was a stay at home mom. But, having gone back to work recently, I started wearing some of the pieces again despite their advanced age (and mine!). I don’t wear full suits anymore, but I mix the oldies with new additions. Theory really is a wardrobe workhorse for me. And it helps me save up for bigger splurges — like a new Hermes shawl or scarf.

    • Reply
      February 16, 2017 at 5:01 am

      Jane and Kat, me too! Gabe jackets and Preston C pants for me. And I am from NY where Theory would hold these incredibly crazy sample sales every so often.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Oh my gosh, I totally get this post! I hoard way too many “just in case clothes”. Just last week, I succumb to buying some pairs of Crocs (in case I ever have to go to the hospital and need easy slip-ons), and I would never wear Crocs in public, or display them in the house where house guests can see, ha! I also hoard a couple business suits (in case I get fired and need to interview again, and I remember the struggle to find decent suiting for being a petite size, so that’s why I can’t let them go). I also hoard wedding guest dresses and funeral (all black) clothing all in a corner that has been untouched for years. But now this article is making me think if I really need them? I’m always trying to declutter but it never happens ;/

  • Reply
    February 14, 2017 at 4:20 am

    Ha ha totally get you great post! 😃 The shoe thIn is so familiar, I finally bought some satin manolos, fir great and comfortable, but because of the expense I only wear them indoors on a carpet!

    • Reply
      February 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Yes!! I always have to check the weather report before satin shoes!

  • Reply
    sherry @ save. spend. splurge.
    February 14, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Oh dear. Flip flops are on the list for sure. I use them only at the beach. I can’t wear them outside.

    ..and all of my beautiful event and cocktail dresses.

  • Reply
    February 15, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Lol this is so great. I call these “fantasy me” items.

  • Reply
    Leslie Linn
    March 4, 2017 at 5:13 am

    let me know if you ever seriously want to part with your Canada Goose jacket, I’ll be happy to give it a new home-as a fellow very petite New Yorker who is always FREEZING!!!!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    I have a few evening dresses that I buy and hoard just in case that a wedding pops up. So far I have at least 3 unworn evening dresses that have not seen the light of day or night.

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