top of page

Great or donate?: A week long "I almost never wear this" challenge.

First things first...big shout out to Goodwill Northern New England, the brainchild of this awesome challenge. We just had to try it ourselves!

About the challenge:

We all have stuff in our closets that we almost never (let's be honest - NEVER) wear, but for some reason or another, we refuse to rid ourselves of them. Sometimes, it's an item that was given to us as a gift. Or maybe we associate a certain thing with a memory. But more often than not, it's because we lie to ourselves and say, "I will wear that eventually!" NO. IT'S TIME TO STOP THAT NONSENSE.

So here's how the challenge worked: For one work week, my co-worker Shelly and I wore items in our closet that haven't received any love in a while. By wearing these items for nine full hours, we were forced to confront the reasons why we should donate them...Or, maybe we found love in a hopeless place! If we loved the items, we kept them with the promise to wear them more often. If not, they went to Goodwill. Check out our week!

Monday, Lauren:

What items are in the challenge? The dress. Why I bought/have the item: I work with some pretty awesome professional women. And they always look like rock stars. I bought this dress as part of my “I need more professional clothes!” splurge. When I tried the dress on in the fitting room, I loved it! I thought it was flattering for my figure and made me feel petite. I love wearing black and white clothes, and this had a splash of cozy yellow.

Why I don’t wear the item: THIS IS LITERALLY THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE DRESS OF ALL TIME. It digs into my armpits. I have worn it twice and was miserable both times. When I pulled it out for this challenge, I thought, “It isn’t as bad as you remember. You were just being dramatic.” No. No, I wasn’t. By 9:00 AM, I wanted to go home and change. Unfortunately, I had to wear it until 5:30 PM and ripped the darn thing off as soon as I walked in the door.

Great or donate? Great: It's so adorable, but...

Donate: It has to go! I’m confident it will be a better fit for someone who has smaller arms. That’s what I get for playing volleyball multiple times per week: broad shoulders!

Monday, Shelly:

What items are in the challenge?

The blouse, pants, purse, earrings, and necklace.

Why I bought/have the items:

The blouse was on sale, and I needed a pair of khaki pants. The red purse was also on sale, and I really liked the color. The earrings and necklace were a birthday gift from my sister.

Why I don’t wear the items:

The blouse's sleeves are too long and they are tight around my shoulders. The pants are a little bit too big and I keep having to pull them up. I don’t like the zipper, which is on the side. The purse is too big. I keep putting “stuff” in the purse that increases the weight! I have not worn the earrings and necklace for more than a year.

Great or donate?

Great: Earrings and necklace. I don't know why I don't wear them more often! I re-evaluated the purse because of the color and size. It will make a good carry-on when I travel.

Donate: I will donate the blouse because of the sleeves. I didn't even make it to lunch before I replaced it with a cardigan! I will also donate the pants because of the location of the zipper!

Tuesday, Lauren:

What items are in the challenge? My shirt and pants. Why I bought/have the items: The top belongs to my mom. We are constantly sharing and switching clothes.

I bought the pants after a networking opportunity where I met a woman who was wearing patterned pants, and I thought she looked so chic and sophisticated.

Why I don’t wear the items: I love the lace on the back of the shirt, but I hate the way this shirt fits! The back of the shirt is supposed to be long and flowy, but it constantly gets stuck on my bum, and I am always tugging and pulling on it.

I like the pattern of the pants, but I don’t like the way they fit, especially around my knees. By the end of the day, they are baggy and slouchy. I don’t feel chic and sophisticated in them. I just feel dingy and frumpy!

Great or donate? Great: I'm certainly not liking either item.

Donate: So to Goodwill they go! Well, at least the pants. I may give the shirt back to my mom if she wants it. :)

Tuesday, Shelly:

What items are in the challenge:

The top, sweater, pants, and shoes, pants.

Why I bought/have the items:

I bought the top several years ago and it was always my "go-to" shirt with slacks or shorts. The sweater was on sale, and I really wanted something other than black. I bought the pants when I was asked to conduct a meeting and needed a more casual look. I bought the shoes for the same meeting.

Why I don't wear the items:

The shirt is old, and I can't figure out what to wear with the sweater. The pants were the first pair of “skinny” slacks I have owned, and the shoes were comfortable in the store. However, I remembered that they start to hurt after awhile.

Great or donate?

Great: Today, everything is a keeper!

Donate: Not today!

Wednesday, Lauren:

What items are in the challenge? The dress. Why I bought/have the item: It was on sale at Macy’s, and I thought it was super cute!

Why I don’t wear the item: I feel like this dress is high maintenance, meaning I don’t know how to wear it or what do with it when I am done wearing it. First, the top part of the dress wrinkles easily and is a little too sheer to not wear a camisole, but then I feel bulky with that extra layer. Second, I’ve never been to a dry cleaner in my life. So my solution? Never wash the darn thing.

Great or donate?

Great: Absolutely! As soon as a put it on, I knew I was going to keep it! The dress made me feel pretty, and I recently bought the chunky pieces of jewelry, and I love the way they look with this dress. Now, I need to remember to wear it more than once or twice per year (and also find a dry cleaner!).

Donate: I tried on several outfits this morning that I couldn't even bear to wear to work. In the pile they go!

P.S. My booties are from Goodwill!

Wednesday, Shelly:

What items are in the challenge?

The jacket, pants, and earrings.

Why I bought/have the item(s):

I thought the jacket was colorful, and I could mix different tops with it. I bought the pants several years ago. However, I feel like I need to give them up! The earrings, I just never wear.

Why I don't wear the item(s):

After I bought the jacket, I saw a little old lady wearing the same jacket! So every time I looked in the closet to put it on, that old lady popped into my head! The pants are so out of shape and falling off sometimes. I don't know why I don't wear the earrings!

Great or donate?

Great: I am keeping the jacket, because I got many favorable compliments from my co-workers! The earrings I will keep, because I know there is a necklace that matches somewhere in my jewelry box.

Donate: The pants will most definitely be donated, because they are so old.

Thursday, Lauren:

What items are in the challenge? The shirt and the skirt. Why I bought/have the items: I have the shirt because I was wearing a white blouse at my grandma’s house and stained it. She gave me this shirt to wear home, but I haven’t worn it since. This skirt was part of my “I need more professional clothes” splurge.

Why I don’t wear the items: The shirt is just a cotton tee, and I feel unsophisticated in it. The skirt has this weird bulge thing going on in the front. While I was explaining this to Shelly, I said, “I feel like it should have pockets here or something,” and then I found out THAT IT DID! (See picture.) Regardless, this whole outfit just makes me feel drab.

Great or donate? I contemplated this for a while, because both pieces are so basic that I can pair them with other items.

Great: I am going to try the skirt out again in the winter. I think I can make something of it with tights and boots (I feel OK with this excuse, because I haven’t had it during winter months yet). If not, I promise to donate it then!

Donate: The shirt is going to Goodwill!

Thursday, Shelly:

What items are in the challenge?

The top, earrings, and bracelet.

Why I bought/have the items:

I bought the top because black and white go with anything. I bought the bracelet at a state park. I liked how big and bold it looked on my wrist. I bought the earrings because of the silver, gold, and copper.

Why I don't the items:

I feel like the top is a little too casual for work. The earrings are pulling on my ear because they are too big. The bracelet gets in my way when I’m typing, and I feel like it's too big for my arm.

Great or donate?

Great: I plan to keep the top, because I received many compliments.

Donate: I will donate the earrings and the bracelet because both pieces make me feel uncomfortable.

Friday, Lauren:

What items are in the challenge?

The pants. I just wore the blue shirt so I would be patriotic for the Fourth of July. :)

Why I bought/have the item:

I’ve had these pants for a while, and to be honest, I’m not really sure why. I know I liked the bold red, and they fit me well in the length. And at barely 5’0, this never happens!

Why I don't wear the item:

I used to think these pants made me look so trendy, and then I realized they fit me like "old person" pants. I had a "What was I thinking?" moment...

Great or donate?

Great: For someone else.

Donate: I knew they had to go as soon as I put them on!

Friday, Shelly:

What items are in the challenge?

The pants, earrings, and necklace.

Why I bought/have the items:

When I went shopping, I was determined not to buy black pants again. So when I saw these slacks, I knew they were definitely not your basic go-to pair of pants! The earrings and necklace were purchased to go with another outfit I don’t wear.

Why I don't wear these items:

I feel like the pants are not what I should be wearing to the office. The whole outfit is just not my style! This outfit was an attempt to get “out of my box," but I think I jumped way too far!

Great or donate?

Great: I will keep the pants to wear for a Halloween party then see how many laughs I get!

Donate: I will donate the earrings and necklace because they look a little cheap. My husband told me this morning without hesitation to donate the entire outfit!

Conclusion: Shelly and I had a blast completing this challenge! It was refreshing to confront the items in the back of our closets and the reasons we had for not getting rid of them. Are you ready to face your closet and take the "Great or Donate" challenge?

our history

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Louisville since 1923. Goodwill gives people up—not a handout—so they can experience the dignity and independence that comes from earning a paycheck.


our mission

We help people with disabilities or other disadvantages achieve and maintain employment to gain a better quality of life.

what we do

Goodwill collects and sells donated items to fund programs for Kentuckians who have disabilities or other challenges in finding and maintaining traditional employment. On-the-job training, job preparation skills, and employment counseling are just a few of Goodwill's services that benefit thousands of adults each year and strengthen families in Kentucky's communities.


bottom of page