When dressy wardrobe items are pristine and pill-free, they come into my wardrobe promoted and ready to work their threads off. But after excessive wash and wear they start to look shabby and lose their professional polished luster. I’m not ready to pass them on because they’re still flattering and comfortable. So I demote them instead, thereby allowing them to work for the non-professional, more casual side of my wardrobe.

Here are some recent examples:

  • Brown and black, knee-length tweed coat: This used to be my favourite dressy wool coat. But it’s pilling and getting threadbare so it got demoted to dog walking.
  • Black sateen trench: For years I wore this trench to death, taking it along with me when I traveled around the world. But it’s no longer black-black and the buttons and belt are worn. So I found a new black trench for everyday work wear and demoted this one to wear to casual occasions with Converse sneakers.
  • White button-downs: I have a thing about white button downs needing to look perfectly crisp and angelic for work. When they start losing their colour or get stained, they get demoted to layering pieces for casual outfits.
  • Patent pointy-toed, low heeled cream boots: The patent on the toes is coming off and the heels are all scratched up. I’ve had these boots fixed up by a cobbler more times than I can remember but I can’t let them go because they’re unique, good in bad weather and extremely comfy. Now they see the inside of a movie theatre a lot more often.

I demote dressy wardrobe items for myself and my clients on a fairly regular basis. I was wondering whether this is something that you do too.