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Are you the type of Fashionista who has items in their closet that date back to prehistoric middle school? Or are you more of an in-the-now kind of girl, and you’re constantly cleaning out your closet and updating your wardrobe? Either way, there are different ways to determine whether your clothes are going to last. There’s no way to give your clothing an exact life expectancy, but there are certain factors that affect their wear and tear. we’ve broken it down to three simple categories: fabrication, price point, and use.



Different fabrics are meant to last longer than others. Cottons and synthetics generally wear down first, whether they become discolored or get lovely holes all over. Leathers, wool and furs tend to last longer and the fibers wont break down as easily. However, most of this is also dependent on your care of the item. If you follow washing instructions for the garment and store it properly, you can extend the life of most of your clothing.

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We think this one is slightly more obvious. If you buy something from a fast fashion store (such as Forever21, H&M, etc.), you’re more than likely going to get what you pay for. Most items that we buy for a low price end up wearing out, tearing, or falling apart much more quickly than others. Which is fine, since you bought that shirt for 5 dollars. But then you’ll just have to go on a wild goose chase to find your favorite sweater – 2 seasons later. Shopping more expensive stores will hurt your wallet at the time, but it will thank  you in the long run. There is a reason you hear the term “investment pieces”, because you are INVESTING your money into something that you will use for a long time. We will skip the lecture on cost per wear, you get the gist. All of our most expensive items – handbags, coats, shoes – are the items in our closets that we will have until we are old and grey (or too fat to fit into).

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Items that you use daily, such as jeans, underwear, your favorite pair of shoes, are definitely going to wear the fastest. That’s why you need to take extra special care of them if you want them to last. Items such as formal dresses and winter coats are going to stick with you for many more years, since you’re only wearing them on special occasions or one season of the year. So be easy on your favorite pair of skinny jeans..they’re not going to last forever.

That’s our breakdown on clothing life expectancy. It truly varies on several different factors. Stephanie has a puffer vest that she’s had since she was 11, and Courtney’s favorite pair of jeans are almost 10 years old (thankfully distressed denim is trendy). If you feel that you need an exact timeline, we found this site for you. But we don’t like those numbers.

Images via Darling Two