My well-dressed and ruthlessly honest friend Judi came over this morning to help me tackle that which I’ve been unable to tackle alone… my closet.
I thought I’d done so well this summer when I filled two large bags for Goodwill. But when I thought about squeezing my clothes into a couple of suitcases and a wardrobe box, it was clear a radical clothesectomy was required.
Mostly I dress very casually because I work from home. When I’m not at my desk I’m pulling weeds in the yard or muscles at yoga.
But I do like color, so I’ve got sweaters, tops and scarves in a rainbow of colors that look good on me. Some have the patina of age on them. Some were good ideas worn once.
Judi hauled them all out of the closet and arranged them by color in stacks on the bed. It became clear that I had an over-abundance of tops in certain colors, and an over-abundance of tops with round t-shirt necks which I recently decided are extremely unflattering on a person with an older shorter wrinkled neck. Not naming names.
An article I read awhile back said that we hang onto our clothes for three reasons:
- They represent a financial investment we don’t feel we’ve recouped;
- We have associations, memories, feelings attached to them; and
- We imagine a time in the future when we’ll need or want them.
Since I rarely spend much on an article of clothing #1 isn’t a real problem for me. Nor is #2 (at least in terms of clothes… we’re not going to talk about books, photos, art, vases, paper… ).
My problem is #3 – imagining the future. Unlike so many I’m not hanging on to a wardrobe in four different sizes, because I’ve been a size 6 for decades. But I do imagine a future in which that shade of purple will come back, that shape jacket, that style of bell-bottoms. I imagine a future in which I will be invited to a costume party, a rodeo, the Black and White Ball, a hike in the Arctic, and dinner with Barack Obama.
Judi disabused me of all those fantasies, and long story short, we filled three LARGE trash bags with Goodwill material. Whenever I faltered, she had me try the thing on and look in the mirror. If the mirror didn’t convince me, the look on her face did.
What was left will indeed fit into 2 suitcases and a wardrobe box. A personal triumph. It will be easier to choose what to wear and I bet none will be missed.