The floor in my closet. Don’t judge.
How could I have a closet filled with 4 different sizes of clothing and still feel like I had nothing to wear? All of my clothes ended up on the floor.
I have maternity clothes and post-maternity clothes. I have my regular clothes. And I also have smaller clothes since I went on a gluten and dairy-free diet several months ago. Very few of my old clothes fit anymore, so I was heading into summer with what felt like two shirts and one pair of jeans.
Plus a bikini that’s older than most sixth graders.
It’s hard to clean out your clothes when you worry you’ll have nothing left. At some point I think I’ll be in those different sizes again, so I don’t want to get rid of everything. I don’t have an arbitrary rule about getting rid of something if I haven’t worn it in a certain time. I think more about the possibility of wearing it in the future, with a couple of sentimental exceptions.
It was time to go through those clothes, so I could figure out what I had and make some space.
The Worn Out
(This shirt used to be pink. This is not a black and white photo.)
It’s easy for me to identify what’s worn out. Faded or stained, or maybe misshapen, stretched out and saggy. Those old clothes I can go through and clean out by myself. For a while I thought I would wait until I found replacements, but I just cleaned them out and freed up the closet space.
The Shopping Mistakes
Reading the book Color Me Beautiful several years ago helped me to avoid shopping mistakes. It was published in the eighties, but I still use the color principles today. The book groups colors by seasons and helps you identify your most flattering shades. I know I look good in blues and pinks, and I avoid burnt orange and olive green even when those clothes look good in the store.
I still had a couple of clothes in my closet that would not work, even though I had stayed hopeful. I reluctantly admitted they weren’t right for me and I would never wear them. They finally landed in the donation pile where they belonged.
I needed a trusted friend to help me with the rest (and majority) of the clothes. Otherwise it would have taken me a year to go through them. I needed someone who could quickly and honestly assess what looked great on me, and tell me what didn’t.
I needed Doug.
Yes, I know from his burly exterior and his experience working in a meatpacking plant that you would never guess he has amazing taste in women’s fashion. He can also create fruit and cheese plate masterpieces. He is fantastic to go clothes shopping with.
I tried on each item so he could give a thumbs up or down.
First I tried on a turtleneck shirt that was too big. I raised my arms and the sleeves flapped in the breeze from the fan.
“Whoa, watch out for the tent sale!” Doug shouted.
“I’ll be blogging this.”
The Faux Classics
Next I tried on some pants.
“Those pants don’t look good.” Doug told me.
“I know, I never wear them. But they’re gray pants, they’re classics.”
“Your new jeans look better.”
It was true. The pants were ten years old and they made me look older and frumpy. They weren’t doing anything good for me. The fit and style were outdated.
Are there true fashion classics like the magazines still say? Or does “classic” mean the clothes will be stylish for a few years instead of just a few seasons? What’s truly classic? I don’t know… a wrap dress? a cardigan? Those pants weren’t, for sure.
My closet now had a few key pieces, several empty hangers on the rod, and the maternity clothes were packed away. The sentimental pink Patsy Cline cowgirl shirt stayed.