Bare with me, on how slowly this topic is unfolding here but I've said countless time before how awful I am when it comes to follow up blogging "series." Plus I'm learning as I go just how complicated getting rid of clothing can be when I stop to consider how how much I invest emotionally, to a closet full of things I really haven't worn in ages. Kind of ridiculous, actually. Because it's what the seeds of hoarderism feeds on, right? Keeping things we don't need simply because of what they represent? Elimination, of any kind, has never come easy to me. And when the stress of it comes to surface, I tend recoil. Meaning flat out avoidance that leaves me with half assed outcome every time.
By way of better understanding the weight of this feat I categorized my own wardrobe's into five major issues. And no, I'm not doing the "hold it in your hand to weigh it's personal worth" trick the pros preach about. It's more like, pull it off the hanger, name the last time it's been worn and guess the probability I would miss it if gone.
Number one issue being
meaning the items we tend to buy and buy again. I've had discussions with my girlfriends and they all admit to having that one thing they search for and purchase repeatedly. Even when the reality of it, is that they come to exist, more or less, as one in the same. Maybe it's the item that best suits your style or what you feel most comfortable in, but whatever the case when you pause to analyze your wardrobe you are quick to pinpoint those couple things you are prone to overbuy / over own. For me they would be the classic cotton white button down (a beloved wardrobe staple sixth grade) and a nice "worn" denim shirt. I have long standing obsession with trying to find the perfect one in each variation but seem to find something slightly off with each of the versions I own. Which only adds fuel to a never ending hunt to secure this ideal. In the meantime, I tossed out three of the four and vow to keep this tendency in mind while shopping in the future.
The sentimentally attached
The old things we keep but never plan to actually wear again. Namely, the canary yellow mini dress I wore for my college graduation. Which Arlo has pulled out a number of time to scoff at such an absurdity. One, because it's boldly yellow, and two, it looks sized for a nine year old. It's nothing I would ever dare consider wearing again and yet I can't seem to bring myself to toss it out because of the sentiment attached to it. Same thing goes for a handful of other things I've picked up along in which memories outweigh practicality. The first purse Mike bought me when we were dating, the skirt I wore in a photo early on while pregnant with Arlo. Things I haven't quite figured out who to weed through. Even knowing how freeing it is to severe yourself from such distractions. Which is really what they are. Anything in your wardrobe space that isn't something you would deem beloved or essential is just taking up space. I can accept that but am slow moving when it comes to doing something about it.
In the meantime, I just decided to put those items in a box together to sort through last. Once I have the confidence that comes with a good solid paring down behind me.
The what ifs
Namely I'm looking at you killer vintage Levis I bought when I was 22 that barely fit back then. Who's presence still haunts me on low days when I start to fantasize about a reunion with these stupid "skinny jeans" should I ever decide to give up dairy, carbs, beer and generally well rounded meals three times a day. Because I know the college coffee / stress diet was the only thing keeping me in them then. And there were good times, indeed. But over a decade later the fact of them still hanging in my closet is obviously verging on some pathetic mid life desperation. And man, they just really need to go. . .
What I pick without second guessing. The denim jacket, the Indian dresses, the few new favorites, the cable knit sweaters, floral skirts and regularly worn cotton stripped button downs.
All vintage, for me is painfully harder to part with. But I think about how regularly I thrift so once I am tired of a piece I try to donate it to make room for others I might pick up on a second hand run. New items I may wear briefly but with less guilt because it was cheap AND recycled. Which is 90 percent of what my wardrobe consists of.
End point being, I'm only mid way through this whole process. It's time consuming and time these days in general is so scarce. I work on it when I can and not in any systematic way like the self help books suggest. Just item by item. Digging up little pieces of the past that live in paisley printed tanks and undersized old "glory day" denim digs.
Part 3 will share the outcome. I hope. Looking nothing like this minimalist dream scenario above, but better. Smarter, and a lot less sentimenal.