Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's the Closet-Life of a Dress?

As we start heading towards fall, it’s about that time to start moving sundresses and tank tops aside and pulling the sleeved-shirts and pants to the front of the closet.  This transition time is also the perfect time to do some closet purging, as you notice, but maybe don’t really want to admit, that you did not wear that linen skirt all summer. Nor last summer either. And truth be told, you’re not sure you even really like the color so much anymore.  So you fold it up, put it aside with everything else, just in case you might like it next summer.

Let’s admit it – cleaning out the closet isn’t just a physical process of taking clothes out that have exhausted their usefulness.  There’s a couple mental obstacles in the way of moving clothes into piles so that they can live another life in someone else’s closet.

When has a dress has passed it’s useful closet-life and it’s time to let it go?

It is not flattering, now or ever will be again.  I really like empire waist dresses, you know, the ones where the waistband hits the bottom of your bra. Its comfortable and breezy in the summer, and yes, hides all those scoops of ice cream.  Or so I thought!  Someone took a picture of me in one of my favorite dresses and I realized that I look like I’m in my second trimester!  But I thought it was a fluke (bad lighting, camera phone, bad angle) and kept wearing them. Until I took another picture in another dress and surprise – same thing, me and my second trimester self.  I’ve piled all my empire waist dresses aside.  Some are destined for some woman who needs the flowy-ness, the rest are now restricted to wearing around the house or walking to the busstop when there is no danger of being photographed.  (Sorry, I couldn’t truly truly give them all up.)

There was a different President in office when you purchased the dress.  You know that dress that you recall the exact event you bought it for?  And that event was long time ago?  I have a few dresses that I did the math and calculated five, six – or more - years ago.  I’ve kept it because, on a good day, it still fits. But even when it does – it was six years ago.  I can get away with a classic fit dress, a black skirt, a navy dress, but anything else – it either looks too young for me or dated by style.  Even the color is wrong.

It never fit right anyway.  You buy the dress, maybe it was on sale, maybe it looked great on the mannequin and you are sure that once it shakes out, once you put on some Spanks, lose a couple pounds, wear a different bra, its going to fit perfectly.  But it just never does.  Let it go.  That goes for those shoes, too.  Even the cute ones. They always did hurt your feet, anyway.

You have no idea where you will ever wear it to.  I have tops and dresses that require a much more active night-life than I have, which right now is pretty much dominated by PTA meetings and kids sporting events.  I have a really cute one-shoulder zebra print silk blouse.  Perhaps someone else has the right party to go to.

Shorts that have lasted through more than one summer.  Don’t take this as a disposable clothes idea, it’s just that regardless of whether I actually still wear that size or not, shorts never seem to fit right after one summer.  Maybe the ice cream reshapes my behind and thighs, same weight, different shaping. Like sand.

Anything two sizes too big or two sizes too small.  I’m letting a larger or smaller woman enjoy my shopping.  I don’t want to return to the too-big size and by the time I get back to the too-small size, the clothes will be out of style.  Okay, even that skirt I really like, it looks crazy slipping down my hips.  And the other one, well, who knows when was the last time it fit to know how it looks.

And to top off the pile?  Anything you just don’t like anymore. The why the heck did I buy this, the what was I thinking, the it used to be cute outfits. Why are these so hard to let go?

Now, when all those are gone…. Hey – I need to go shopping, I haven’t got anything to wear!  

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