Sunday, May 22, 2011

No Vacancy

If you're like me, then downsizing your wardrobe might prove to be a formidable task.  You probably have a hard time pinpointing when your closet started to look like it was on steroids, or possibly started to take over your room.

Exhibit 1: My overstuffed closet, complete with over the door hooks and a shirt bar that allows for twice as much stuff.. Photobucket

Exhibit Dos: Yes, that is an entire wall covered in racks of clothing! Photobucket

For me, it's a combination of 1) being addicted to shopping, and 2) not being able to part with items promptly enough to keep up with the replacements.

To meet the demands of my limited space, I have been forced to box up things approximately twice a year to make room for more seasonally appealing options.  This weekend, since the sun has finally appeared over Chicagoland Indiana for longer than 36 hours, I decided to allocate some time to the transition of items.  This also is a great time to discard winter things that I never wore and summer things that I had to come to terms with were never going to be worn.  Some things however present a challenge for me.  Although, I tend to not hold on to things for sentimental reasons, when it comes to clothing it's the complete opposite.  When I look at an item there are a few things that come to mind:

1) The last time I wore it (or when I bought it, since the tags are still on) - chronologically speaking only, If I wore it last summer it's probably going straight to a hanger or hitting a shelf, whether realistically or not I would wear it again.  Unless it's something that maybe I only wore because it was teetering the line between keeping and tossing, and I wore it as a last ditch effort to prove what my mother always says wrong, that I buy things just to buy them.

2) Where did I wear it - see I attach some intrinsic worth to an item based on the memory I associate with it.  I have an uncanny memory when it comes to certain details.  I probably can't list for you everything I wore last week to work, but I can look at a shirt that I haven't worn since undergrad (four years ago now) and tell you the exact party I wore it to, and why that night was so special to me, and therefore why I just cannot part with it. 

3) Does it still fit me - And lately that answer has been overwhelmingly no to at least a 1/4 of my closet (thus the Lindsay's "clothes that I need to lose 10 lbs to fit into again" box sitting in the hallway waiting for someone to lovingly transport it to the basement for me..and if I leave it there long enough, trust me, someone will - and perhaps they'll take my box of "books I already read" and "boots") 

I think that perhaps the biggest thing that most women suffer from would be number 3.  My weight, like most, fluctuates.  And clothing are particularly sensitive to that.  The jeans might have looks great 5 pounds ago, but now I question whether wearing them out could pose a danger to someone if the button pops off and ricochets of something, taking an eye out on the way.  That skirt would be perfect if I took an inch off both of the inner thighs and they looked like they did last summer when I had more time to work out.  An inch here, a pound there, all these things have the power to effect the way something fits and looks.  It is incredibly frustrating and unless you have the time to suffer through consistent workouts or will power to endure challenging diets - this is a reality for many women. 

Stay Strong.  And remember, if you haven't worn it in over a year, you should probably donate it (keep a list, and write it off during next year's taxes!).  Clothes come and go, they shouldn't be what's weighing you down.