I purged the other day but it’s not what you think.
My closet has been just… overflowing with clothes and heels. Normally it’s a wonderful thing, but it had become out of control. I was essentially out of room.
And yes, I know this is not a bad problem to have. I know I am lucky to have so much clothes. I really, really do understand that.
Picking out something to wear or looking for a specific outfit was becoming unbearable. I couldn’t find anything and being able to look through my wardrobe was next to impossible. Same with my shoes. I have heels that I bought ten years ago that I’ve never worn.
So, it was time to go through everything. I started with dresses and found outfits I’ve never worn before and dresses I forgot I had. Some dresses were met with an “ew, why did I buy that?” and some were “OMG, this is so cute, why don’t I wear this more often?” Although it’s fun to buy new clothes, it’s equally fun to find something you forgot you already had. I sorted everything into two piles, one to keep, the other to put in storage in a hope chest (and now my hope chest is overflowing but that’s a problem for another day). As I went through these dresses I remembered learning the importance of knowing your measurements and that a dress might look cute online but it might be cringe when you get it.
I then moved onto tops and skirts, but I kept all of these. I don’t own a lot of blouses and skirts compared to dresses and there’s a lot of potential to put together a lot of different outfits with a good blouse and a cute skirt, so for practical purposes I held onto all of these.
The heels were next and goodness was I reminded of how much I’ve learned over the last decade or so. I used to buy almost any heel that was my size. It didn’t take long for me to learn that a size 12 doesn’t mean anything, you have to try on shoes (if you can) before you purchase them. I tossed the heels that didn’t fit and the heels that were too scuffed and scratched to wear again. By the time I was done, the shelf in my closet was no longer sagging from the weight.
As I get older I am noticing I want to simplify more. I feel that I have accumulated too much and I own too many things. I am learning to let go of things that I will never use, read, or wear again. Of course, this is easier said than done. Unfortunately what is working directly against this desire to pare down is getting more nostalgic as time passes. While going through my closet I founded dresses that I wore for my first photo shoot, or dresses I was sent to review. There’s a lot of memories associated with outfits like that and I found it hard to decide whether to keep them in my closet or into storage. And yes, putting something into storage isn’t getting rid of it, but it also means that I don’t think I’ll be wearing it anytime soon (or ever again).
It was a lot of work going through my closet, both physical as well as emotional. It’s kind of silly because I know that a dress is just fabric but I think a girl like us has a deeper, more complex relationship with clothes than others. A dress might be just a dress to someone else, but for me, it’s a symbol. It represents something. It might be the first dress I ever bought, or it might be a dress that I had worked up the courage to try on in a store, or a dress I never thought I’d be brave enough to wear. A dress might be a symbol for our femininity. A dress is more than the material it’s made of, it’s so much more to a girl like us.
Today my closet is a lot more manageable and I am excited to wear outfits again that I forgot I owned… and create new memories with them.