I was completely inspired by Michelle Slatalla’s recent column about cleaning out her closet. The idea is to try on every single item in your closet, get rid of things that don’t look good, and then I guess reconsider everything that does look good, so that you think about wearing that fancy velvet blazer with jeans (that was her example; I don’t have a fancy velvet blazer).
And so, while Dave was occupied ripping siding off of our house, I attacked the closet. I pulled out absolutely everything and tried it on. The big surprise was that everything fit pretty well. I guess I know what looks good on me, because I didn’t have a lot of duds. I thought for sure that some of my party dresses would go, especially the hot pink silk halter dress with shiny beading, but that actually looked a lot more classic than I remembered. There’s a lot I’m not proud of from my shopaholic days, but at least I was obsessed with Banana Republic and J. Crew, so that the clothes I’m left with now are all cut really well and are all fairly timeless.
Here’s what I learned:
- I randomly look best in party dresses. It is certainly not any life of mine where I’d wear party dresses on a regular basis, but they were the only things I put on that made me think, “That looks GREAT!”
- I look best in brown.
- All of my t-shirts have a small stain on them somewhere.
- I look best when the waistline of pants hits right below my belly button. Surprisingly hard to find these days.
- We have moths in our closet.
- Never take someone else’s cast-off clothing. Or at least think really hard before doing it. Most of the clothes I got rid of were ones someone else was getting rid of.
- There are a lot of clothes in my closet I don’t wear, but should. Like a cute grey fitted 3/4-sleeve button down that looks good with jeans. And all those twinsets. I don’t know if I’m brave enough to wear my silk sweatersets while parenting, but I might. And the navy blue printed polyester button-down (Anne will know this as the “coffee bean shirt”). I regret that I rediscovered it now, when the weather’s a bit too warm for it.
The whole exercise (which took about four hours with continual interruptions) was also a great motivator to finally get back on the fitness horse. I’m almost there, but I need to reacquaint myself with Jillian Michaels and get shredded and all that. I stopped exercising when I was working on my final project a few weeks ago, and I need to get started again. Standing in front of a full-length mirror, trying on outfit after outfit, I could see how if I tightened things up a little in the general ab area, everything would look a million times better. So it was a worthy activity just for that extra (needed) motivational push.
In the end I only got rid of one big bag of clothes, and my closet didn’t look any sparser or more organized afterwards, but it was extremely helpful to remember what’s in there. Next step is to do the same thing with my dresser (jeans and pants, mainly). I should have done it at the same time, but I had closet fatigue and needed to move on to something else.