Sunday, June 13, 2010

Clothes Hoarding

Clothes hoarding is what I call that stash of not-quite-big-enough clothing we keep in the back of the closet for when we lose that last X pounds. You know what I mean. We all probably have them.

I had some - I'll admit it. Over ten years ago I went on a lose-weight-or-die mission and dropped a bunch of weight. Little Me (or Littler Me) appeared for the first time in years in the late 1990's. I shopped and purchased a new wardrobe. I also kept some of the clothes I wore during the weight countdown that were a size or two larger than the final size I ended up after the diet. But like all dreams, it didn't last. My Waterloo was a medical issue that ended up requiring that I take prednisone daily for over half a year. If you're not familiar with the side effects of oral steroid dosage, one of them is unfortunately weight gain. Oh boy, was there ever weight gain. I went up one size in less than a month. And unfortunately, it didn't stop there.

I repurchased a wardrobe and hung the smaller clothes in the guest room closet. Finally after several years, I gave up and sorted and packed donation bags for Goodwill. Some of the things that were on the larger side of the spectrum were saved, mostly because I was unwilling to let go, but hey, you never know. They were hung back in the closet and the rest went to charity.

Flash forward to this spring and my diagnoses of diabetes, which caused my current weight loss. I have been "shopping" my guest room closet and pulling out stuff that now fits. Yay for me. But I unfortunately found that some of the things that I lovingly saved are going into the donation bag. Why? Because my tastes and my "fashion eye" have changed in ten years. Things that looked good then, even though they fit now, just aren't right. I have two words for you. Pleated pants. Get the picture?

I did another try-on session this morning and pulled out a couple more pairs of khakis that fit, and some short sleeved sweaters. But there are three pairs of dressy pants that didn't make the cut. And there's a couple of knit tops that evoked the "Ah---no" reaction too. I'm still on the fence about two dresses. I think it's the shoulder pads. If they are replaced with smaller less 90's versions and the dresses are hemmed, I think these can be salvaged.

The moral of this story? Even if you get back into your "someday" clothes, will you wear them? Take a long unbiased look at what you have in the back of the closet. If they are being saved for inspiration, great. If they are for vindication and affirmation (hey, I wore this in high school), fine. But I fear that these items won't go back into regular rotation, even if they fit. After a certain "sell-by" date, clothing, like dairy products, expires.

Just sayin'.

7 comments:

Mama Koch said...

I feel your pain. I do have some jeans I'm saving...but everything else goes out!

Suzan said...

I did that a couple of years ago and only held on to the things that really either meant something to me or I knew were "timeless". I also have every pair of jeans I have purchased over the last 12 years...and the sizes vary by as many as 6 sizes. Maybe I should think about moving those out of the closet. I will never see a size 8 again and I just need to get over it!

paula, the quilter said...

I have one pair of RED DENIM jeans that I'll never get on again. I should probably donate them. O! and a fringed leather woman's motorcycle jacket that won't fit, but it cost a lot of $$$$. Now what to do with it? Maybe Craig's List? Hmmm...

catsinger said...

...oh Calico... I have SO "been there, done that"...
I have really gone through my closet to the point, that most of my "hung on to" treasures have been purged, mainly for the reasons you so aptly stated...
unfortunately for me, the realization of,"ah-no", has, for the most part come before the actual fitting into the saved clothes...
though I have been wearing some wide wale cords that used to be too tight & are now baggy...
sometimes we win... sometimes we lose & really win !

Laura said...

I think I need to show your post to my DH. Just this morning we were discussing some of the clothes still hanging around in his closet and the fact he won't get rid of them even though they haven't been worn in years.

Yesterday he pulled out a pair of jeans that, while they fit, had a very distinct "90's" sort of look to them, which I believe was exactly your point.

Greenmare said...

Oh my gosh soooooo true! I went through the weight loss thing about 10 years ago too, and unfortunately for me I can't blame the re-gain on meds. I went through a bunch of stuff and sent it off to Goodwill just to get it out of the house. I hate being crowded!

Kathryn said...

We've moved several times over the past few years, which forced me to get to grips with this, and actually I'm really pleased I did, and can heartily recommend it. I now do a wardrobe changeover every spring and autumn (in spring, put away all the woollies and bring out the summer skirts) and use this as a good opportunity to "edit" what I've got. Out goes anything that doesn't fit, or sometimes just looks wrong, or so last year, or has a stain, or a bleach mark, or has gone baggy. Sometimes there's nothing actually wrong with it, but after wearing it for five years, you just can't bear the sight of it any more. Also as my lifestyle has changed, I now need far fewer "formal" workwear outfits and use more casual stuff. The result is a much slimmed down wardrobe and everything in it is something I like and can wear. Yay! The only exceptions are a few items such as my wedding dress and similar items kept for sentimental reasons but I was never going to wear them for doing the garden anyway.