Monday, August 9, 2010

Clothes Horse

I am a clothes horse.  Always have been, and having seen my maman's and gradmama's closets (as well as a great great aunt who was always dressed to the nines) I would say I get it genetically.  It's not just clothes, it's accessories, handbags, jewelry too.  And while G appreciates the effort I take with my look, and he has an equal share in our closet, we've both come to realize we simply have too many clothes.  But yet, every time I went to pare it down I couldn't.  "What if I might want that later?"  "What if that looks good later?"  "Maybe I should save it in case I ever decide to have a baby?" (in reference to the clothes that simply do not fit me anymore.)

But enough is enough.  I mean, seriously.  There are some items I think I'm going to try and alter myself (such as larger pieces I love but aren't pricey) and some that we're taking to a tailor to have done.  G has a great navy blue peacoat from Gap that still looks lovely....but it's an XL and he's now a S/M.  Thank God I know the coat tailor from the gods!  So the peacoat is making a cross country trip next time we head home.  But many, many items are getting donated.  I'm not getting rid of any accessories or jewelry, since those things are so essential to my daily outfits (I often wear a simple black or grey tee with a colorful scarf and bangles).  I do, however have handbags that are in excellent condition but I simply don't love them, don't carry them, and probably never will.  I'm keeping a pink one that my maman had made for me that is all foufou-y with the eiffel tower and fluff that I think is so cute.  I won't carry it (it simply no longer suits my personality) but I know some day either my niece or a daughter of my own is gonna love it.  

I'm doing this for me.  Because for the first time ever I know who I am.  I don't feel lost while shopping.  I often pause to admire something and then think, "That's nice, but it wouldn't suit me."  On the rare occasion I pick up something to try that doesn't suit me, G tends to let me know.  But for the most part I simply stick to what I know will look good on me.  Whether that is the cut/color, or simply the style.  I am quite the little hippie at times, but realistically that look tends to look like a costume on me.  It took me a long time to realize I can be a hippie in classic clothes.  I don't need to dress a part to be me.

So G has been asked, and agreed, to hold my hand as I toss some things I want to desperately work, but know they don't.  Hopefully if I can stick to the guidelines I typed out a couple days ago, come this winter I will need more room for beautiful clothes.  I need some cashmere sweaters (I have 2 cardigans, but the 2 sweaters I had were too short on my torso and are getting felted for a couple projects).  I want a crisp white shirt.  If you are a classics sort of woman, what pieces in your own closet do you consider "must-haves"?  My favorite, and obvious since I have about a dozen, is the little black dress.  I have them from casual to formal and they work for nearly every occasion. 


  1. Shopping is so much easier when you know who you are.

  2. you crazy girl you can not have too many clothes ! but you can always send your donations to me :D

  3. I've been thinking a lot about this also (it relates to weight, thinking about clothes) and on my list are all the classics, crisp white shirt, dark denim jeans.

  4. I am the same with clothes....I always think what if I might need it again! or I think of the lovely memories I had in that outfit.....and I tell myself it's only cupboard space - it's just so easy to keep things!

    The did have one big clean out before I loved to live and work in Europe. It was hard and horrible, but made curiously easier by the fact that as I knew I was going for years, I could really take only things I could pack in my suitcase with a 20kg bagage limit (and in the one (okay, two) other suitcases I sent my sea mail to the UK.....) So every item I didn't pack I had to say - in 2-3 years time when I come home, will I want to wear this?? Faced with such a bald proposition, I was able to clear out my teenage wardrobe, my university and first year of working clothes (oh so many mistakes in those ones!). I kept some favourite and sentimental clothes, but the majority went.

    I can't explain what a liberating feeling it was. There is apparently some correlation between hoarding stuff and being overweight. I don't know if it's true, but I do know emotionally I felt freer and during the time I was living and working overseas and I had to keep my accumulation of possessions to a minimum, I had no trouble with my weight.

    (Of course, I don't put it all down to this - it is just an interesting observation. As is the informal observation that most people on working holidays put ON weight - whether it's called the "Heathrow Injection" or the "Sydney Stone").

    Oh - and essentials for my wardrobe? I am still working this out.....but of course for work it would have to be suits. Suit coats with matching skirts, pants and (my favourite) dresses. Everything else is a bit of a work in progress!