Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coming Out Of The Closet (The Clothes--Not Me)

With the arrival of autumn, it is once again time for me to go through all of the closets and prepare for the arrival of cold weather.

This is a ritual I repeat every spring and fall as the weather changes. I replace some seasonal garments with others, clear out what the kids have outgrown for donations, and make note of what they will need for the upcoming warm or cold weather.

Orgnaizing my closet, however, is not so simple. As every woman knows, we need three sets of clothes for every season.

We have our normal set of clothes which wear on any given day. These clothes are the size we generally hover around and wear the majority of the year

Then of we have our "fat clothes." We don these garments if we put on a little weight, or on mornings when we wake up feeling like we are the size of a walrus.

Every woman also has some clothes that she wore in college or before the kids came along. Some women refer to them as "skinny clothes." I refer to this as my "I have a dream" section.

Organizing experts say you should not keep anything you have not worn in a year. That theory goes right out the window when it comes to our "skinny" garments.

The fact that the size 2 formal dress I bought in 1987 will probably never again see daylight does not deter me from keeping it. Every woman has clothing she convinces herself that, one day, she will get into again. Never mind that she probably has better odds of winning the Megamillions lottery.

Those clothes will be in that closet until the day she dies. Someone will be going through our closets thinking, "What did she save that for?" and "Did she actually WEAR that?"

Skinny clothes are not to be confused with clothing from special occasions such as weddings or proms that we all stash in some spare closet in the house. We don't wear them. We just take them out occasionally to reminisce.

To a woman, a closet is more than a place to store clothing. It is memories of her past. It is a reflection of who she is and how she came to be that person. It is as personal to her as a diary.

So when my husband asks why I am keeping a maternity dress that I wore when pregnant with my son thirteen years ago, I simply move it to another location. Getting rid of it would be like getting rid of a part of me.

The other day I came across a dress I wore to a college formal. It was fire engine red with a plunging back and hit about four inches above the knee.

Perhaps I will surrender that one. I don't want anybody to find it after I die. Might give the wrong impression of my single days.

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