Renew Your Closet

Like many people who have passed puberty and are currently twiddling their thumbs waiting for their metabolism to up and die on them, I have not changed size in a significant way for a number of years. If you go through my closest, you’re guaranteed to find clothes that should be right on the cusp of celebrating their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. If things continue in this vein, soon I’m going to have to promise a pair of jeans a pension plan.

Fortunately for me, May 4th is Renewal Day. To be fair, it’s Renewal Day in the same way May is National Hamburger Month ““ it’s sort of a useless holiday unless you really need to justify splurging on 14 In-N-Out burgers. In my case, I really need to justify going through my clothes critically when a passing glance marks them as perfectly good (read: not entirely made up of holes).

But the clothes aren’t good, thanks to years of wear, tear, laundry, and cats, they have all changed their proportions in varied, amazing ways. Like one shirt has gotten wider and shorter. I’m not sure what physical or metaphysical forces were at work to create this short stocky demon, but here we are. My clothes have become vampires, physically similar to clothes I once loved but lacking any soul, and yet because they cover my body and keep me from flaunting my nips at any human that passes, I have trouble driving in the stake and saying, “Gurl, bye.”

I get that it’s a privileged position to say that clothes can make you feel good ““ there’s money involved with this, being able to find clothes that fit in a truly fat-phobic fashion landscape, being able to actually go to the store to try things on”¦ the list goes on. It’s not like looking good is the most important thing ever, but feeling good about yourself is pretty heady stuff.

I literally do not care at all about how people dress provided two things: first, that they’re not using their body as a billboard for hate (personal preference, sure) and second, that whatever they’re wearing makes them feel as awesome as possible all things considered. So the punchline of this post isn’t going to suggest you classify your body into convenient fruit-shaped boxes or deconstruct your body into bizarre letter-inspired shapes dreamt up by a cubist on ketamine. The punch line is simply this: a zebra with a sunburn! No wait, wrong punch line. The REAL punch line is this: I don’t need to take shit from my clothes any more.

I went through my clothes one by one and placed them into four categories: keep for re-use, donate, trash, and keep as clothes. I’ll be honest, the keep for re-use and keep piles were definitely the largest. I have trouble letting go. I tell myself that it’s OK because I am creating less waste, especially if I re-purpose the clothes into truly useful things, like new rags or pillow covers or dog-bed accoutrements.

As I went through the closet, I got really into it, probably more so than is healthy. I started ranting at the clothes, “So what if you’re still somewhat functional? You make me feel bad, oddly shaped skirt. You will be turned into a pillow or possibly a rag, but you will no longer have the privilege of covering my buttocks with your saggy jersey shame.”

Even without adding anything to my wardrobe, I feel better having gone through this exercise. It’s your standard spring cleaning, but with a vengeful bent ““ these clothes shall not pass. I’ve got some time before the stores open and I can see if there’s anything in them that’s worth bringing back to my lair, but for right now I’m just glad to be free of the cloth albatross around my neck.

7 replies on “Renew Your Closet”

So I have an INCREDIBLY hard time eliminating clothes from my closet. Partially I think this is because I’ve got some (minor) hoarding tendencies, but mostly I think it is because I am plus-sized (and pretty high up into plus-sizes, at that.) Finding clothes that I like, that fit, and that look good on me is SO freaking hard. So when there’s something that I worked hard to find, that I like, and that has served me well, I do not let go of it easily – even if its old/stained/torn/doesn’t fit like it once did. For example, I finally got rid of a skirt that had lost two buttons, I had resown multiple parts of multiple times, and that I was holding together with an elaborate ponytail holder-knot. This skirt was also about 7 years old.
I only got rid of it because I found essentially the exact same thing, but new.
Am I the only one who has this problem?

I just moved in the last few weeks and the most satisfying part was taking four large bags of clothes and one large bags of shoes to Goodwill. Unfortunately, since moving to the US I have changed size, but I finally accepted it and got rid of all the pants that I haven’t worn in a year because they don’t fit. They’re not hanging in the wardrobe looking accusing anymore! Huzzah!!

I had a lot of t-shirts with sentimental value and couldn’t bear to part with them even though I never wore them. I finally took a bunch of them and made a big quilt using the main parts of the shirts. It’s cozy for watching tv, there’s more room in my closet, and I still get to keep the memories associated with all those shirts.

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