Tag Archives: clutter

I can’t shrink my waist, so I shrink my wardrobe

27 Oct

Now that I have decided to make a reluctant peace with my post-baby body, I need to rethink my wardrobe.  Browsing my closet, I realize that it’s so tightly jammed that I can hardly see my clothes.  This is a major problem; after all, what mother of small children has time to sift through her closet looking for “that one top”? Just imagine, I tell myself, if my closet were full of clothes that I like, and also quick and easy to navigate, I might actually stand a chance of completing a decent outfit in the 5 minutes I have to get dressed in the morning.

Inspired, I spend the next few nights after the kids go to bed pulling out every item in my closet.  I consciously silence the little voice that justifies and rationalizes why I should keep something questionable: It was on sale. You have never worn it. You used to love this shirt. Etc. etc. Instead, I focus on the feeling I get the instant I put it on.  Does it make me feel better or worse?  Five seconds of wearing the item tells me everything I need to know.  If it tugs, constricts my breathing, or just fails to impress me in the mirror, it’s going out.

I am surprised how this speeds up the process. When all is said and done, I have two trash bags full of clothes headed to Goodwill. Among the items:

  • Many pairs of pants & jeans that are too tight (including some of my old favorites).
  • A few pants that are too loose in the hips and crotch, and make me look like a construction worker. I think I used to think this was a cool look… in retrospect, I am not sure why.
  • A strappy sundress I used to wear without a bra (those days are over now – more on that topic in a separate post).
  • A lot of tops that no longer cover the midsection, and annoy me because I am always tugging them downward.
  • A really ugly oversized grey t-shirt that says “I love Canada”. (No offense to any Candians… if you saw the shirt, you’d understand). In fact, I ditched a big pile unflattering t-shirts which had been stacking up in my closet, some of which I carbon-dated to the year 2000 or earlier.

A few mental notes I made from this process:

1) How many baggy utilitarian t-shirts does a person I really need? Saving clothes in the hope of wearing them on the one day a year you paint the bathroom or clean out the garage is a pitfall. It’s really a magnet for saving ugly clothes that need to be tossed.  I give myself an allowance of one pair of ugly pants and five t-shirts, which I suspect is still about three too many.

2) The clothes that I feel good in fit exceptionally well. However, good fit is harder to achieve in this new body of mine. It’s something I am going to have to work harder at when I shop. Also, it’s time  to find a good, inexpensive tailor.

3) Buying things on sale can really work against me, encouraging me to overlook the flaws of an item in the name of finding a bargain. Then it sits in the closet taking up space.

Speaking of sales reminds me – it’s time to go shopping. I need to replace some wardrobe essentials that I tossed, like slim (but not hoochy tight) black pants for going out at night. I also came across a few items that I have never worn because I can’t complete the outfit.  Now for the real challenge – shopping for attractive clothing that is compatible with taking care of small children.

But that is a topic for another day…

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