Friday, August 21, 2009

Cleaning Out the Closet

I used to revel in shopping for clothes. Each year for Christmas, I would ask my parents for money and then hit the outlets and malls on December 26th to take advantage of the after-holiday sales. I'd spend most of my gift money on my wardrobe.

Somewhere along the line, that changed. I don't mind the process now, but to me it's become a bit of a pain. Not agonizing, but not particularly enjoyable either.

I think the inflection point was when I started buying the next size up. I had been gradually putting on a pound or two, and reached the point where the decision to buy bigger pants was easier than the dedication to losing weight.

Yesterday, I decided that it's time to clean out the closet. Purge the unfashionable. Rid myself of the pants and shirts and sweatshirts that just aren't doing it for me any more. Usually I undertake this process when I realize that my closet is too full and I have run out of wood hangers, which was the case once again.

What's great about this particular closet cleaning is that I'm 25 pounds lighter today than when I bought some of these clothes. Usually, I have to rid myself of the tight jeans. This time, it's the opposite. In fact, I kept a handful of slacks from my last closet cleaning "just in case" they would fit again someday. Now, they do. Comfortably.

There's the enormous polo shirts, both long and wide, the short sleeves touching my elbows. I bought them to conceal the belly and cared little that they were too large elsewhere. Today, they just look silly. Into the pile.

There's the four flannel shirts, hidden deep in the back of my closet, once go-to items of comfort during casual weekends. My friends tell me that flannel is back this year, so I kept two of them and put the other two in the pile.

There's the cargo pants and khaki pants - big in the waist, big throughout the leg, even a bit long on me. It looks like I'm swimming in these, and far fatter. I remember when a few of these waists didn't even button, so the fact that I can button them and then pull them right off without unbuttoning them is simply awesome. Thank you, large pants, for keeping me decent during my chubby days. Into the pile.

There's the college sweatshirts. Seriously. I have these for sheer nostalgia. I even tried one of them on yesterday, looked at myself in the mirror, realized that it looked enormous on me and that I'm almost half a life away from when I bought it. Into the pile.

There's the button down short sleeved shirts. When I worked in radio, I saw many people wearing these kinds of shirts at conventions. They were usually middle-aged and had bellies. Somewhere along the line, I picked up a few and thought they looked good. Today, they just seem awkward, at least on me. I'm keeping two of them that probably won't make the next closet purge. The rest of them? Into the pile.

Then there's the button down long sleeved shirts, mostly striped, and of many colors. Too many colors. What was I thinking when I bought these? Seriously? Into the pile.

I still have to thin the pile of denim today and bring everything over to a donation center. Part of me feels bad for donating the less fashionable to the less fortunate, but I'm reminded that one man's trash is another man's treasure.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Keep the college sweatshirt. Cut off the sleeves and neck. The 80s are bound to come back and you'll need that Halloween costume...or just a workout shirt. :-)