Stage 1 - une femme d'un certain âge

Stage 1

Results of first pass at closet purge. Next stop: charity thrift store. *
This was the easy part. All of the never-wore-it/doesn’t-fit/worn-out/wrong-color/someone-else’s-style/meh/will-never-miss-it pieces. The next phase will be much more difficult; I’ll be getting into the wear-it-sometimes/might-wear-it-if-I-lost-more-weight/need-have-an-x-to-go-with-y/not-sure-if-it’s-my-style/will-I-regret-not-having-it-at-some-point layer.
I can tell the shopping ban is going to be tough. I shop, therefore I am.
*No, I’m not getting rid of any Fluevogs, just using the bag. There wasn’t anything in this pass that really was eligible to be accepted at Dress for Success, mostly separates and more casual.
~
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28 Comments

  1. September 14, 2009 / 1:12 pm

    Yes, the next stage will be painful! Especially deciding what to do about things you love, but don’t fit anymore. Giving them up seems like permanently giving up on the weight issue.

  2. September 14, 2009 / 1:34 pm

    Gooood girl! May I suggest putting the what-if clothes in a bag, now that you’re in the groove, leave it for 2 weeks and if you really don’t even think about it, gone? There are ALWAYS clothes out there, not one magic season that if you miss buying, there will never be another. Get rid of what doesn’t fit now- I see it differetly from Rita, it’s not giving up, it’s refusing to beat yourself up.
    Declare victory and enjoy your new palette (and palate).

  3. September 14, 2009 / 1:47 pm

    I’ve been doing some culling like this recently — it’s appalling how cluttered a closet can get, quickly! I know this is a symptom of too-much-shopping, and I hope your example inspires me to hold back.

  4. September 14, 2009 / 3:22 pm

    Still continuing to cull my collection, change of seasons seems to help too.

  5. September 14, 2009 / 3:27 pm

    Wow, you really got right to it. The only downside is now you’ve made room in your closet for more clothes, and you’ve self imposed a shopping ban.

  6. September 14, 2009 / 3:39 pm

    Congratulations! *Does celebratory tribal dance of liberation and cleansing*

  7. September 14, 2009 / 4:44 pm

    Brava! Félicitations!

    I’m wondering if the worthy charity “Dress for Success” might be a bit too narrowly corporate in what they accept as interview and working wardrobes. I’m not the only contemporary woman who rarely has to look corporate but OFTEN has to look “well-dressed”, in somewhat casual clothes that don’t look too bedraggled, as we are inclined to let them get if we are short on money and/or working at home.

  8. September 14, 2009 / 4:54 pm

    It is hard isn’t it and my rule of thumb is designer/high end purchase stay – anything else doesn’t matter. so that’s really most of my things!!

  9. September 14, 2009 / 5:22 pm

    Rita – I’m actually working up some thoughts about the giving up vs. giving in conundrum.

    Duchesse – you’re so right. Most of what I’ve kept is classic enough that it won’t look dated in a year, so hopefully I won’t feel like I’m missing much if I pass on some attractive pieces this season. So much of my buying is fear-based (“I’ll *never* find pants that fit this well again!”) and I need to work myself out of that mindset.

  10. September 14, 2009 / 5:24 pm

    materfamilias – I’ll do my best to be a good example. 😉

    Sal – no way! Love those Fluev’s so much!

    La Belette Rouge – no, actually this stage was quite easy and liberating. Nothing is calling my name. I fell like I can breathe in my closet again.

  11. September 14, 2009 / 5:28 pm

    Nancy – we’ll still be seeing summer weather for the next several weeks here, but I imagine that would make it easier to cull the herd, or at least pack up last season’s stuff to store.

    Belle – but room in my closet feels good right now. I’m better able to assess what I have and don’t get quite as overwhelmed with choices when getting dressed in the morning.

    LPC – thank you! I know that dance well!

  12. September 14, 2009 / 5:34 pm

    lagatta – I’m going to do a post about Dress for Success soon, but yes, what they really want are interview suits, and I have only one true “suit” left, which I’m hanging on to.

    Make Do Style – other than a few handbags, I really don’t have much of anything that I’d consider “designer” (most designer clothing doesn’t fit me) so that does make it a bit easier. At least with designer stuff, when you do decide to move it out, there’s always e-bay.

    Frugal Scholar – I’ll confess, I’m intending the “ban” as more of trying to incorporate a different mindset than creating an unforgiving standard to live up do. You’re absolutely right about diets and the binges that always follow. I’m giving myself permission to shop when we go to Paris, but after that I really do want to challenge myself to live with what I have for a few months, and try to make smarter purchases in the future.

  13. September 14, 2009 / 8:22 pm

    Sher – it made a dent for sure. Hope to make a bigger one next weekend! It’s nice to have some space between the hangers.

    metscan – nothing culled this time was really worth listing…mostly shirts and pants. However the next round will probably yield up a jacket or two.

  14. katriona
    September 14, 2009 / 9:42 pm

    WOW! I pay homage, big time, to your cull— watching a recent TV series on hoarding made me stare into the depths of my closet for a long, thoughtful time, but I still haven’t done anything yet. Maybe your excellent example will supply me with the Mojo I need to get rid of the congestion. Thankyou.

  15. Sal
    September 14, 2009 / 2:56 pm

    Thank goodness you’re not ditching any Fluevs. Nearly had a heart attack. 😉

  16. La Belette Rouge
    September 14, 2009 / 3:09 pm

    Good for you!!That is a lot of stuff. Was it hard? Any thing that once in the bag was calling your name?

  17. September 14, 2009 / 10:59 pm

    Phase two will be harder. That’s where I’m at too, and i don;t know what to do about it!

  18. Frugal Scholar
    September 14, 2009 / 5:14 pm

    I admire your progress with this. I am in a continual decluttring mode.

    But I wonder of shopping bans may be a bad idea?? Kind of like diets that ban certain foods…I’ve never dieted (too undisciplined, I guess), but have watched my mother and others for many years and it seems to me that diets make you eat more. Or at least crave more. Shopping bans may have the same effect.

    Perhaps–as in eating–healthy shopping would be better than an outright ban.

    Of course, figuring out what healthy shopping is is the hard part–in this age of low prices, bargains, and so on.

  19. Frugal Scholar
    September 14, 2009 / 5:15 pm

    erghhhh–sorry about all the typos. Sticky keyboard and bad skills….

  20. Sher
    September 14, 2009 / 5:50 pm

    Looks like you made a big dent in our closet. Think of it this way, your other items have more breathing space and won’t get wrinkled 😉

  21. metscan
    September 14, 2009 / 7:06 pm

    Oh, so many bags ! Are you placing anything in `The emotional baggage´compartment ? My ban is starting tomorrow, got the last items today. I will be following you closely ;). When are you starting ?

  22. September 15, 2009 / 2:49 am

    Congratulations – good work! Keep it up.

    Our local Fitted for Work/dress for success charity doesn’t just want suits. but any sort of pant or skirt – not all job interviews need suits these days – give them a call and find out.

  23. September 15, 2009 / 12:15 pm

    Imogen, I’m glad to hear that. There is NO interview for a job, contract or project I’ve attended recently at which a matched suit would even have been appropriate. Of course this doesn’t apply to every sector – banking, for example, remains far more conservative – but there are many fields that require looking “chic” but not too staid. Especially for middle-aged jobseekers!

    Dress for success is a worthy charity, but I’m wondering whether they aren’t a bit conservative and out of step with the current job market and its dress and grooming requirements. The fact that our chic pseu only owns one matching suit is evidence of this.

  24. September 15, 2009 / 7:21 pm

    Congrats on this step and good luck with the next.

    I know you mentioned you’re still having summer weather (same here). Though most of my clothing is multi-season since I layer a lot, I went ahead and pulled the ok-for-a-few-more-weeks stuff and put it in one spot.

    That improved my ability to focus on what I have ready for fall-winter work/smart casual. To do *that* I separated out my (depressingly small) colored items from my larger bank of neutrals, even if some of those items were only for dressier events or very cold weather.

    Then I snapped a pic of the colored stuff to (hopefully!) aid me in being more objective about color combos. As a bonus it’s reassuring me that the 4 new pieces I have coming will integrate well. As a downside it’s made me realize I have a lot more pill-y sweaters and duct-taped hems that I’d thought, sigh.

    Since you are looking at color and/or possible trip purchases, thought I’d mention the split I’d done. [And of course if you had size variations you could quarantine by fit as well.]

  25. September 15, 2009 / 11:40 pm

    katriona – have you tried starting small, just clearing out items that may be permanently stained, have irreparable wear and tear? Or just working on one type of item, such as blouses, at a time? Sometimes looking at the closet as a whole can be overwhelming. I have mine arranged in sections and work on one section at a time.

    princess freckles – I’m going to give myself a few weeks for phase II and just do a little bit each week. There will be far fewer items cleared in this phase, but they will require more thought and deliberation.

    Imogen – actually I checked their website and our local DFS chapter is closed right now, moving their offices. But so little of what I cleared out this time was workwear, it’s not really worth putting aside to make a special trip once the office reopens.

  26. September 15, 2009 / 11:42 pm

    lagatta – their website does specify that they want suits, but once the local chapter reopens, I’ll call them to find out if that’s still the case.

    Vix – that sounds like a very organized and methodical way to go about it!

  27. September 19, 2009 / 1:31 pm

    Shefaly – it’s interesting how “clutter” can be relative.

    If you can send me an e-mail, I’d love to plan where and when to meet up!

  28. Shefaly
    September 19, 2009 / 12:06 pm

    DejaPseu: I want to be inspired by this. I have begun to notice clutter even in my pared down wardrobe. Mainly because I only ever wear a few things. I draw much courage from your post! (And looking forward to hearing of your Oct/ Paris dates so I can figure a date to get on the train to come see you).

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