Sunday, July 29, 2012

Proof is in the trash bags

It has taken me most of the weekend (and four oversize trash bags), but I've finished cleaning out my wardrobe.  I still have a bit of a closet to do, but after two days of this I need a break.  Yesterday I went through all of the pants and skirts, and by the end of it I was a little loopy.  When you start thinking of things like "these were the pants I had on when I got that speeding ticket," it's probably time to take a break.  I have to say, it was also kind of emotional.  Surprisingly so.  It was hard to get rid of some of the pants, knowing that they were my "favorites" at a certain size, but I tried to stay pretty ruthless and not keep anything that I currently can't wear (unless it's too small and something to work towards). I admit a lot of what I wanted to keep, my favorites, were like clinging to a sense of security, knowing those favorites were the clothes I would most likely wear when sad, or because they did the best job of hiding me. 

This afternoon I went ahead and went through all of my dresses, suits, and blazers.  These have lived in a section of the wardrobe that are hard to get to, behind a chair, and I rarely wear any of them.  I kept a few of the wool pieces to use as craft parts, immediately discarded a lot of the suits and blazers based on style (hello loud red plaid!) and then enlisted Matt's very critical help to decide which of the dresses to keep.  I had a very interesting mix of far too old of a style (very frumpy) and far too young.  I have a handful of things left, as evidenced by the photo proof I've shared.  I really really struggled with keeping things out of sentimentality, and kept just a few things - the dress I wore to our wedding rehearsal (which fits again), a sweater with fond Valentine's memories, the kimonos my dad brought me back from his travels. I've moved the dresses into the skirt/pant wardrobe (and my jeans over into the sweater storage I weeded previously) and my plan moving forward is to move my sewing fabric into that rarely used section and out from under our bed. 

I guess I was surprised at how long it would take, and how emotional it was.  To really face the reality that I had so many clothes, and so few of them were flattering.  So much of what I had wasn't based on a style choice, but more on a "well, this fits, it covers me, and won't draw attention to me."  I found ridiculous clothes - sweaters with shoulder pads, a pair of jeans with a loop like painter's pants, lots of appliques, lots of embroidery.  I found clothes from more than one store that doesn't exist anymore.  (I'm sorry Casual Corner that I was too fat to help keep you in business.)  And I found that I was able to unpack all of my "skinny" clothes from the last time I lost weight and try them all on.  Some surprisingly, can be rotated into my wardrobe now.  Some are so painfully out of style they're going away.  And some I'm still not quiet comfortable with how they fit, but I'm getting there. 

So two other pictures:  The one on the left is me wearing a pair of jeans that were the highest size in my closet.  The one on the right is me wearing a pair of cords that are the smallest size.  They fit, but I think they're a little tighter than I'm comfortable with.  But it's not like I'm going to need cords in August. 

Now that I'm done, (Well not quite, I still need to do a closet.) I have to admit that I'm worried. Or overwhelmed.  Right now I'm still able to shop in the plus sized stores I've shopped at since well, I moved out of my parents' house and started to buy my own clothes.  I have a very small handful of clothes from a few non-plus stores.  Very small.  Most of those clothes are from stores who carry plus clothes in the regular stores (Dress Barn, Target, Old Navy).  Right now I'm not at the point I need any new clothes.  And I know I'm putting the cart before the horse, but in 10 more, or 20 more pounds, I'm going to need clothes.  And it scares me to think of even where to start. 

1 comment:

  1. This resonates so deeply for me - the connection between clothes and body image and mental state. Shopping terrifies me, in part because I'm not where I want to be, physically, but I need to dress *this body*. And I don't want to hide or cover up - I want to dress well & be well dressed. (Which are not quite the same in my head.) So - basically - i hear you. I think we need a support group for shopping.