The Great Closet Purge of 2014

This morning, I finally did it.

Armed with Justin Timberlake playing through the speakers of my iPad, I finally went into the closet and plucked out the too-big clothes that had been occupying valuable real estate in what I have deemed The Great Closet Purge of 2014.

You see, our closet is so pitifully small that there is hardly room for one person to move around in it once both sides are completely full.  There is no room for things that do not fit.  One requirement of the next place we live is that I have a bona fide walk in closet that I can actually walk into, and that ideally is all mine.  I can’t even put my shoes in my current closet. 😦

But I digress…

These were clothes that I had not been able to wear in quite some time because now, they are too big for me.

As I was rifling through the clothes in the closet, I had a couple of realizations:

  • When I wore sizes 28-32, I often bought things because they fit and not because they looked particularly good or were flattering.
  • The fabrics that larger sizes are made from are not always flattering and are what might be referred to as “easy care.”   No dry cleaning required.

Going through my closet, I found many things that still had tags on them that had never been worn.  I think the reason that this stuff never got worn is that when I was in the store buying the clothes, they looked good to my mind’s eye, but once I got them home, I put them in the closet and forgot they were there.  Did I subconsciously forget them because in my heart, they really weren’t all that great looking on me?  Or what?  Regardless, I think I might try to sell those things since they are brand new and have never been worn.

Navigating a world where I now have so many more fashion choices has been tricky, but I’m learning to be a little more critical and choosy with what I buy to clothe myself, now that I can be more choosy.  When you wear plus sizes, you’re already limited to shopping at certain stores, or certain sections of the store.  And that’s if you’re lucky enough to wear a 12-24.  If you wear anything bigger than a 24, you are unceremoniously dismissed to the hinterlands to buy clothes–most often online, where you can’t try things on, returns cost money because you can’t return them to a brick and mortar store, and where the clothes can be pretty unflattering.

I’m glad to be out of those sizes for good for multiple reasons:

  1. I love being able to walk into a store, choose something and be able to try it on to decide if I like it or not.
  2. I like having choices in fabric.  Not all of us look good in stretch polyester tops, pants or dresses.  That fabric is flattering to no one.
  3. When I wore bigger sizes, I confined myself to solids in dark colors and clothes that really weren’t terribly flattering to the shape of my body.

After I dropped off a few pairs of pants at the tailor this evening, I commented to my husband that one of the things I noticed about wearing smaller clothes is that now a lot more of my clothing is dry clean only.  This was a cost of smaller clothing I never thought about incurring, but it’s one I’m glad to take on.  If it means I can wear a pair of lined wool pants or a nice dress to work, I’ll gladly pay a cleaner to clean those things instead of being stuck wearing knit pants and a polyester shirt that I can just toss in the washing machine without much thought.  I’m starting to connect some dots that I’d never really thought about before:  the investment and care I put into my clothes reflects the investment and care I put into me.  And because I’m investing a great deal of time and money into self-care, I want my outside to match my inside.  People don’t see my inside; they see my outside, and I want to make sure they see the best outside I can show them daily.

I want what I present to the world to project a certain image.  And I want that image to say “She is unafraid of challenge.  She is assertive.  She is brilliant.  She is worthy.”  I like to think I choose clothing that says that.  I wear horizontal stripes–you know, what “they” say fat girls should NEVER wear.  I wear bright colors.  I wear polka dots.  I wear fun patterns.  Yes, I have a deep and unabiding love for paisley–don’t judge.

image

A vastly different closet than before, with a mix of colors, patterns, and fabrics.  And yes, horizontal stripes.  Don’t hate.

My outside needs to match my inside and how I feel about myself.  Thus, I invest a lot in my wardrobe.  I like to think that I am a well-dressed fat girl, and that I will continue to be well-dressed as I shrink on down to whatever size my body settles at.  Even if I never get out of plus sizes (and judging by how parts of me are not losing inches–my chest measurements have not changed in 2 months), I will always be stylish and fabulous, because dammit, I can be.

Today’s eating was pretty good:  83 grams of protein, 30 grams carbs and 34 grams fat.  Tomorrow I plan to have leftover beans and a hushpuppy for breakfast as I am going to attempt that stupid AMT trainer at the gym tomorrow and I will be damned if I let it foil me again.  Carb loading is gonna happen before I attack that or any other cardio machine tomorrow.  🙂  And I might just have a salad at the grocery store before we do the shopping for the week.  I am trying to think about what to fix for my lunches for the week so I can cook and pack meals in advance of what looks to be a very busy first week back at work for the new semester.  Maybe some roast bone-in chicken breast and kale?  Hmmm…that actually sounds pretty good!

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Today’s food choices, from upper right: one-egg omelet with ham and cheese; leftover smoked chicken breast and cauliflower gratin; Rudy’s smoked beef tenderloin, ham slice and pinto beans; multivitamin and calcium supplements x2, iron and B12 supplements; vitamin C and D supplements; Trader Joe’s Monterey Jack cheese stick.

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2 responses to “The Great Closet Purge of 2014

  1. I love this post and what it stands for. I studied fashion in college & Really understand the importance of clothing, self-expression and feeling good. Mazel on the purge 🙂

    • Thanks! I never really thought much about the things I wore and how they project a certain image to the rest of the world until now. And I never thought about how important it was for me to dress myself in something that made me feel good about me. 🙂 The purge is nearly complete…just have to haul the big clothes out of the house. That’ll be next weekend.

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