Columbus Day weekend is upon us and I always use the three day weekend to do some closet transitioning putting away the strappy sandals and sundresses to make way for woolens and boots. Even though I know the New England weather will bring its fair share of warm weather still into mid-October, this time of year is perfect to start the change over to fall and (dare I say!) winter clothing.
Except this year, the changing of the closets brings on a whole new meaning.
In an effort to honor the body I have right now, I’m going to be doing some serious purging of the clothes. At the end of last winter, I had a handful of pants and skirts that were snug that I put away in hopes that by the beginning of this cooler weather season, I would fit in them again. I don’t even have to try them on to know this is not true. I have already started slowly sifting through these piles of clothes I had hoped to fit into and bringing them to girlfriends who will love them ( and fit in them!), consignment or Salvation Army. It feels good to get rid of the stuff that lies around. Taking them out of the closet was an important step to begin with- seeing them there was not motivating me in the way that I had hoped, but mocked me everyday to remind me of what size I wasn’t.
The changing of the closets this time around also is about getting rid of clothes, shoes, purses, etc. that just aren’t part of my lifestyle any more. I don’t need small tiny cocktail purses in six different colors because I don’t go out anywhere near as much as I used to, and super rarely to a place that I dress up so much that I want a purse to compliment my outfit. Those six or seven rhinestone studded low-cut tops have not been worn since senior year of college, but somehow they have stayed in my closet all these years. In the opposite vein, I should not buy any more lounge pants or sweaters to hang around in the house in- while I do spend far more time at home than I used to, a different sweatshirt and lounge pants is not required for each day. I’m really trying to pare down my wardrobe into the things I love and wear and keep the special items that are really awesome- I’m definitely trying to make it about quality not quantity.
In the past year of tight budgets and watching my bottom line, my shopping habits have changed. I don’t go out at the beginning of every season to pick up the latest trends- I’ve actually started shopping at the END of each season to get an item I need so I get stuff on clearance. This lack of shopping has caused some wear and tear on some favorited items and I will be sad to see those go, but I’m also learning that to feel my best, I have to look the part, and wearing a pilled, discolored sweater that looks tired and worn out will not make me feel like Super Woman.
The biggest change in the closets is a weird one- I now have more flat-ish shoes than super heels. I recently realized I owned only 2 pairs of work appropriate shoes to bring me into the new season, and both of those have seen better days. Last Saturday I picked up 3 new pairs of work shoes for a great bargain at Famous Footwear. For the first time maybe ever in my life, they were all flats, two made by Naturalizer, who, I can admit, I previously associated as a brand that my mom and aunt wore (sorry gals!) But these three pairs of shoes are CUTE ( a pair in pewter, one in black, one in brown), are work and weekend appropriate for pants or dresses, and ARE SUPER COMFORTABLE. It’s definitely a sign of the times for me; after many many years of this 5 foot 2 inch woman wearing 4 inch high heels, my feet, hips, and Achilles tendon hurt just enough after a day in high heels for me to realize I need more flats in my life. I previously associated this with feeling or looking old, being frumpy, or just plain lazy to not make the commitment to heels all the time.
I’m not sure if the change is just because the pain is becoming more obvious to me now than before ( or less bearable perhaps?) or just because I realize how impractical running around a museum carrying a 50 pound painting is with a pair of stilettos. Needless to say, the changing of my closets reflects a change in my thinking about how I see myself and how I perceive others to see me- I guess I’m “growing up!”