Spring is about to “spring” on us, at least down here in North Carolina. The days and nights are getting warmer and the heavy winter coats, sweaters, slacks and tops are no longer needed. This is the time of year I start putting away my heaviest winter clothes and hesitantly bring out the spring, cooler clothes.
I do the totally opposite in fall and then winter when the temperatures begin to change again in the opposite direction. There is always a hesitancy about doing this “changing of the guard” too early. One doesn’t want to have all of the previous season’s clothes put away, in case there is a cold snap or a heat wave that is out of sync with the present weather conditions. So a few favored clothes from the departing season are left folded up in the chest of drawers, where they can be accessed easily if needed.
So yesterday as I was putting away the heaviest of clothes I was shocked and appalled at the massive number of winter long sleeve tops, heavy sweaters, and pants that I have accumulated over the years. Although I have to admit that I was thrilled that I could wear the same size clothes from several years back.
At one time I needed more than just casual blue jeans during the gall and winter months. Nicer looking clothes were appropriate since I was volunteering at a local chamber of commerce on a daily basis and I had a small photography business. I figured I needed some nice clothes to be seen as a business woman and a volunteer. Okay, that was three years ago.
Why am I keeping so many clothes now that I have closed my business and moved to another town? Shamefacedly I have to admit that I went through many of my clothes two years ago when I moved into my condo. But uncertainty of what my life would be like once I got settled in, caused me to hold on to more clothes than I donated. Well, I hope to volunteer again in a newly opened local fair trade store near me. But I would only be working one to two three hour days a week at the most. So I really don’t need all of these clothes.
It’s not like I bought everything at one time. Rather they were purchased and lasted more years than I had expected. (Probably because I rotated through them so rarely.) I really don’t need so many clothes now that I am retired. So why do I still have plastic bins full of clothes from different seasons?
Well, I figure some of them will wear out eventually. But then I have to admit I do enjoy shopping for clothes. I don’t buy expensive clothes, but rather clothes in the style I like whether they are popular of not. So again why do I have so many clothes for all seasons? The old ones don’t get worn enough to wear out fast enough to balance with the influx of new clothes coming in.
Suddenly my mind sees millions of homeless people and people with little or no clothing to wear and I feel guilty. Okay I will go through these clothes and donate the ones from this closing season but wait, everyone else is doing this too. Donation centers will be barraged with tons of gently worn, no longer wanted winter clothes. So I will wait till next year at the start of winter to donate a lot of clothes to help others. Right now I can go through the clothes I am about to put out for spring and help other people now. Then when I unpack the fall and winter things next season I will donate from them. That should be a good start.
What do clothes mean to me that I have such a collection and enjoy shopping for them, even though I don’t go out much where I can dress up? I remember that my parents were very close on money when I was old enough to like looking pretty in something new. Later in elementary school I remembered feeling like I was less attractive than the other girls who wore well designed and more expensive clothes. But there is something deeper hidden in my psyche about clothes.
When I was newly married my husband told me I dressed frumpy. For a while he helped me pick out clothes to dress a little more stylishly. But he got tired of shopping but more importantly, I finally realized something. Clothes, colors, styles and types of clothing I wore were really one way I had of expressing myself. If I felt happy, I wore bright colors in winter and pastels in spring. If I were staying at home, I wore my jeans all the time. A woman does need to have a selection to choose from after all.
I also discovered that I had good taste in clothes after studying magazines and developing an eye for colors and styles.
But there is more to the styles of clothes that appeal to me.
I think it is the excitement of shopping and finding something that really calls out to me as being something I would feel nice, attractive or pretty in. Perhaps we women are still hunters at heart and enjoy the hunting of a good deal? I do love seeing prices marked down form $69 to $20. Just think of all the money I saved!
So maybe I have so many clothes because I circulate the clothes through wearing a larger variety of them. I buy clothes that I like because I can express my personality through their colors and styles. Saving money is a definite plus in choosing fashions. The colors and styles also have an affect on my mood and sometimes the way other perceive me.
So even though all of these things are true, I still need to weed out some of the extra clothes that I rarely wear but if I see something that really calls to me, I will buy it if I can and refill my closet! This is a never ending cycle!! Clothing in, clothing out!
Yea! I inspired myself. I have a load of clothes to donate for spring and later summer! So this blog accomplished something. I actually packed donatable fall and winter clothes in a storage bin for next fall.
Wonderful, next season I can buy some more new clothes!