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 less likely to be needed. This is the time of year I start putting away my heaviest winter clothes and hesitantly bring out the cooler spring clothes.
I do the total 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 at the large quantity 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 had lost enough weight to wear the same size clothes from several years back.)
At one time I needed more than just casual blue jeans during the fall 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 needed to wear nice clothes to be seen as a business woman and a volunteer. Okay, that was 6 years ago.
Why am I keeping so many clothes now that I have closed my business and moved to another town? Shamefacedly I must admit that I went through many of my clothes six years ago when I moved into my condo. But uncertainty about what my life would be like once I got settled in, caused me to hold on to more clothes than I donated. So I now definitely don’t need all of these clothes since my lifestyle has changed.
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 had enough clothes to rotate through them.) 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.
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 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.
Why do clothes mean so much 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 growing up that my parents didn’t have lots of money. Often the new things we did get were hand-me-downs, which were definitely in excellent condition, from my cousins.
Later in elementary school I remembered feeling like I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls who wore popular styles 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. He got tired of shopping with me 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 than 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!
Even if I do make the clothes last longer by having more to circulate through, I also have more variety in colors, styles and match ups. Not to mention that wearing a larger variety of them can make them last longer. Even if I buy clothes often, I can express my personality through their colors, textures and styles. Even though I am spending money I am expressing myself through the colors and styles at discount prices. Clothes are important also as an influence on my mood and sometimes the way others 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!
How do you feel about your clothes and shopping?