So I finally got around to purging my closet the other day.  It’s been gnawing at the back of my mind for a few months, mostly… well, because I’ve expanded slightly, and things that should be wearable, aren’t.  It felt good to sort through everything and make some decisions.  Ruthless decisions, I might add.  Garments were sorted into “doesn’t-fit-and-I don’t-care” for giving away; “doesn’t-fit-but-it-may-before-I-die-so-I’ll-keep-it-because-I-really-like-it”; and “alterations required”.

This is my “keep” pile.keepI confess to never wearing two of the three silk blouses in this pile.  But I like them, and maybe they’ll be wanted someday.  Most of what’s in this pile has been blogged in the previous couple of years.  But it doesn’t fit either my lifestyle or me these days, so it’s going into storage.  I just can’t part with garments that I’m proud of from a construction point of view.  Perhaps they’ll be used again in future….

This is the “alteration” pile.  Only six garments made it into this lot.

alter pileI can’t part with Liberty fabrics, so I’ll be changing up the ‘Bea’ dress on the left.  It’s got about 2 yards of fabric in the skirt, so I’m sure to remake it into something useful.  The ‘Hurren’ dress still fits, surprisingly.  I didn’t wear this at all last year, but, again, it’s Liberty, and I just can’t bear to part with it!  I’ll probably shorten it by 3 inches and change up the sash/belt.  The batik dress… I’m so in love with the fabric that I must find a way to use it again, albeit a small amount (about 1 yard total).  And on the right is the McCardell dress. I intend to remake the skirt, which has about 2 yards of fabric in it, again. The dirndl look isn’t flattering anymore. And two silk blouses that need a remake or slight tweaking.  Again, it’s the fabric that’s calling to me….

I sent one very large bag out of the house with no regrets.  I’m strangely exuberant about all this sorting.  The doesn’t-fit collection has been making me miserable for a long time, knowing the garments don’t suit lifestyle or me right now, and it feels good to get them out of sight (and mind) and open up some space for new garments.  It also gives me ‘permission’ of a sort to add to my wardrobe, something with which I struggle, since I really am trying to be driven by necessity for the most part, not want, in my effort to be economically and (I like to think) globally mindful…. in my own small way.

Don’t get me wrong!  I love to dress up and “feel oh, so pretty”, but seriously…. there’s not a place to go. It brings to mind a series of billboards from about a decade ago here in my local city, for one of the larger malls.  They consisted of a young mom all dolled up perfectly in pretty dresses, makeup and stilettos, cleaning a toilet, crawling on the floor after a toddler and changing the oil in her car.   As much as I’d like to dress like the ladies who lunch all day, it’s completely impractical and unnecessary for my lifestyle.  It’s taken a long time to let go of wanting to dress up all the time.  I have always been the overdressed person at “______________” (pick a function), because I like dressing up.  And I confess to finding some kinds of materialistic excess pretty and attractive (who doesn’t like a shoe collection? the latest makeup look? another bag?) but very irresponsible, and, (finally) quite unnecessary.  I don’t need a new wardrobe every season.  I love to build clothes that will last, not wear out or be dated in 5 years.  But this means collecting if I’m going to keep sewing, and my conscience bugs me about what it calls ‘hoarding’ sometimes.closet

So…. all that to say, I’m happy with the holes in my wardrobe!  Between my rather empty closet and Me-Made-May ’15, I’d say there’s plenty of incentive to shop my stash and get sewing me-mades that fit both me and my life.

*If you’d like to join in, click on the image above.  It’s linked to the sign-up post over at SoZoWhatDoYouKnow.

18 thoughts on “Purging

  1. Need is such a good inspirational push isn’t it? Well done for getting rid of stuff that isn’t necessary anymore – I love that you’ve kept things you are proud of. May sewing inspiration get your fingers tingling, sewing machines whirring and filling your wardrobe spaces with beautiful new pieces you can wear everyday :).

  2. Good for you! a closet clean-out every now and again is so good for the soul – especially when you are purging things that make you sad because they don’t fit; it’s the worst seeing a ‘full’ closet that has nothing to wear in it. Your closet is still a lot fuller than mine – but I have to purge my dresser soon; it’s a little overstuffed 😛

  3. Good for you! It’s still on my list of things to do but spring is definitely the time to clear out. It’s hard to part with things you’ve made though, isn’t it?

  4. Good for you! I always thought the beginning of the year was good time for a clean start. We just cleaned up all the clothes in our house and packed everything useable off to the charity/second hand store and it was a wonderful feeling for us all! It’s nice to look into a lean closet and know that everything in there fits!

  5. I just finished a purge of the closet too, then did my fabric stash. I’m one of the many who read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and my back is feeling the effects. I’m also frequently dressed up a little more than everyone else, but not ready to give up skirts and dresses. At least in summer a dress can look more casual.

  6. I read your post a few hours ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it. Your thoughts regarding needing vs. wanting and being mindful about not bathing in excess really resonate with me – albeit in a theoretical way. I am oh so bad at restricting consumption although I know about the negative implications of waste/excess and I really admire you for getting to grips with this problem. I’m still behind you there…

    1. Thanks, Chris. This has been a rather unwanted lesson. I confess that the needing vs. wanting has for most of my life not been a thought in my head. I would get if I wanted, regardless of need. However, after years of being constantly reminded to ‘come down to reality’, I think I finally understand, and so now the need/want divide is foremost in my mind. Which is why, although I would otherwise be working harder to fit into the clothes I currently own, I am quite happy to have an excuse to make new ones. 😀 I just hope I can stay grounded and not go off on another overdressed tangent! Haha!

  7. This is a task that I am not good at, and I envy your lean closet. I have also had some fit issues with my clothing that are disheartening. I’m sure I would feel better if I at least pared down my wardrobe, if I can’t do so with my body 😉

    Did you ever consider that everyone else was underdressed and you were dressed appropriately?

    1. Perhaps…. but one gets tired of always being overdressed, so I’ve decided to tone it down a bit. Y’know…. to blend into the crowd. 😀

      1. I wonder the same thing… maybe us classy ladies need to get together and start a fashion revolution… why should we feel uncomfortable in skirts and dresses when it’s the sweatpants-wearers that should feel bad? LOL

  8. This is my first visit here, but you seem to have wonderfully-coordinating fabrics working for you. Congrats on sending away the things that don’t work for you and making space for new.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Beth! I do love a certain palette, which helps with coordination. And doing SWAPs is useful (although I’ve only ever completed one… well, half of one!).

  9. Removing clothes that don’t fit you or your lifestyle creates a vacancy that will be filled up with “wonderful”. I recently did this too along with fabrics I bought with no particular purpose in mind and if 10 years down the line, they never got used…they get to be given away. It’s a great feeling to re-purpose to someone else’s stash or thrift store. Good for you!

    1. Wow. I never thought about my stash. That’s a good one, albeit not a street I’m quite ready to walk down yet! But I do need to STOP ADDING to it. 😉


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