Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Purge Project Part 2: The Hot Mess Express

 I've always loved clothes. For as long as I can remember, I've been into dressing up, fashion trends, and experimenting with fashion. As a kid, I got yelled at for using all of the tape and newspapers in the house to make paper dresses. 
Matching visor, shorts, and socks? Pink My Little Pony purse? Plaid skirt with bows?
Pulling. It. Off.

In high school, I tore through the Salvation Army and thrift stores searching for one-of-a-kind pieces. I even looked into the Savannah College of Art and Design for fashion design, but it was too expensive. I don't love all of my past fashion choices, but I've loved trying it all!
Let's just NOT talk about vests. 
When I was a teacher, my favorite compliments about my clothes were, "Oh, Ms. H! My daughter stops by your room every day just to see what you're wearing. She loves your style!"
"Ms. H, I act better in your class 'cuz you dress like you care."
and even
"Ms H. you look like a JCPenny catalog lady today." (I responded with, "Thanks?" The kid said it was a compliment. I'll take it.)

My love of fashion was instilled in me at a young age by my beautiful mother, who has always looked flawless. I would spend hours trying on her dresses, shoes, and jewelry. Good thing I got to play with her clothes when I was young, because I quickly trumped her tiny Filipina size by the end of fifth grade.
Wilma makes late 80s fashion look damn good. I don't know if I ever have or will look that good.
I just wanted to give excuses a little background about how I got to be a clothes hoarder. It's my mom's fault! 
No it's not. It's mine. 
Now. The second clothing purge:
The Hubs was out of town for this explosion of stuff that spread throughout the house. He would NOT have been a happy camper if he'd stayed around that weekend. 
After the first purge, I took every piece of clothing and pair of shoes that was left and put it in a pile:
I'm about a third of the way through the pile in this picture. Hannah is helping. 
Then I tried on every piece of clothing that I didn't 100% love. 
The piles of clothes in these pictures are the rejects.

I gained some new insight into myself as I spent 3+ hours trying on every piece of clothing I owned:
1. My body has changed since became more athletic.
Swimming has made the shape of my shoulders thicker 
Biking has made the shape of my legs different. 
None of the clothes that I was holding onto for when I finally "got to my goal weight" would even fit me if I ever reached said goal weight. I mean, I looked like the Hulk in some of my old shirts. 
Plus, if we ever have kids my body will probably change again and I will really never, ever fit into those goal weight clothes. 
They had to go. 

2. Blazers just don't look very good on me. It's time to invest in a really, really nice suit or let go of blazers all together. 
The pile of ill-fitting and cheap blazers from my first days of teaching had to go. 

3. I'm tall-- DUH. How about I stop buying pants that aren't made for tall people? 
The pants that I had to pull down every time I stood up had to go.

4. When you have big boobs, you just can't get shirts with high collars that cover your collar bone. It's not a good look. I can't explain it and I don't want to post a picture because I'm already doing enough revealing of my insecurities by posting the before pictures of my junk room. Let's just say the result of a high collared shirt on a busty gal is a mix of frumpy and saggy. 
Those shirts had to go. 

5. On the big boobs thing... button down shirts don't work and I don't know if they ever will. I need to let go of the idea that button down shirts=professionalism unless I want to invest in a more expensive button down shirt made just for busty gals. 
If I had to safety pin the big boob gap it had to go. 
6. I used to be so proud of saying, "This shirt was only $5!" or "This is designer and it was only $25!" Then I realized that I still had some of those $5 shirts with tags still on them buried in a pile of other $5 and $25 pieces of clothes that were quickly coming apart and/or didn't look good on me. Just because it's cheap or on clearance doesn't mean I have to buy it. Lesson learned, especially when I had the evidence in a hot mess of piles all around me. 
The cheap clothes that didn't look very good on me had to go.

The biggest lesson learned after trying on all of those clothes:
Buy clothes I love that look really, really good on me-- even if they cost a little more, even if they're not on the clearance rack, even if I could get ten $5 shirts for the cost of one good quality shirt that looks good on me and will last for longer than two washes.

Here is the end result of the second purge:
Just like after the first purge, I say seventy pieces of clothing when that was just what was coming off of hangers. It was probably closer to another hundred pieces of clothing and pairs of shoes (plus other random books and trinkets), which brings the grand total of clothing and shoes from my closet purge to something like...
Part of this load went to Goodwill because it was Sunday and nothing else was open. The rest went to my sisters, mom, 360 Degreesand the Free Store in Three Rivers. 

I've read about the regret people feel after purging so much of what they own. 
I have yet to feel that regret. 

I feel free.

I'll be gone for vacation and a business trip over the next week and half, but when I get back, I'll write about organizing what I had left, which was still a lot, but felt manageable. 

Other posts in this series:

1 comment:

BroJoe said...

"There goes my hero. She's ordinary." *bitching guitar solo*

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