Purging: Not for the faint of heart

Over the last few weeks, I have spent much of my weekend (and some school days too) trying to purge the 20+ year collection of gorgeous clothes, shoes, accessories and plain old stuff – some expensive, some not so much so – from all of the closets I have monopolized for almost nine years.

Deep down I always knew it, but I forced myself to really confront the fact that I have a deep emotional connection to clothing and shoes.

While not being quite on the level that some might call “hoarding,” I have saved a lot of items that I knew I’d never wear again simply because it brought me joy knowing they were still mine.

I’d get such a sense of nostalgia when I travel down memory lane to a time when I’d wore them, remembered fondly who I was with and/or perhaps what the special occasion was when I wore them last.

Take for instance these square-toed, strappy, satin sandals. These great sandals went on a serious wedding world tour the summer of 1999. I think I attended nine weddings just that summer and perhaps 13 for the calendar year. These go-to satin sandals were the perfect way to show off my summer tan and manicured toenails, not to mention they went with every one of my LBDs!

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Another pair of black shoes I’ve had a problem parting with are these super cool patent platform slingbacks. Seriously, look at those cool heels! I bought these specifically for a girls’ trip to Vegas. I wore them to dinner at Michael Mina, in the front row of Cirque de Soleil’s “Love” show and for bottle service at Tryst. This was such a fun (and dare I say glamorous) weekend with one of my absolute favorite traveing companions, I just can’t help reminiscing every time I lay eyes on them.

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This little black (do you see a pattern here?!) Ralph Lauren number is NOT going anywhere. This is probably my all-time favorite dress. You wanna know why? Because I don’t have to wear a stitch of clothing underneath it, and you can’t even tell. That’s not to say I don’t, but going bra-less these days is a hard-to-come-by thrill in my middle age. And I have worn it at every size. It shows and hides all the right parts simultaneously. Definitely a keeper.

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This jean jacket is also tough for me. There’s not so much sentimental value as much as I just like certain things about it that would be hard to replace. The cut is perfect – cinches in for a great shape. The color is perfect – it’s the ideal shade of washed-out dark-ish denim. The style is perfect – not too western, not too glam. The sleeves and collar fold up and stand up perfectly – probably because… there is no stretch. This is the downside. It’s not super comfortable when you can’t really bend your arms! I haven’t made an executive decision on this one yet. Thoughts?

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I wanted a cotton, lace blouse my whole life… O-kay, maybe just for a few years. I chose this one with a matching snap-in cami underneath thinking I’d dress it down with nude sandals and jeans, but it just doesn’t fit right. I even had it altered once, and I don’t think the new tailor got my drift because it still doesn’t fit right in the shoulder seams. So that has thrown off the rest of the blouse altogether. I may take a risky stab at fixing this myself, but the chances are likely that it won’t be good for anyone when I’m done with it.

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These little totes are just cute. And personalized. My oldest son was just nine months old when we met some friends off the coast of South Carolina for a lovely week on Kiawah Island. My dear friend had these made for my son and I and packed them with snacks, sunscreen, lip balm, toys and more. While they have proven too small for my now three sons and myself to tote along all of the stuff (read junk!) we lug to and from the pool, I haven’t been able to part with them. If you know of an “Amy” and a “Jackson” that would make better use of them, hit me up!

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Some other items in my rather large to-go pile were a black, satin formal from BCBG that I wore to a black-tie wedding in D.C., a white and silver mod-ish dress, a crazy-expensive black sateen suit that I splurged on and only wore to funerals, a champagne-colored Calvin Klein skirt and some duchess satin pants that were so hard to put in my donate or consign piles. Anyone else have an emotional connection with something (or seemingly everything) like I do?

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4 thoughts on “Purging: Not for the faint of heart

  1. I would have a hard time parting with “Amy” and “Jackson”… And send me the jean jacket 💗.
    I just tossed my freshman high school yearbook, but I am not giving up my crib skirt that I had custom made (11 years ago). Green toile. Still brings me joy.
    Get rid of what doesn’t make you feel good, and keep the joy.

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