I finally started going through my closet and dresser before Mass on Sunday. It’s a chore I’ve known that was needed, and have avoided, for a long time.
Some (Himself) might say I’m a clothes hog. It’s not that I buy that many new things each season. After all, a girl’s wardrobes needs some refreshing. It’s that I never get rid of anything.
Until about a year ago I had a sweater dress that I bought my freshman year of college. That wouldn’t be so bad if I was thirty and had graduated less than ten years back. But I graduated in ’87 and acquired the dress a few years prior to that! The dress was thirty years old and looked it.
Then there’s the blue sweater I dug out of the back of the dresser. It must have shrunk greatly because it is much shorter and more “snug” than I remember.
Neither the dress or the sweater has any great fashion significance. What they both held are memories.
The dress was the first real good article of clothing that I bought for myself. Until then, most of my clothes were from discount stores like Gold Circle’s, Uncle Bill’s and Kresge’s.
I remember needing a dress for a student government event at college, so I went to the local mall. There was a Laura Ashley store in it and the dress caught my eye. It was perfect, simple. It could be dressed up with a scarf and heels or made to look more casual with a pair of leather boots (that I still have). The problem was the price tag - $99. That was an especially steep price for a college girl who working at McDonald’s.
But, I bought it anyway and it served me well. Throughout the years I wore it to all sorts of events – orchestra concerts, dinners out, Mass, Christmas celebrations, and more. Then the wear and my changing size became apparent and it got pushed to the back of the closet.
The blue sweater doesn’t have quite a storied history. It was a cheap purchase, I think at Sam’s Club. But one of my favorite pictures of myself was taken while I was wearing it. It was after we have moved to where we live now and Himself and I were enjoying some patio time after work. I was sitting on a rock in the garden and he snapped a picture of me. I was relaxed and content, and it showed.
Like the dress, the sweater is showing signs of better days and will go out with a pile of clothes making its way to the resale shop.
I am finding that I attach meaning to clothes that slows me down from getting rid of them when I should. Just because the item is gone doesn’t mean the memory that went along with it is.
Perhaps by letting it go someone else can make a memory in it. Or else they can have a pretty rag!