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Suburban Island

Closet Clean Up
Sunday, Oct. 10, 2004, 10:42 p.m.

QUESTION: Is there help for the fashion impaired?

WHAT I LEARNED: I'm lucky I have an in-house fashion advisor.

Another weekend, another big chore tackled. Last weekend it was the semi-annual cleaning out of our big aquarium – the watery jewel of our living room. This weekend it was my closet – a vast stockpile of wardrobe choices – some good and some bad. Usually cleaning out my closet and dresser means I shuffle stuff around for a few hours and have nothing to show for it in the end but a very few items weeded and set aside for goodwill. I am too timid to toss out clothing that might no longer suit me or say goodbye to an outfit that has done its service to me and needs to migrate to another closet. After all, what if I need that t-shirt that I bought 15 years ago with the cactus set out in sequins tomorrow. What if some day in some way I want the ugly black skirt that I’ve only worn once in 5 years. Things can malinger in my closet for years due to this just-in-case approach of mine to wardrobe maintenance.

This weekend, I implemented my secret weapon – my daughter. A discerning fashion expert, who could give Stacey and Clinton on What Not to Wear a run for their money. She can eyeball a garment in a snap and give you a yeah or nay so fast that your head may never stop spinning. In less than an hour she had helped me remove a huge black trash bag full of clothes so heavy that it could hardly be dragged from the room - all from my overstuffed closet and dresser drawers (and a few overflowing overflow piles). Suddenly I was liberated from some of my oldest and most pernicious fashion errors, I now feel free to go out and buy a few new things for myself. I’m taking my personal shopper with me too – don’t tell my daughter though. She doesn’t know she’s been called up for duty yet.

The best thing is that I discovered some great clothes for work and play that I hadn’t been able to get to due to the fashion mayhem occurring in my closet and dresser drawers of late. I’d pretty much forgotten about some of these things – warm sweaters just in the nick of time for the fall weather and a few summer items that it would have been nice to have laid my hands on a month or so ago when I routinely found myself identifying my Eat Mo’ Pie t-shirt and a pair of capri pants as my favorite at home days outfit.

I’m feeling pretty virtuous about the wardrobe purge and the added benefit is that according to my daughter I have avoided some serious fashion faux pas as well. Someday I am going to see those cool stretch jeans with a silvery metallic sheen she made me put into the big black trash bag even though the were brand new. I’m going to spy them on someone walking through the mall and I’m going to think – there but for the grace of God go I. In my heart of hearts however, you know I’m still going to be thinking: hey they’re kind of cool - maybe I shouldn’t have pitched those after all…

image from sensibilitydotcom

DETAILS: Coffee: caramel macchioto + Listening to: Sunday sounds + Observing: a cleaner closet + Thinking: the leaves are starting to turn color + Weather: it's getting cooler in the mornings.

Today’s Suburban Strategy: Bike along an autumn path.

Today’s Scenic Cam: Enjoy a view of the Olympic Mountains.

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