Sunday, September 7, 2008

Confessions from the Closet

I love clothes.

I absolutely adore clothes. I love the fabrics, the colors, the textures. I love to look at them, follow new styles, shop for them, and wear them. I'm pretty fond of shoes, handbags and jewelry, too.

My closet, not surprisingly, reflects my passion. It is tiny and burgeoning with the stuff I love, and I know that it, like so many things in my life, is greatly in need of some organization.

I'm in the middle of a major redecorating project, one that will include a fabulous new wardrobe for me. (Wardrobe as in closet, not a new wardrobe of clothes. Now wouldn't that be exciting?!) But I'm pretty excited about the new storage space, and I've spent the last few days doing two things I love: going through my clothes and shopping for more.

How's your closet? If you're like most women, it's probably got at least four types of clothing in it. There are those things you wear all the time, the old stand-bys that you reach for day after day. They fit (maybe because they feature elastic or spandex) and they don't require much thought.

Then there are the things that DO NOT FIT. This includes the items that are "just a little" (or maybe a lot) too tight. Maybe we used to wear them (before the last baby?) or we bought them on sale, figuring we were only a diet away from squeezing in. Also here are our "fat" clothes, the ones we reach for when we're feeling chubby, or have in fact put on a few pounds. These clothes are not usually the prettiest items in the closet, are they? They are often shapeless, faded, or out-of-style. Wearing them just solidifies the negative thoughts we have about ourselves when we are not at our thinnest: we don't deserve to look nice. We're unattractive.

Next are the clothes we have acquired that do not flatter us. They may fit, but not well. They are not designed for our body type, but we keep them, and perhaps wear them, anyway. Maybe we got them on sale, or they were gifts, or we gave in to the latest fad or fashion. When we do wear them, we don't feel all that great about ourselves. But we feel a little guilty getting rid of perfectly good clothing, so we keep the stuff.

Then there are the special occasion threads, the ones we only wear when someone tells us we should. I know most of us wouldn't feel comfortable wearing an evening dress to go grocery shopping, but I think many of these items are like Grandma's china: we're saving them for a special occasion, and that occasion never comes. Maybe we could find or make special occasions more often. For example, I tend to be one of the more dressed up gals at Sunday mass. (No evening gowns, but I do usually wear a skirt.) I also really enjoy getting a little dressed up when I go out with my husband, even if it's just for a quick dinner at a casual restaurant. We deserve to look nice and enjoy our femininity!

As I was going through my clothes this week, I realized I have lots of items that don't flatter me, and I am letting them go. Jeans are my worst offender. I have a curvy figure with a umm, mature tummy. I went shopping this week and found a great style that fits and does not give me a "muffin top," so I bought several pairs. (FYI, they're wide leg jeans with a slightly higher rise. Gorgeous!) Then I added the old ones (some with tags on them) to the give-away pile. (I've actually discovered a local consignment shop where I hope to sell them. Might there be one in your neighborhood?)

I had a new attitude while trying on clothes this weeks: I will not buy something that doesn't fit AND make me feel good. I will not accept clothes that are "ok." I deserve to look nice and feel good about myself!

An important point here: the clothes must fit -- and the SIZE ON THE TAG DOES NOT MATTER. We girls are a little crazy here. How many times have I reached for a smaller size, to see if I could squeeze into it, so I could brag to my girlfriend in the dressing room next to me? That's madness. No one knows what size your pants are, and no one cares. Nor should you. Wear what fits you.

Give your closet a look-see. How does it make you feel to wear the clothes you have? Depending on your budget, get yourself something amazing. You don't need to spend a lot -- many of my favorite items were purchased at resale shops or even garage sales. You might just need to "shop your own closet" and discover the items there that really flatter you. Whatever size you are, you deserve to be wearing attractive clothes that fit you and emphasize your beauty.

Because you are beautiful, right now, today. Don't wait to be a certain size or for someone to tell you it's a special occasion. Today is a special occasion.

Dress for it, girlfriend!

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