In the last few years my closet space has decreased, and I’ve had to figure out what to do with the clothes I’m not wearing often or at all. Some have enormous shoulder pads.
Some drape poorly because I removed the shoulder pads and the shoulders deflated. Some are fantastic. They were mostly those spur of the moment-where-will-I-ever-wear-this-but-it’s-been-marked-down-so-much-I-can’t-pass-it-up variety. Sample sales, and so on. (Remind me to tell you sometime about “The Mother of All Sample Sales” — as Betsy Carter described an Armani behemoth I traveled to in the 90s.)
(Not that one exactly, but close.) And pieces like these:
The ones that were never worn I took to the high-end consignment shops around town: Michael’s, Ina, Designer Resale, etc. It was hard to part with some of them, but getting the small checks in the mail was a teeny consolation. And a reminder not to do all that impulse shopping.
But beyond those, my first choice is to share them with my daughters, Exhibit B and Exhibit C. We are all about the same height (I may be a smidge taller, but they will wear high heels which more than make up the difference). We’re not built totally alike nor they like one another, and of course, my taste is older than theirs. Nevertheless I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when they want to rescue an item that is otherwise going away (to charity, to a friend, to a friend’s charity).
It makes me kind of proud that they like what I like.
It makes me feel good that using the Cost Per Wear paradigm (which I do), they are amortizing the prices of my splurges.
It makes me feel generous — a whole batch of my old clothes = a whole batch of their new clothes.
It makes me feel closer to them. (I remember when I wore that dress. Since exhibits are always taking pictures of themselves that’s twice the visual memories.)
It’s intimate. Let me zip you up. Wear my clothes. Choose my scent.
And let’s face it. I want their approval. Out of the blue a few months ago, Exhibit C looked at the beret I was wearing and announced — nicely — that if I didn’t remove it from my head that instant she would take it and burn it. I did as she suggested. I’d worn that beret for five or six years, and never thought it looked terrible. Her comment to me suggested that she was actually looking at me, and caring. Last seen it was in a carton at Housing Works Thrift Shop.
I wonder if this post resonates with any of you. Maybe it’s just the musings of a mother whose exhibits are almost out of the house, who’s trying to hold on to them as long as she can, even if it’s by means of a Malo sweater or a Vera Wang cocktail dress.
February 5, 2014.