The process of sorting through clothing

We had a clothing exchange after the last Nia jam at the end of February.  It was an opportunity for me to:  a) get the bags of clothing I intended to donate to thrift stores out of my car and b) go through my wardrobe.

I ended up giving away three bags of clothing and taking away around six new items of clothing.  In the process, I got to look at what I actually wear and how I view my wardrobe in general.

Several things I’ve noticed:

If I love a piece of clothing, I will often wear it until it’s threadbare.  I might change its use – like wear it for exercise or sleep – but I will wear it well past the point of it having holes.  A friend once pointed out that I could get rid of these clothes and buy newer looking ones.  While I see her point, I might have looked at her blankly.  I get attached to certain items.

I’ve had to work hard at incorporating colors into my wardrobe.  There was a time where black and gray dominated.  Now, although they’re still a significant part of it, I have more blues, purples, and even a few aquas.

I’m still very interested in comfort, and I generally prefer cotton over other fabrics.  Rayons are soft, too, and a modal/cotton blend has a nice flow to it.

I’ve noticed as I get more into my Nia practice and more into my body, the more interested I am in what I choose to wear.  I want to wear clothes that are soft on my skin, that are easy to move in.  I love the feel and look of tunics and leggings.  I like wearing a skirt around the house.  It’s a sensual experience to wear my Nia dance pants – they flare out and caress my ankles as I move.

In my sorting process, I still kept some things that fall into a “maybe I’ll wear it in the future” category.  I don’t tend to wear blouses in my everyday life.  I have a dress that would be suitable for business-type events but I haven’t had that type of occasion in quite awhile.  I personally think it’s good to hold onto these types of things – in moderation.

I found this article on how to create a sustainable wardrobe: how to keep what’s necessary, to get rid of what’s not, and make informed buying choices. I think it has good suggestions, especially in terms of streamlining one’s wardrobe.  Although I haven’t read it, I’ve also had several people recommend the Magic Art of Tidying Up; here is an account of a woman who tried some of the methods in this book to de-clutter her wardrobe.

As I sort through clothes, through papers, through pieces of my past, I strive to keep what I like, what I will use or wear.  I notice where I feel attached and the moments where I think I still want that in case or I’m not ready to let go of that yet.  I try to find balance between keeping and letting go.  Pieces of clothing hold memories:  I got that when..I wore that when…  Sometimes these memories bring a smile and sense of nostalgia; at other times, they bring sorrow.  As I create more space, figuratively and literally, I feel a sense of relief, an opening.  It’s not an opening in terms of “I need to fill this with more” but an honoring for what has been; and a hope that when I’m ready to move on, I’ll take what I love with me.


One response to this post.

  1. I am the same way . . . although I call myself a clothes hoarder . . . I will buy something to wear as my “out clothes”. Then as it gets worn, holey, or stained (YES! EVEN STAINED!) I will move it to my “home clothes.” I have different levels of “home clothes” too. Ones that I can “receive” guest in and some that are “not for public consumption”. I have ones that I clean in and ones that I workout in. I have ones that I lounge in. I have many “home clothes”.

    Good for you for keeping and letting go. One of these days I might try that. But, honestly, whenever I get rid of something within a week I need it. And I don’t have the money to just go out and buy it. So . . . .I just keep it!


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