My Closet and the Clothes in it

After my post about Red Shoes and Wishing, someone pointed out that what I was trying to accomplish with a wish list might work better as a Pinterest board. So now I have a Pinterest account and I’ve begun slowly populating my pin boards with appropriate images. I’m not sure how I’ll use the site yet. I’m still in the being-confused-by-new-social-media-site stage. Fortunately that stage is now a familiar one and I’m confident that it’ll begin making sense as I use it.

One of the pin boards I created is called “wearing beauty.” I’ll be filling it with clothing I own, clothing I admire, and clothing I hope to own some day. It allows me to collect images of fashion in a way that lets me survey it at a glance. The red shoes go there, for example. It is already apparent to me that the board gives the impression that I dress elegantly every day, which is simply not true. Most days I’m wearing what I affectionately call my “mom uniform.” It consists of a pair of jeans, a solid color knit shirt, and either bare feet or socks. The shirt usually has stains or spills on it. My hair may or may not have been brushed that day. On cold days I accessorize with an old red terry cloth bathrobe and bright yellow fuzzy socks. When I’m headed out to run errands or do other out-of-the-house things, I’ll upscale to an unstained shirt, brushed hair, and shoes. These clothes are not fashionable, but they are supremely suited for their task. While wearing them I am able to get stuff done without fussing over my clothing. There is a beauty in utility. If I have some spare creative time I may see if I can find a way to represent my mom uniform on the Pinterest board.

For years the mom uniform was the only clothes I owned. Even my church clothes had a heavy emphasis on wash-ability, move-ability, and adjust-ability so that they did not interfere with the management of young children in an environment not particularly suited to them. But then I started having to make professional appearances. I was able to let that part of myself which enjoyed fashion wake up and start collecting pieces. These days I’ve got clothing ranging from formal wear to paint-spattered work clothes. Each category of clothing is useful to me, but I am constantly winnowing to make sure that the various clothing types stay in balance. Sometimes clothes which are too worn for professional clothes get moved over to the nice mom clothes. Nice mom clothes gradually become stained mom clothes. Some items get culled completely as they are no longer useful. The culling is critical to make sure that I don’t run out of space in the closet.

I do have a special category of clothes called “project clothes.” These are clothes which are not yet what they could be. Sometimes they need mending or adjusting, but other times I intend them as the basis for a full creative project. I can’t have very many of these, they take up space and are not currently useful. However project clothes are the hardest category for me to cull. I have to let go of how I imagine they could be. Sometimes I have to let go of a shiny possibility in order to make room for a useful necessity.

All of this makes it sound like I spend lots of time and money considering my clothes. I don’t. I buy new things a couple of times per year and most of my “new” things are second hand via a thrift store. Usually these shopping expeditions occur in the the nerotic pre-public-appearance stressful time where I become convinced that everything I own looks horrible. A couple of new items can stave off that feeling for about half a year. Hopefully my new Pinterest board will not prompt me to be more spendy, but will instead help me have a clear picture of how to spend money carefully on things I really want and can use instead of a closet full of project clothes which I have no time to fix.