GIVE IT AWAY

Giving my clothes away I enjoy as much as buying them. Maybe you don’t believe me, but it is true. Just this week my housekeeper went home with 2 silk dresses, a pair of leather pants and two tops. It is such a relieve to see them go. It means I don’t have to deal with them anymore. They are gone. They are out of my life. I won’t have to worry about them anymore. Oh, yes I worry about my clothes, especially those I don’t wear much. There they hang and each time I see them I have a bad conscience for not wearing them.
So when Maria walked out with the shopping bag, I thought ‘good riddance.’ They had been eliminated when I put my winter wardrobe away and out came the summer candidates – when I saw them again, actually I had forgotten that I had them – I thought ‘Oh, not that dress again’ – and without further hesitation – like how much did I pay for it – how much wear did I get out of it, I took a shopping bag, folded them carefully and put them in. Yes, even when I say goodbye to my clothes I treat them with respect, and hope the next wearer does the same, but once they are in the bag I never look inside again. Why do I say that? Because I have known women who went through cleaning out their wardrobe with a professional, only to put back half of what was eliminated. I even put the shopping bag out of sight until I see the person I give it to.
I know that many women cannot easily let go of what has been part of their wardrobe for many, many years, but a friend of mine has a slogan, that might help, “If you don’t wear it, let somebody else enjoy it.”
Thinking that you are doing a good deed will make it easier to separate yourself from that lovely Burberry jacket you bought on sale three years ago, and never really wore because it was a little snug, but you could not resist the bargain at the time – what a Burberry blazer for only $99?
Our emotions and our clothes are very connected, and often get us all mixed up and confused. Has it happened to you that in the morning you put on a dress and not feeling right in it you decided that this is its last day, when somebody came along and said, “Oh that looks nice on you!” – Now what? A remark like that can really mess us up, because now we have to reconsider, rethink. Maybe I am wrong – and why don’t I like this dress – what is the matter with me. Well, when in doubt for any reason, just remember they are your clothes and you can do with them what you want, and only you know how you feel in them- and furthermore your clothes are there for you and not you for them.
For some people it is easier to get rid of a friend, than a 10 year old coat. Don’t forget that your clothes are an extension of you and the minute, you have doubts about an item, it is usually time to let it go, because if you loved it you would have no doubts. Clothes are a little bit like people when you get second thoughts or it takes too much tucking and pulling and trying to make it look right – it is time to let it go.

*****

Another sign of too much clutter are our friends the coat hangers. When we can’t find one to hang our new blouse on they tell us that our wardrobe is overcrowded, and that it is time to clean out, to give away those leftovers from days gone by.
And after the cleanup, the now empty hangers in our closet, which make a ringing, clicking sound when we come close to them, are really telling us, “IT IS ALRIGHT TO GO SHOPPING AGAIN!”

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Author: Brigitte Nioche

Author of Living Longer, Living Well - How to Embrace the Challenges of a Long Life. Other titles - Dress to Impress, The Sensual Dresser, What Turns Men On.

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