Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Big Purge

I would like to take this time to admit a deep dark secret: I am a clothes hoarder.
The situation has become dire as of late. I can't shut any one of my over-stuffed drawers. My sock drawer is so overwhelmingly full that it just sits open because I can't close it. It's made for quite a few stubbed toes...and it's summer which means I never even wear socks. I've been pilfering hangers from T's closet after every load of laundry. I can't even move the clothes in my closet from one side to the other. The top drawer of my dresser is so jammed full of sweatpants, hats and pajamas that I split the wood on the sides of it. It's bad.
Today, I read a blog post by my wonderful Vegas-based stylist. (Yes, I have a stylist. OK, only for photo shoots. I'm never in the shoots. OK OK, I worked with her once but she really is fabulous!)  I enjoy reading her posts; she always introduces an awesome product or website and she has giveaways. This week's post was about two SoCal girls who are preparing themselves (and their closets) by whittling their wardrobe down to 20 pieces and only wear those 20 pieces for an entire year
I am completely amazed and inspired by this...but I don't think a year of the same 20 pieces is practical for me. However, I got to thinking that my wardrobe could really use an overhaul. I've been hoarding things since the first Bush administration. I have t-shirts I wore in high school, skirts that I keep thinking will come back in style, dresses that I would need oiled to get back into, not to mention all of those clothes that I was saving for when I got back down to pre-baby weight (heh heh heh). Now that I'm inspired by the Twenty Pieces Project, it's time to let things go and move on.

Among the articles of clothing I purged:

Four black t-shirts. I know, right? How many black t-shirts does one need? At least get rid of them once they start greying. One was a French Connection shirt I kept wearing despite the seams ripping on both sleeves. I would have kept it if not for the grease spots.

17 tank tops. 

The formerly-white waffle-knit scoopneck Esprit shirt I stole from my sister when I moved out of our parents' house in 1995.

Three pairs of size 2 shorts. That rainbow shall remain out of reach.

My post-pregnancy jeans which are now too big. (woo hoo!)

Five pairs of black workout pants of varying size, style, shape and wear.

A black dress I ran out and bought the day of a friend's wedding in February.  I won't ever wear it again because I hated it.

A pink and silver blouse that I didn't know I had and have no idea why or when I bought it.

A brocade CAbI coat I earned by throwing one of those home parties where the more clothes people buy, the bigger the discounts you get. It weighs about 15 lbs.

My extra-large grey puffy winter coat I wore while pregnant.

Maternity clothes that I held onto because they're comfy. 

A #77 Paul Coffey Pittsburgh Penguins jersey stolen from my high school boyfriend.

Six black cardigans. (I still have 3)

Five hooded zip-up sweatshirts.

About eight different dresses that I have worn to various weddings, Christmas parties and graduations. I have this silly Hollywood mentality where if I was photographed in a dress, I will never wear it again.

Sweaters. I lost count.

Three pairs of khakis.

27 t-shirts from various sports teams, concerts, breweries,  and events or some with funny sayings on them.

12 non-Coach purses.

Three Coach purses.

I held onto many sentimental things, including the first dress T ever bought me, the last skirt my grandma ever bought me and the dress I got married in. I also kept my Death Cab for Cutie tank top and my Modest Mouse t-shirt. And the vintage 1970s leather jacket that was my mom's is also a no-brainer for the keep-it pile.

I donated everything to Savers which is partnered with the MS Society. I didn't feel like trying to sell stuff at Plato's Closet or the like. There's a certain humiliation one feels when they're given back their huge bag of hardly-worn clothes and told that it's "not what we're looking for."

Here's a  Hipstamatic pic of my newly-cleaned closet. 
Look at all those empty hangers!

So I got to thinking what my Top 5 Essential Wardrobe Staples are not including shoes, undergarments or outerwear:
1. Black cardigan
2. Jeans 
3. Fitted t-shirt with a cool design on it
4. Knit sundress
5. Black v-neck sweater.

I'd like to know what yours are! Please leave your list in the comments section.

I think this Twenty Pieces Project is going to inspire many people just as it did me.


  1. Thanks so much for the shout out! I'm glad you've enjoyed the blog so far and hope you follow along!

  2. Likewise! I really admire you girls. I will definitely be checking in on your progress...