The vintage stuff is by far the hardest to let go. Each dress represents not only the events of its attendance but also a hunt and a success. Then there is its uniqueness and the mere fact that it fits me . . . properly.
I have to step back and really assess how much I've worn each piece.
- Is it worth the space it takes up in my closet?
- What event will I wear it to next year?
- Does it have things that go with it?
- How many black dresses does one woman really need?
After that, in order of difficulty, comes shoes. I adore each and every one of my shoes, they are, perhaps even more of a hunt than the vintage dresses. Because they need to be very comfortable and they fill a niche. I buy in sets of three as a rule. That is to say, I try to get each basic color in a closed toe pump or stiletto, a flat, and a sandal. But then there is the matter of spectators to consider, with their two colors, and my love of peep toes (which I also often have in each color), and waterproof flats to add into the mix for rain. Also, I must judge whether the companion dresses are too summer to need pumps, or too wintery to need anything open toed. And that doesn’t even include boots!
It's a science, I tell you, a science.
Then there are a few pairs I keep because, even though they hurt to wear, they are kind of works of art.
I did take the drastic step (ha, shoes = step, I made a pun there) of eliminating one of my two pairs of black and grey flats, and dyeing my purple pumps (more comfortable) to brown so I could get rid of the brown t-straps.
What else is difficult to get rid of?
Costume elements. Today I gave up on the idea that I would ever build a steampunk outfit dedicated solely to this corset.
I popped the grey and black teared skirt (I've had for four years and never worn because I was waiting to make a top skirt) into the give away pile and I also pulled this black bottom skirt from my spoon outfit:
Knowing that I have a 1850s ball gown with a grey black and wine skirt that will do for all three outfits. Here it is worn with the spoon outfit back at the first Steampunk convention in 2008.
See, not so bad a match, it'll do for multiple outfits. You might even see me in it at Teslacon.
I guess what I am saying, my dears, is that if I can purge, so can you. And in the end the feeling is rather cathartic. I'm not really complaining, my dears, I do this to others all the time. I'm one of those friends called in to help people throw things away. I should be able to do it for myself too, shouldn't I?
I'm asking myself the same questions I ask them:
- Have I worn it in the past year?
- Does it go with anything else?
- Is it out of style (completely, rather than retro)?
- Does it fit?
- Is it old or warn looking? Pilled, stretched, shrunken, in need of mending?
- Can the stain be removed?
Of course what I really am looking forward to is the day, some five years or so down the line, when we can opt for a slightly bigger place with a walk in closet. That's really all I want in life, a walk in closet. My american dream.
So what are some of the clothes I am getting rid of that you might remember from this blog?