When you want to freshen up your look, the first thing you think about is buying something new. And this is a great idea--if you've just graduated from college and are working at your first office job.
But in my stage of life, my closets--yes, that's closets in the plural--and drawers are overloaded with clothes. When I go on a real laundry-doing binge, I literally can't shut my dresser drawers. (You know, it may just be possible that I need to get rid of my Red Sox 2004 World Series Champions t-shirts. Maybe owning six of them is overload. Ya think?)
It occurs to me that this is as embarrassing and confessional as anything I could have come up with as a mommyblogger. You know the old saying, "Tell me what you eat and I'll tell you what you are?" My version of that is "Describe the contents of your closets, and people will sign you up for Hoarders."
So OK, maybe you aren't in the same situation. But the fact remains, at our point in life, it's far more likely that you're dealing with too many clothes than too few. Nowadays it's easier to have too much of something than too little. Unless you ruthlessly curate your clothes, you're going to end up with a closet full of stuff you never wear.
Not to mention that some of us change sizes with a certain sad regularity. We lose weight and whee! We buy tons of new clothes. Then we gain back the weight--but does anyone ever get rid of their "skinny" clothes? Please leave a comment if you do, because otherwise, I'll refuse to believe you exist.
And the sad reality is that getting rid of stuff is much harder work than just going shopping. It's grueling and unglamorous and a lot of emotions are bound up in our clothes. Each one speaks of personal successes or failures. A lot more is bound up in them than just money, although the financial aspect has its own power.
Which is why your instincts want to send you to the mall. Resist this instinct. First find out what you own that's worth keeping.
Part 2--Keeping your look fresh: how to cull