The Power of Goodbye

I like to think I’m pretty decent at what I like to call “wardrobe management” — regularly weeding out old clothes to free up closet space.  Though I confess that I am sometimes overly optimistic that I will be able to introduce an old piece back into the rotation, having been successful on a few occasions, the most notable being the Short Gap Black Cardigan Resurrection of 2008.

Still, with my recent realization that I need to have two seasons’ worth of clothes at the ready, I decided to go through my wardrobe with a more critical eye.

It occurred to me that each item I chose to relinquish had a little piece of my life attached; so I figured I’d write the stories down rather than just let them vanish into the re-fashioNYC donation bin situated handily in my basement. So here’s what I gave away.

The olive green prairie skirt, worn in Barcelona. I am also holding a Tumi bag that I just got rid of. It was about 15 years old and didn’t owe me anything anymore.

*An olive green prairie skirt I bought at Loehmann’s for $15 for a 2007 trip to Barcelona. It was perfect for bumming around the gorgeous city by day and wearing to dinner by night.

*A red and black plaid Guess coat I bought on sale at Macy’s for $83 on a spur-of-the-moment trip from Boston to the city.

*Victorian-style boots by Miz Mooz, complete with little buttons up the side that, thankfully, I didn’t actually have to button. I only wore these boots a handful of times, since they turned out to be comfortable only if I was standing still on a plush carpet and had just swallowed a handful of Aleve and washed it down with a martini. Professional organizers say you never even miss the things you throw out, but I am a little sorry I didn’t try these with some gel soles before giving them up.

*A pair of chocolate brown Aldo boots I bought with mom on one of our first outlet trips. I’d gotten three or four seasons out of them, and I was, ahem, just plain sick of them.

*A pair of Louie jeans bought at Anthropologie around 2004 that were my dressy jeans, then my work jeans, then my bumming-around jeans, until I couldn’t demote them any further.

Once you’ve moved across the country– twice– with the same black sweater, it’s time to let it go.

*A black sweater I bought at Banana Republic when I first moved to Phoenix, Arizona. I bought it before I had lived in Arizona long enough to see why sweaters there goon sale for so cheap.

*A pair of grey boots that looked like these beauties (third photo down) but were a fifth of the price. Boy, that style came and went pretty fast.

I wonder whose story these clothes will be part of next.

An Open Letter to an Old Love

Dear Banana Republic, You and I have been the bosom-est of buddies for more than two decades. Back in the 1980′s when I was maybe 15, and my Denim Crises were relatively minor, it was a treat to visit your safari-themed store in downtown Boston. I loved that the decor included steamer trunks, and typewriters that appeared to hail from British colonial East Africa (yes, it romanticized British colonial East Africa, which is extremely problematic, I realize). It was like being on a safari– except you were shopping instead of dodging wild animals.

Not long after you ditched the safari theme in favor of sleek and modern fare, I graduated from college and became a working girl — in New York City!–and found myself regularly trolling the racks at your Lexingon Avenue store for proper working girl duds. Yes, Banana. For years, you have diligently and patiently solved many of my crises– denim and otherwise.

That’s why I felt so very betrayed this weekend when Continue reading