Real. Emotional. Trash.

by cindy

Last month, I spent the weekend combing through my closets, drawers, storage unit and weeding out bags and bags of clothes to get rid of.  The bags have been languishing in my storage unit (out of sight, out of mind!) but I’ve been meaning to take them to Salvation Army or Goodwill or some similar place in order to donate them.

Going through old clothing can be like re-visiting a moment in time of our personal lives.  We wear the garments, but they in turn embody our experience, emotions, memory, fears, hopes, and dreams.  The outfit we wore on that one amazing (or disasterous) date; the shoes we bought on a whim reacting to some recent and ridiculous seasonal trend that we feared we’d miss out on somehow; the outfit we bought for the job interview to show our successful/creative/responsible/ambitious, etc. self; the annual christmas sweater from mom and dad that we feel guilty about never wearing but even more guilty about giving away; the underwear we desperately hope we won’t be wearing if and when we get hit by a car and taken to the hospital.

The evacuation of clothing also reveals fashion’s time.  The fashion industry is a perfect example of the programmed obsolescence of style.  Style is cyclical, re-purposed, re-contextualized.  One year a certain look – hemline, heel style, color palette, material, pantline – is de rigeur; the next it becomes shameful and ostracized.  Disposable clothing, i.e. H&M, has become the norm.  It’s how we’re programmed to buy more every season.  From time to time, an article of clothing that has been languishing on the closet for years suddenly comes back into style.  Waiting for this moment – or the moment wherein we lose that weight, have that perfect occasion, buy that one last thing to make the outfit complete – often contributes to the process of holding onto clothing long after the need for it has come and gone.

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1 Comment»

  elizazeph wrote @

This is why it’s important to make sure EVERY pair of underwear you buy is one you’d like to be wearing when you inevitably get hit by a car/taken to the hospital/your house burns down :)


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