Why do we get attached to the clothes we wear? I want to preface this blog to say that I originally started writing the draft last September so some of the ideas might not apply right now but I wanted to leave it pretty much as is, as sort of a time capsule. I realize that the title now has a different meaning as well.
Last September – Pre-COVID-19
I decided to go through my closet today and bagged up a lot of clothing to donate. I ended up with quite a few bags as I have not really purged in quite a while. I have eliminated here and there but this was different. There are certain clothes that I have hung onto because it reminds me of a certain time or event or trip in my life. I decided to let those (most of them) go today. Many of them do not fit well anymore. I did take pictures of them just so I could remember them if I want to. Even though I go through this process from time-to-time, some of the items still end up back in my closet.
I question why I develop certain attachments to things. I have costume jewelry that my mother-in-law purchased for me when we were shopping together that I really don’t wear often but it reminds me of her as she is deceased now. Even if I don’t wear it that much, I want to keep it to remind me of our time together.
Clothing is one thing, among other things, that I attach meaning to. I wore some things during the times when my kids were small (and I was, too) or I wore another piece on a trip I took or perhaps there were special occasions attached to other pieces of clothing. Even though I may not be able to wear some of them anymore, I can still think about the times I wore them. If I decide to give that top or pants away, taking a picture of it is a good way to remember it as well as trying it on one last time.
Time to Let Some of Them Go
There are clothes that I really loved wearing but now some are stretched out or damaged so it is OK to let them go. And of course there are always new clothes and styles to buy. Generally, more often than not, new clothing purchases begin to grace the closet come while older clothes are worn less and less. I think this time I want to create space for clothes that I know I am eventually going to buy. I know that I place a lot of emphasis on clothing but clothing that I love and feel good wearing makes me feel good. The problem I have lately is that my body is changing as I get older and I can’t just pick up anything off the rack and have it look good on me.
The recent trend of a less-is-more capsule wardrobe which consists of about 37 pieces of clothing is kind of intriguing but I am not quite there yet. I don’t think I want to be that extreme but I do want to love every piece of clothing that is in my closet. Some clothes, usually the one’s purchased from Nordstrom have graced my closet space for up to 15 years. There are a few pair of pants from Nordstrom that have withstood the test of time and that I can still frequently wear after 15 years!!! They are not completely in style but they are stylish enough.
Now – Post-COVID-19
Clothing is probably the last thing I worry about when quarantining. I am not working, I don’t go out and I don’t feel like dressing up much. Comfort is king. I miss wearing my clothes!!! I know I can wear them at home and I may just have to start doing that.
I ask myself: What is the purpose of particular types of clothing? In the business world and the world in general, we dress to present ourselves in the best light. Why don’t we do that in the confines of our own home? Why is it so important to look good in public? I liked to update my wardrobe periodically to keep up with fashion. Most of the clothing that I buy is usually timeless pieces that can last until they wear out. Sometimes I buy cheaper items that are only meant to last for a few seasons.
The Psychology of Clothing
I have been wrestling with this attachment to clothing. In a practical sense, clothing is meant to keep us warm and dry but has developed into the way we see ourselves–the way we portray ourselves to society or the way we would like to be portrayed. Clothing as a social marker can often indicate social status or a certain personality type. The evolutionary aspect deals with clothing as a way to influence a mate.
We have different clothes for different activities. When at the office, we dress in business attire, at a party something more dressy. The weekend usually leaves us in work-out gear or comfortable clothing. I suppose the quarantine just feels like one long, long weekend.
Since the quarantine, I have not gone through my clothes because I am hopeful to live “that life” again that allows me to dress for the way I am going to conquer the world that day. In the meantime, any clothes that might make it to a give-away bag are just sitting in the corner until the resale shops open again.
The new way of living encompasses safety and comfort.
You might as well enjoy it. Quarantine living is relaxed living.
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