Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Need Hangers?

Last summer when Helen was still a bean, I had a fabulous wardrobe. Maternity clothes used to be just awful, but thanks to our friends at Old Navy, Gap and Motherhood, a woman can now carry a child to term in style. Thanks to Lynette who let me borrow her preggy clothes, and to a few other women who offloaded their wardrobes on me, I had some cute, fashionable clothes to wear during a time most women don't feel cute and fashionable.

And I snickered to myself the whole time, comparing the up-to-dateness factor of my maternity clothes with my regular clothes. My normal clothes lost. Big time.

When we moved, our closet space was cut at least in half, if not more. I was forced to go through my clothes. With much glee, I tossed. Out went the old stuff that I hadn't worn for a couple of years. And the stuff that was just hanging there, good for nothing, not even paying closet rent, that I knew I wasn't going to touch again. I didn't listen to the voices in my head that said, "Oooooooooh, you'd better keep that... maybe some time it'll be just what you need to make a perfect outfit." Yep, I ignored that voice. Because if I felt stupid wearing it the last time I wore it because it was (slightly faded, slightly out of style, a bad cut, the wrong color, all of the above), it for sure wouldn't be enhancing my feelings about myself the next time I wore it EVEN IF it gained back the privilege of gracing my body. I also got rid of some of my *gulp* favorite things that I found out Jason HATED.

What I had left wasn't much. So THAT'S why Joyce kept wearing that purple T-shirt! And I discovered something. I thought I was going to feel like I had a hard knock life, like I was greatly wronged or mistreated by not having a closet full of all the right clothes, poor lil ol' me. I was so wrong, misled by my emotions or by culture or by all the lies I'd been believing about what I HAD to have to be happy. And interestingly enough, I felt a new freedom. Freedom from stuff. And a very practical freedom, too. For instance, if I had to get ready to go, I didn't lose time picking out clothes. (Guess it'll be the purple T-shirt. That was a good buy!) I even found myself able to genuinely compliment others on their new cute clothes and not be jealous, but to truly be happy for them. (For me, that's a wow.) I also didn't panic about getting new clothes or have what-if-I'm-stuck-with-this-purple-T-shirt-for-the-rest-of-my-life visions, because I knew that God would provide what I needed when I needed it.

Well, I really didn't have very many clothes, and Jason knew it. I couldn't believe it when he sent Owen to me the day before Mother's Day with a card, and a hundred dollar bill fell out! And Helen gave me a card too--with another chunk-o-change!!

Being the thrifty shopper that I have come to be, I first let the money rest up in a cupboard for a while until I was able to plan a good shopping day. For a girl who usually uses her debit card, large denominations of cash are elative but sobering, inspiring awe and trepidation. (Do I really want to break my $100 on this?) Then I visited various and sundry places of business, scouring the clearance racks. I finally spent the last of it a few weeks ago. All the clothes I bought with this money were new. I got:

a white eyelet lace skirt--very cute
a white Liz Claiborne polo shirt
an orange tank top for layering
a black tank
a white tank
a black/white sleeveless top
brown dress capris
a polka-dotted top with frilly sleeves that make me feel pretty darn cool
casual brown capris
a Nike t-shirt
a supercute sundress with coordinating sweater
2 necklaces
a brown t-shirt
a red Reebok tank top
green shorts--that new really cool shade of green that I'm in love with
black running shorts that even have built-in undies in 'em
a swim suit (a sort-of halter top and a skirt bottom)
a black t-shirt with some cute feminine detailing
a black floral dress top (which I'm planning to return because I brought it home and decided it was a no-go)

I bought all that and even dipped into the cash for some babysitting money! And with some other money--a very paltry sum--I bought a few clothes at the good ol' Economy Shop and a few things off Lynette at her garage sale and a pair of gold sandals at a big box store that starts with W. I'm enjoying my new clothes, but my closet is pretty tightly packed. Soooooo, what can I get rid of now?? I'm trying to be discriminate.

Really, I believe that clothes should make you feel good about yourself when you wear them. But true happiness can't be found in your closet, either!


Carrie said...

Well, Joyce, I don't want you to be stressed out about your crammed closet again...let me help you out. You go ahead and send me that white eyelet skirt, I'll take the orange tank top, the capris, the polka-dotted top, and the necklaces. I don't want you to get overloaded with frivolity or anything...

Anonymous said...

Hhmm, you could always have a yard sale. . maybe a family early bird special :). . . or since its not like you are lacking in closet space or anything, you could just pick another closet and fill that one up too :). Jan

Sabrina said...

Great post! I hang onto way too many clothes "just in case" or for "when I lose this baby weight". I have found a great consignment shop though that actually sends me a check when they sell something. Now that is motivation to let something go!

heather said...

Oh Joyce, Krista was here today and I just had to read your post outloud. What entertainment you are. I wish you would post everyday!!! I know you are a busy mom...but couldn't you just give us a little tidbit daily?

I can totally relate to what you are talking about with the clothes crisis. We go through so many sizes after/before and during pregnancy!! And a great reminder that we really only need a small amount of things that fit and look great.....get rid of the clutter! And again great reminder that it won't bring happiness. What a sweet husband to give you cash for clothes. Now we need to see some pictures of all that cute stuff!!!

Kris said...

I feel the same way...that clothes should make you feel and look good. That gets so much more complicated when I'm changing sizes every few months and have tight budget (much less, considering stewardship issues). That said...aren't new clothes fun?

sherri said...

Well, I've just spent the past several minutes getting caught up on all you've posted the past several weeks! Our internet has been down for three weeks and I must say that despite the inconvenience of it, I have felt the extra time I have saved from not checking email or surfing the web has been nice...and have been surprised at how much time I do actually spend on the computer. I loved this post and can relate to you. When I do have a little extra money to spend on clothes for me or the kids, it's so hard to actually spend it. It takes me forever to pick something out...and the fun thing is to see how far you can make it stretch. I've been scouring the clearance racks now and have been finding great deals on clothes for next summer! miss you. love, sherri