September 12, 2023

Embracing the Art of Letting Go

I’ve been clearing out my closet and slowly transitioning into Fall. It’s been a long time since I’ve tackled my closet, which seems to be stuffed full at the moment. Quite a few new purchases have found their way in (working in a boutique doesn’t help), and not enough old items are leaving. Fall is probably one of my favourite seasons for fashion, especially when it comes to layering.

I’m trying to be ruthless, keeping only the items that spark joy and having my Marie Kondo moment. Yeah, okay, these items should still fit me too. It’s tricky. How do you know what to let go of? Anything I invested top dollar in is worth reimagining or restyling with a new accessory, top, or bottom. So yes, you may need to invest in additional pieces. However, your old piece will feel brand new again, giving you many more years of service.

As I delve deeper into my closet, aka the “hard-to-reach” section, I come across two sundresses that I rarely, if ever, wear. Why? First of all, I forgot I had them, and secondly, they’re too long and make me uncomfortably hot. Toss? Use as new sleepwear? NO! I place them in the giveaway pile.

I pull out a beautiful pale blue blouse trimmed with delicate lace I purchased in Paris. It’s really not my vibe. But it’s so pretty! I tried it on—cute! But I’ll never wear this; I put it aside in case I have a change of heart. I reach for a gorgeous, sexy red dress at the back of the closet, which I purchased for a gala. And yes, in case you’re wondering, I have more than one red dress. I slip it on; oddly, it doesn’t give me that spark or resemble who I am or my tastes now. At age 49, it was fabulous. Somehow, it doesn’t feel right or age-appropriate. Not that I believe in that rule.

I come from a school of thought that there is no such thing as age-appropriate dressing. Wear whatever you want, as long as you feel comfortable and confident without looking trashy. However, this dress holds sentimental value: my husband helped me pick it out, and I wore it, feeling like I had the world at my fingertips. It was a special moment in a moment of time. It was also our last event together before we separated. I’m finally letting go and adding it to the giveaway pile.

Fashion is highly personal. Sure, a t-shirt is just a t-shirt, or it can hold many memories that we save for later to enjoy. I love that fashion has this effect. For instance, an old handbag of my mothers instantly transports me to my childhood. Similarly, an expensive Chanel t-shirt serves as a memento from a memorable trip to Europe. And while we’re on the topic of memories, I’ve even saved a few precious baby items, too. And every once in a while, I have the urge to open the tiny box…

Just because something is old isn’t reason enough to toss. However, if space is a luxury, then holding on to items isn’t ideal. Neither is shopping for more. Letting go of things can be a liberating and transformative experience. It’s about releasing the attachments that no longer serve us, whether they are physical possessions, past regrets, or negative emotions. Holding onto the past can hinder personal growth and from embracing new opportunities. By shedding the weight of unnecessary baggage (or handbags), we create space for fresh beginnings, personal growth, and a lighter, more fulfilling journey through life. You will also have a cleaner, more organized closet that will spark joy again.

The comments +

  1. Paulette Bornestig says:

    I thank you for this great reminder that it is often wise to take another look into the hidden recesses of the closet. I have a blouse/jacket where I love the linen and the pattern BUT no matter how I try to MAKE it work it does not seem to want to cooperate. It may just be time for me to let this item go.

  2. Michele says:

    Very apropos, easy to say it but can we live it?!

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