Date: 3 January 2015
Location: by the pool, Portsea.
When a stripper buys your clothes on eBay it’s time to rethink your style.
The upcoming London move has forced me to take a long, hard, objective look at my wardrobe. I know, I feel choked up even typing this out, like the fat Mid-Western woman with the bad dye job clinging to her smurf doll and newspaper collections early in in an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive. There are items of clothing that have come with me from home, to my first South Yarra apartment, then to East Melbourne — some without ever even being worn.
So, with the help of my mother, I gave my closet a deep edit. Great heaps of clothes were dutifully sent off to the Salvation Army.
The curiously extensive state of my remaining wardrobe prompted me to Google ‘wardrobe + cleanse’. And I read some great tips. Like, the hanger turn around trick to see what I actually wear, like only keeping clothes that make me feel great, like throwing out everything that I’ve been too lazy to have repaired. From there I clicked through to increasingly ridiculous articles, like those about how to edit (sorry, ‘curate’) my wardrobe like a Frenchwoman, how to organise my closet like Carrie Bradshaw (um, from memory, not at all?), how to create the perfect monochrome capsule wardrobe, how to live with only three pairs of shoes (leaving me wondering: why bother?).
I slowly realised that my ‘deep edit’ had barely scratched the surface and dove back in to do a second cull, sending anything that I couldn’t bring myself to donate but that I didn’t absolutely love to the great shopping mall in the sky: eBay.
A week later it happened.
As I was diligently filling out Australia Post satchels and stuffing them with Kate Spade bangles and Marcs maxis, one address made me drop my pen and back away from the kitchen bench.
There it was: ‘C/O Amber Rose Strippers’
My Sass & Bide sundress had been bought by a stripper.
That was it. I waded back into my wardrobe for a third time, this time with a newfound ruthlessness, and rolled up my sleeves for real.
But this had me wondering, why do we hold on to clothes we don’t wear?
I know why I’ve held on to my size 9 Sportsgirl acid wash jeans that are frightful and will never again fit: ‘Hey look! Once, during a bad breakup, I didn’t eat for 2 weeks and man was I skinny!’. They went on the donate pile.
I hold on the the little, backless satin slip of a thing that I wore to my 21st birthday because it brings back happy hazy memories. But D.O.C. Pizzas brings back memories of a treasured Florentine summer — and I eat those, so no reason to keep this. Onto the donate pile.
I hold on to that Ralph Lauren sweater that’s too short, the Willow dress that’s too booby and the Versace pumps that are too high because they were expensive. eBay.
I keep a selection of button down shirts because everyone needs them, right? Wrong. Busty girls and button down shirts are like Taylor Swift and Kanye: sure, you can force them together but there’s just no need for that and it’s kind of rude.
I keep my cat-haired, much-neglected first suit because it’s a suit. You don’t throw out a suit, right? Wrong again. If you haven’t already heard of it, look up Fitted For Work.
Culling with my newly critical eye, I quickly found my stride. (Autocorrect, we meet again — I have not, contrary to your literary machinations, found my ‘strudel’ though goodness knows my chest if drawers was pretty full and anything could have been hiding back there.)
As my discard pile grew heavier, I felt lighter. Finally, I fell back on my bed, exhausted. It wasn’t just the physical exertion that had me so tired though, it was shedding old skins: the broken hearted breakup girl, the 21 year old, the vaguely slutty uni student. I had to wonder if we, women, keep clothes that we don’t wear thinking that, maybe, one day, we’ll change and fall in love with them. If so, we’re deluding ourselves. They say ‘men don’t change’. But neither do women, not really. We just work out who we actually are.
Super, super slowly.
Unfortunately, this morning I found I had nothing to wear. For real.