When Editing Your Wardrobe is a Revolutionary Act

I’ve never been one to hold on to things. I don’t like having extraneous possessions, maybe because so many of my family members and friends are hoarder types. They keep things just because they might be useful one day; they buy things but never open them; they buy books they intend to read but just end up collecting more and more unread books. I pride myself on not doing any of the above.

However, one bad habit I have is that I buy clothes that don’t fit because “they’ll fit when i lose the weight”. I had boxes and boxes of “thinner me” clothes. I’m talking size 8-10, size large at forever 21, 24″ waist. And I also had those clothes that were for when I lost 5 pounds, or 10 pounds, or 15 pounds… you get the picture. Over the past few weeks I’ve slowly been going through them. Reconciling myself to the fact that the really tiny clothes will never fit wasn’t too hard. Since I’ve gotten over the idea that I’m fat, and that’s that, it isn’t a big stretch to sell/donate the skinny stuff.

What was hardest was the process of admitting to myself that I may never lose that 15 pounds, or that 10 pounds, or even that 5 pounds. It’s just emotional baggage to have boxes of size 12, 14 & 16 clothes that don’t fit me as I am now, a size 18, and have been for some time. I want to love myself and dress myself today. I want to have clothes in my closet that I can actually wear, and not just take up space, taunting me until I’m that magic weight so I can fit into them. It’s insulting to my body and it’s unrealistic. Even if I did lose weight, I need to deal with that then because hey, I might not even like this crap at that point. And since i’m not actively trying to lose any more, I don’t anticipate needing to buy new clothes because my old ones are too big.

So I let go. I have no more boxes of clothes. Everything in my closet, 100%, fits me now. It’s a weird but liberating feeling. I’m so used to being in this state of impermanent size. I’m used to having these clothes to try on as a litmus test to see if I’ve lost enough weight. This is the last stop on my journey towards wardrobe freedom. No more too-big, colorless & shapeless clothes to hide behind, & no more too-small clothes to hopelessly strive towards maybe one day fitting into. Now I can work on being myself in the present, dressing and loving this gorgeous fat body that I’m living in right now.

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  • http://www.wordsole.com Beth

    Wow, does this hit home with me. I hold on to clothes…pull them out occasionally, hold them up to my body and imagine them fitting. And they never do again. And it's not just due to weight gain, though that's part of it. It's also that I don't have the SAME shape body I had when I was 22 or 25 or even 30. My body is changing. Not only that, but my perception of my body is changing. For better I think. And I'm finally willing to move past the, oh it's only too tight now argument and into the reality that I deserve clothes that fit.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      My body shape has changed over the years too, as I've lost and regained weight. It just came back in different spots. Mostly it piled on my stomach.

  • Dodo

    I did the same thing a couple of years ago and it was the best decision I ever made as it allowed me to let go of so much more than weight issues. Ironically, I've lost weight since then to the point some of the not-so-tiny items would certainly fit me now, but except for one skirt (made with a gorgeous Indian fabric but which i didn't even wear that much when i could) i don't regret getting rid of those 3 bagfuls.

    The weird part is that the women in my family have a habit of exchanging clothes they don't want/fit into anymore and I always offered any stuff i had to them first, but not this time. My desire to see those clothes go was such that i gave everything to this church basement shop my janitor helps with. I didn't want to see them on my sister, aunt, mother or anyone close to me.

    I'm sure those clothes made lots of people happy, as there were some fine items in there. For me it was the beginning of a new phase of rediscovering what makes me look and feel good and it taught me not to make the same old mistakes (in clothes and elsewhere).

    Thanks for the post :)

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      No problem. I sold some of the pricier items of clothing but most of it went to Salvation Army. I'm sure they made some people happy too. I know I'd be stoked if I was a size 14/16 and found some of those clothes at a thrift store.

  • http://www.tsukata.org TsuKata

    I'm struggling with this right now. My struggles fall into two categories:

    * four bins of size 18/20 items that are tight or only barely fit at my current size 22 size, much of which are less than 2 years old, because I lost weight going low carb for awhile, but it gradually crept back despite me still adhering to the diet. So, I'm struggling with donating all these clothes when it sure seems like it could happen in the near future that I'm back at that size (just 1-2 sizes from where I am), and it seems wasteful. I like alot of those clothes, and they're basics, not trendy items, so they'll still be valid later.

    * Button down blouses. I have now decided that I hate button down blouses and will not buy them any more. Still, I own a few from a period of time where I liked them. The ones I own are definitely too small, but still wearable if I put a sweater vest on over them (thus concealing where they ride up or gape). Essentially, I'm using them as dickies. I feel like I should get rid of these, but I have a really good collection of sweater vests, and the weather here in IL makes sweater vest combos appealing for most of the year. Still, I find myself not wearing them because they're not comfortable. I wish I were crafty enough to be able to truly make dickies out of them, or sew the parts of certain ones into my sweater vests to make a mock vest combo.

    On one hand, I hate the very existence of both of these sets of clothes, because every time I see them, it feels easy to fall into the trap of criticizing my body. But, I don't like the idea of getting rid of useful clothes either. They're sitting in limbo right now.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Ohh I hate most button down shirts too. I own very few. I especially hate those Lane Bryant type "menswear" button downs.

  • Cathy S.

    I did this last winter, when my boss had his annual clothing drive for a Newark, NJ charity. I got rid of everything that didn't fit me. It definitely was liberating. I have to do it again for this summer, this time getting rid of clothes I have had for some time that have spots and stains or fit like sacks even though the tag says they're my size; I'm not much of a fatshionista (I really have no idea about clothing) but I have been reading a lot these days on line and looking at the fabulous fats in their fabulous clothes and feeling a bit more confident that I can pull off some of those looks. So for my birthday next month it's off to the store to replace the clothes that fit but have seen better days or look like potato sacks. I'm a little nervous about the prospect, especially since I hate trying on clothes because of the frustrations about fit and "will they carry my size" but I'm excited too, working towards being more excited than nervous.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Have fun shopping! Clothing can be pretty fun if you can find cute stuff in your size.

  • aliciamaud74

    The instructor at my dance studio hosted a "What Was I Thinking?!" clothing swap recently after class. We were to bring in clothes that were just not right for us, but might well be terrific on someone else. It was fun to rehydrate with a glass of wine and "shop" from the clothes spread out on the studio floor. And while a lot of people contributed based on style or colors that didn't work for them, my contributions were about size–not necessarily, "What was I thinking that I would ever be THAT size?" but "What was I thinking that I would torture myself with starvation and punishing exercise for the sake of that piece of fabric?" It was very freeing.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Seriously, I hadn't seen a lot of the clothes in boxes I got rid of and I couldn't believe I wanted to diet my way down to a size that I could wear that crap.

  • http://blog.nudemuse.org Shannon

    I just did that myself about a year ago. It was astonishingly freeing. I also forced myself to get rid of things that were just worn out. I tend to hold onto things because I'm frequently afraid I won't be able to afford to replace them.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      I hold on to things that are worn out sometimes because I know I won't be able to find a similar item again. When you're fat you can never count on finding things.

  • http://kelly.hogaboom.org Kelly

    I did this a couple years ago. It's pretty awesome to just reach into my drawer or closet and know everything I have A. fits and B. I like it.

    Good for you.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      I actually need to do some editing again, I think. I've been buying a lot of clothes lately but I notice I'm not wearing everything in my closet.

  • http://elizabethpatch.com elizabeth

    "Now I can work on being myself in the present" AMEN! My personal problem is not only clothes that don't quite fit, but ones I've outgrown in other ways: too conservative or too wild, too frumpy or too young. I am still not brave enough to get rid of everything that should go, but its so wonderful to open the closet door and not be faced with a ton of clothes but "nothing to wear"

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      I hate that feeling of having a full closet and not being able to find anything to wear that I like. It's so much better to just have a few clothes but love all of them.

  • http://faithonthefloor.blogspot.com Lincoln Rose

    Bravo!!!

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Thanks!

  • http://www.fatwaitress.com FW

    My basement is literally a small clothing store within its own right. My mom has clothes from size 6 to 24 in wardrobe boxes that she refuses to sell. I have for the longest time tried to get her to give up on a few of the pricier suits as we could use the money but she still believes at some point she will fit into them again. I try to not go downstairs that often.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Aww. That's too bad. She could use that money to buy clothes she likes that fit.

  • http://www.wordsole.com Beth

    I know it's almost a cliche now, but I said to a co-worker who has issues with her body (which breaks my heart) and to whom I am slowly and non-invasively trying to bring size acceptance, "It's not your job to fit into your clothes. It's your clothes' job to fit you." She had never heard that before and had never thought of it that way. She'll still feel bad when the jeans don't fit, but I hope it will make her blame herself a little less.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      I like that saying. Can I use it? Ha. I need to tell myself that periodically.

  • maggie

    I only just realized that I sort of have the opposite problem; I think I need to accept that my weight fluctuates a bit, and not get rid of stuff as soon as it's too big or too tight. Otherwise I gain/lose and I have no damned pants again. It's obnoxious when a 5 pound difference in weight makes me a different size (I'm quite short).

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Yeah, my weight has gone up a bit lately so there are a few things in my closet that aren't as comfortable as I'd like, but I know that I'll eventually go back down so I'm not freaking out about it. I'm one of those for whom a 5 pound difference causes clothes not to fit too, mainly skirts because I tend to carry weight around the belly.

  • http://thewholestylenetwork.com Ellie Di

    Big, big props to you for cleaning those things out. It feels so good to be free of the woulda-shoulda-couldas doesn't it? I've just recently done the same thing, just with clothes that I used to wear. I've had to accept the fact that I'm differently-shaped now and that those clothes don't fit. I'm not going to starve myself to get into a size 6 again, so what am I *really* holding on to?

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      It definitely feels good, and I have a lot more room without all those boxes of clothes. And I would definitely have to starve myself to get into some of those and even that probably wouldn't be enough! I had to wake up to reality.

  • Veebow

    I'm planning to do something like this soon, by the end of the summer when I am moving. It's rough because I'm not happy with the selection I have that does fit, and I am so broke I don't really have the funds to replace the cute things in a size that fits… Once I force myself to come to terms with this, I'll be ready to do the deed.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Yeah, I went through a period after the editing where I had very few clothes. It sucked, but when I got some extra cash I started replenishing my clothes. It at least feels good to be buying clothes that fit me now. I used to go on "skinny shopping" trips and buy a bunch of tiny clothes. What a waste of money.

  • http://genderqueer2genderqueer.wordpress.com genderqueer2genderqu

    I've gained a bunch of weight in the last couple of years, and while in general I am good at this, I have a bunch of cloths that I love and wish I had a resizing machine for (anything I could resize has been, but the nice tailored jackets and so on are not so easy.)

  • Christa

    You've inspired me to do a little closet cleaning!