by LAURA EDWARDS
Sometimes there isn’t any better therapy than cleaning out your wardrobe.
It’s as if throwing away all those unused clothes signifies a clean slate, a fresh start – or at the very least room for newer, better things.
I did this recently.
Most of my clothes went to charity but I decided to make some money from the rest and sell them at a vintage market.
I set up a stall and as I carefully hung my clothes on the racks, they suddenly looked like new again – shinier, glossier.
I had gone into this ‘sales’ mode: sell the clothes, pocket the money, done and dusted. I was hoping to be as clinical as a clinician. I never thought emotions would come into it. Selling a house, yes. A car, maybe. But clothes?
Yet I still felt the sting of rejection when shoppers flitted nonchalantly through my clothes and abruptly turned on their heel, uninterested.
There was a pang of regret when the designer baby doll dress I bought for $300 – and had never worn – sold for $40.
And then came bitterness when a woman who is smaller than me, tried my Sass & Bide jeans that I can no longer get past my hips and looked…better than I did.
“Look away,” my friend consoled me, as the girl happily walked off with the jeans for $30.
“At least they went to a good home. It’s like the sisterhood of the traveling pants! Except they, er, just didn’t fit you.”
It’s not just the pain of someone looking better than you in your own clothes: it’s the many memories that come swarming back when you remember what you were doing when you were wearing them. Like perfume, a piece of clothing can instantly trigger a moment in time.
As I pulled together my unworn, crumpled clothes from the back of the cupboard, I was piecing together those significant moments in my life, good and bad.
The jacket I wore on my very first date with my now partner.
The dress I wore to my school formal.