Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Be Aware of Invisibility!

I want to live here!

No, not THAT kind of invisibility, although some days walking in the downtown areas leave me feeling invisible!  Between the aimless wanderers, and the just plain clueless and rude, I often come home feeling like I was wearing my cloak of invisibility.

But I’m talking about the invisibility that happens in our closets and dressers.  Let me ask you, without going to look, do you know what the five garments furthest back in your closet are?  What about the bottom item in each dresser drawer?  And how long has it been since each garment has seen the light of day, outside of your home, being happily and proudly worn by you?

So here’s a project:  before you go to bed tonight, pull out a “buried” garment.  Look at it thoughtfully, and take yourself back to the time at which you purchased this item.

Would you buy it again, if you didn’t have this item in your hand, and an identical garment was available at the same price which you paid?

If not, why not?

If yes, why?

Do these answers shed any light on WHY this poor unloved item has been buried?

If, for some reason, you can name without looking what’s in your “hidden” spaces, or better yet, if you don’t HAVE hidden spaces, you’re way ahead of most of us!

I think one of the reasons a graphic wardrobe image, like the ones here on the Vivienne Files, is so useful is because it’s very visible.  And that makes clothing more appealing.  Stores merchandise to capitalize on this effect – you see the entire garment on a mannequin, or on the “face-out” of a rack, or laid out on a table display.  But once you get clothing home, all you can see is a sliver of the shoulder hanging in your closet, or (for things stacked in a drawer) you can’t see ANYTHING…

So streamline your wardrobe, so all of the «« « « « garments you own will be visible, and you’ll be able to remember back to when you first fell in love with them …


  1. so true! I recently moved my Tshirts from a drawer to a cabinet with a door. I've found all sorts of 'new' old favourites, and also realized I purchase too many sleeveless tops!

  2. This piece really gives you integrity. I just need to summon up the courage to move on items I don't ever wear but hide at the bottom of the wardrobe just in case I restart a corporate job/my colouring changes/my daughters might want/I learn to alter my own clothes/it's less cold this winter and so on. The biggest cling factor, I confess, is that I spent money on it and therefore, as my clothing budget has now shrunk as I'm not in paid employment, it seems sacrosanct to effectively throw money down the drain. However, you are right. I just need courage!

  3. Pussywillow, have you considered selling the clothes? We have second hand shops where I left where we can sell the clothes. You don't get much, of course, but at least this way you're not just throwing them out.

    I know what you mean about needing the courage. I did a massive clothing dump right after I first found this website. One really hard thing for me was getting rid of a lot of jeans. I had 17 pairs. Some were really easy to get rid of, but there were a couple pairs that I *desperately* wanted to hang onto. I never wore them because they didn't fit (as in they fit 40 pounds ago), but I loved the color and style and haven't been able to find the same version in my current size. Those pairs were the hardest to get rid of. After my clothing dump I had 2 pairs left that fit and flattered. I was worried about always feeling like I had no jeans if I only had 2 pairs. But the opposite turned out to be true. Now when I decide I want to wear jeans, my decision making process is so easy! All I have to decide is whether I want to wear heels or flats. Since the jeans fit perfectly and are a darker rinse, I can put any top with them and they look fantastic.

  4. Sometimes I think: Would I buy this at a thrift store for a few dollars? Sadly, sometimes the answer is no.

  5. Dear Frugal,
    That's a GREAT question! If you wouldn't buy it in a thrift store for a few dollars, then the item really doesn't need to hang around in your life. Thanks so much for giving us another way of evaluating these garments as we streamline our lives.
    warmest regards,

  6. I like frugal's litmus test. Another one I read in purchasing clothing on clearance is, "Would I pay full price for this item?" If the answer is no, put it back!

    You are a true evangelist, my dear. Keep fighting the good fight! Our country (and my clients) need you!

    1. I have a huge closet packed with clothes I can't wear. I know I hang on to clothes that I don't wear for two reasons. First I am a "Soft Autumn" and have a hard time finding my colors. Second, I have serious fit issues. I am a 16/18 petite, but just on top, so jackets, tops and dresses have to be petite. On top of that I have very long lower legs and monkey arms, so finding anything that gets close to fitting correctly is a huge challenge. If I get rid of those invisibles then lose these extra pounds I will have to start the crazy clothing hunt all over again. Oh yea, I HATE to shop. But I also know that if I got rid of them and just kept the few things that I wear all the time and love getting dressed would be easier. I really need to muster up some courage.