Saturday, April 20, 2013

the bottomless closet

 our minds want clothes as much as our bodies. -- samuel butler

although the hard work of eating clean has me slowly melting back down to a size 4/6, i've thrown open my closet doors way too often these days and wondered why i don't have anything to wear.  most of it is probably because i've emotionally outgrown a lot of what i put on every day. it also doesn't help that there's too much in the back that i haven't worn in so long, i don't even recognize certain things. that's not good.

this is the reason why this spring finds me furtively editing my closets more so than usual and finding that the usual tax write off donation pitstops -- the salvation army or housingworks, for example -- aren't doing it for me anymore. i don't know why.  it still annoys me that i missed a huge swap-meet downtown a month or so ago. (there's nothing like an even trade for an instant upgrade.)  and for some strange reason, i don't have the patience or the fortitude for everyone's favorite gigantic online worldwide swap meet, ebay.

i had a vague recollection of a news item i saw years ago about an organization dedicated to helping women who were on public assistance transition into viable careers by giving them the confidence that they needed to present themselves well in an interview setting and providing professional work attire. that made so much sense to me. how in the world could anyone ever land that ideal job if they don't look the part, even if they have all the skills they need?

a quick google search (how did we ever get along without it?) led me to the bottomless closet. initiated by volunteers in 1999, they've helped thousands of women in new york city much more than clothes. a great outfit for a job interview is just the beginning. they have professional development workshops,seminars and programming that keeps women coming back and creates a supportive community. now that's where i'd love to donate those low-heeled office pumps i hardly ever wore.

everyone has to learn how to get dressed, no matter what we want to do. somewhere down the line, someone taught you how to tie a tie or that this blouse was appropriate or they gave you a suit or whatever.  clothes are powerful weaponry and although i suppose it takes a certain skill set to wield them well, the important thing to remember is that the gun is loaded, regardless. what you wear and how you wear it is working its elfin magic and communicating volumes to the world, whether your choices are painstakingly deliberate or completely haphazard.

hm. now that i'll be emptying my closet of who i was, its time to rethink who i am. one thing is certain: none of my vintage clothes are going anywhere.

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