Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Simple Abundance for your CLOSET

Ladies, I am again resorting to "borrowing" a blogpost from the fantastic perennial, "SIMPLE ABUNDANCE: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy" by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

Today's entry by Ms. Breathnach {don't you just love her name?!} is SO pertinent to us all ... it speaks to the whole SPRING CLEANING mind-set that many of us are suffering from {er, experiencing might be the kinder way to say that ...}, but with your WARDROBE in mind.

REAL LIFE: Clothes That Fit Your Lifestyle

"I haven't got a thing to wear" does not, of course, mean that we must resort to nakedness or seclusion; it means that our wardrobes contain nothing that might match our mood or offer a just reflection of our current lives." -- Kennedy Fraser

Most of us have had the experience of looking at a closet full of clothes and finding nothing wearable that matches our mood. With a sigh of resignation we resort to a well-worn and time-tested "uniform", where it be a black dress and pearls or a denim skirt, sweater, and boots.

Actually, most of us wear, with few exceptions, the same thing or its incarnation over and over again. The outfits may vary according to the season, but not our dependence on a few staples, which, in their own way, offer a revealing reflection of how we view our current lives. The legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue, Diana Vreeland, was famous for favoring the same style black couture skirts and sweaters every workday for many years.

So what do we do with all the clothes we don't wear? Nothing. They just hang there abandoned, because of their size or color or lack of appropriateness, because they itch, or because we had that last terrible fight with our ex-husband in that sorry dress and don't want to be reminded of the pain. Sometimes clothes hang around season after season, phantoms waiting for some unforeseen occasion in the future that never comes.

Spring is the perfect time to take stock of our wardrobes and reconsider our relationship to clothes. The wind of refreshing change is in the air. We long to shed our heavy coats and sweaters for lighter garb. Let's shed our outmoded attitudes about what's fashionable, and replace them with new ideas about what works for us in our real lives and truly reflects our authenticity.

What if everything hanging in your closet were something you loved -- something that made you look beautiful or made you feel wonderful when you put it on? Think of how good you would feel every day. Embracing the second Simple Abundance principle of simplicity can spiritually induce such a miracle.

Later you'll clean out your closets and dresser drawers, but not today. Today, I only want you to consider your real life and the clothes you wear every day. Do they really reflect the woman within? What about the clothes that speak to you from the pages of your illustrated discovery journal? What about the clothes that hang abandoned in your closet? Every dress, skirt, pair of slacks or jeans, blouse, sweater, T-shirt and jacket tells a story. "Clothes have a life that is quite independent of their shape and color," Kennedy Fraser reminds us in The Fashionable Mind. Get quiet, go within, and be willing to really listen to the tale that the threads of your life have woven.

-- the end of the Simple Abundance entry for March 25th

So, my friends, what does all that mean to us? I'll tell you what it brings to MY mind.

It reinforces the decision I made to purchase some items from CAbi {Carol Anderson by invitation} through my fabulous CAbi consultant, Rebecca Oostra. The pieces I have picked up from CAbi are what my mother would have referred to as 'Wardrobe Builders', or 'staples' of my wardrobe. Not plain old wear-it-with-anything-and-get-away-with-murder clothes - not by any means. The pieces I've recently added to my closet were well thought-out, fun, flattering pieces that I could just see myself wearing - over & over again - and being very happy inside.

When Rebecca gently said to me {I'm sure she says this to all her CAbi customers} that her mother taught her to MAKE ROOM IN HER WARDROBE for the new pieces by weeding out the old pieces -- thus giving them {the older pieces, the ones you know you're never going to wear again anyway} a new life -- in someone else's closet -- I knew it was keen wisdom she was sharing.

I did just that -- bags and bags have gone to Goodwill and Amvets, and anything that I thought one of my girls might wear -- was passed by them first. What a difference it has made in my dresser drawers and on the closet rods !!! It's quite liberating, actually, to make a decision that something that just doesn't "work" any more is OUT THE DOOR -- it's so freeing!

Where can you find CAbi clothes? Look them up online, or contact Rebecca if you'd like to work with the most amazing woman in the business {that's my humble opinion, and I'm sticking to it} at OR on her CAbi website at ... you'll be so glad you did! By the way, Rebecca can work with you no matter where you live in the United States.

And what can you do with all YOUR wardrobe mis-fits? There's so many options, but I might suggest you check with your local women's shelter and/or your church to see if they're collecting clothes for women in need. Then there's always Goodwill, Amvets, or a local clothing resale shop.

Whether you donate them, consign them, or sell them on E-bay (!), just MOVE THEM OUT YOUR DOOR if they're no longer expressing WHO YOU REALLY ARE.

-- Davielle


fioria said...

Wow and good for you. I'm inspired to do some weeding out as well. Susan has a rule that for everything she brings in, something goes out. That would take care of Closet Creep, no??

ann said...

I have to laugh - 3 days of subbing in the same place and i'm wardrobe challenged - no jeans allowed.

so much of what's left in my closet has a story, so hard to get rid of. i did take out a piece (one of my all time all time favorites) to give to a friend, but it had a big spot on it, which hopefully will come out, if not, think i'll save it to use as fabric - it's hand painted.

i'm happy you're so happy with cabi!