Friday, 27 June 2014
Blame it on Gemini
I always say I am not much like a Gemini and can't identify with the supposed attributes. Not that I believe in the validity of personality traits appearing due to the month when one was born, but lately I have been thinking I might be more like a Gemini than I ever thought. The symbol of a Gemini is twins and I am very dual-natured about many things. Clothing is one of them.
For the past few years, essentially in conjunction with some major life changes, I have been exploring my identify and sense of self in many ways and one of the more significant ways has been through how I dress myself. I enjoy clothing as a form of self expression and dressing as a creative expression. I love fabrics and some of my wardrobe could be viewed as more of a textile collection. I love colour, are perhaps I should say I love a certain selection of colours and I really enjoy playing in my closet and making up outfits in the same way I loved dressing my Barbie when I was a little girl. I also have to admit to a love of shopping. I love the hunt for something new to me and interesting. I say new to me because I do a lot of second hand shopping so much of what I buy is not actually new.
And then there's the part of me that is almost completely the opposite. That is the part of me who instead of being excited to have a closet full of variety and options, feels a bit guilty about what could be called excess, craves a bit of simplicity, admits to a liking for clothes that don't suit her lifestyle, and increasingly finds herself buying black. What the heck is going on? I wonder if I have been playing for a long time and am just about ready to stop.
When I look into my closet lately I have the urge to pare down and yet there is nothing I actually wish to get rid of. I am well aware that I have many items that get little wear. I have experimented with my style in terms of the type of clothing that both suits my personality and suits my body but I have somewhat ignored lifestyle. I wanted to alter my wardrobe so that it was no longer the wardrobe of a teacher but in fact what I have created is the teaching wardrobe I always wanted but didn't have when my previous life presented financial restrictions and before the existence of Value Village in my home town, a somewhat controversial* but large and thus very tempting second hand shop.
Skirts are a huge problem. I love skirts and I have many. Too many. I also have dresses, but due to more fit challenges with dresses I tend to prefer skirts. I have, here comes the confession, twenty-five skirts. When I was teaching I wore skirts all the time. In fact most of the time. I did not own twenty-five of them then. Now I wear a skirt a couple of times a week at best. I usually wear one if I go out with a friend or if I go for lunch with my parents. That does not happen once a week so I could be fooling myself about how much I wear them, confusing it with wanting to wear them.
The reality of my lifestyle is that I am home most of the time, I do some housework, possibly grocery shopping and I read, write, paint, all of which are basically sitting activities and so I am most comfortable in jeans or in leggings and a tunic/short dress. I did not even include my smaller number of dresses in that skirt count. As you can imagine, what is taking up the bulk of my closet is a collection of things I don't wear very often. But I love them or I love the idea of them. So one of my Gemini twins says I should part with at least half of them and the other says no no no! I have set myself a no more buying clothes rule, except for underwear as needed, and I have thought through my options and come up with this list:
1. Just forget about it and leave everything as it is.
2. Turn all the hangers backwards to track what I wear and get rid of what isn't worn in a month's time. (Do this for each season or at least dividing summer and winter)
3. Be very very realistic and keep only casual clothes with one dressy outfit per season.
4. The same as number 3 but two dressy outfits.
5. Go for an all black wardrobe-consider experimenting with this before getting rid of things.
6. Throw everything on the bed and be really honest about what I truly wear and only put back the things I have worn recently.
7. The same as number 6 but don't get rid of the surplus just yet. Put it in the spare bedroom and see if I miss it.
What would you do if you were me? I am leaning towards trying number 7 but I can just picture it now. I will stand in my closet and pull something out and then think, but I'm going to wear this any day now so I'll just leave it here. Just between you, me and the cat, I suspect I will go with option number one.
* Controversial due to allegations of mistreatment of employees and as well for the fact that it is both a for profit business and a donation to charity type of shop. Their prices are also sometimes a little high.