Monday, May 12, 2008

Keeping some things in the closet

On one of my recent trips, the woman sitting next to me on the airplane told me she was cleaning her closets. It's a spiritual practice, she said as she refreshed her make-up.

You mean, metaphorically speaking? I asked, hopefully. I'm not the kind of person who gets into the cleaning thing. Unless I can do it with a pitchfork.

But no, she meant it literally. She said it's important to look at what you hold onto. Especially the clothes you'll never wear again, like those teal pantsuits you've had for years. (I've never worn teal or a pantsuit, and I have no intention of starting now.)

Like my wedding dress?

No, she wasn't talking about wedding dresses. Though it's true I never have taken mine out this big box where it's supposedly "preserved." I sometimes wonder if it's actually in there. I have contemplated taking it out and wearing it for Halloween, but I might scare someone.

But the other day I started looking at all the clothes I never wear. Like the Sylvia Plath dress that fits me like a glove. Or the Dorothy dress that has puffy sleeves and a fluffy slip that is designed to show. I just need red shoes and Toto, too. I wore it once upon a time. Or my mother's old double polyester black cocktail dress that makes me look like a penguin. My mother was a firm believer in one-size-fits-all.

No, I think I prefer just to close the closet door.

Literally and metaphorically.

I mean, who knows when a memory might come in handy?

4 comments:

Karen at Pen in Hand said...

Are we really hanging onto clothes we don't wear? Or are we just not getting around to donating them? Sometimes a pencil skirt is just a pencil skirt. Or something like that.

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

I'm a real thrower-outer (?) there are a few things I wish I'd hung onto. Dare I ask what a Sylvia Plath dress looks like?

Nin Andrews said...

Okay, I'm not sure what a pencil skirt is, but I'm pretty sure I've never worn one. And there isn't one in my closet either.

As to a Plath dress, it's a 1950's dress. From Good Will. It's a stretch to call it a Plath dress, but I do feel suicidal when I put it on because I can't breathe. It's made of some kind of fabric designed to make you stay in one shape. No eating. No breathing. But any excuse to take it off . . .

Zaphos said...

There's a more ordinary definition of a pencil skirt, but they can also apparently refer to hobble skirts. Which are skirts "with a narrow enough hem to significantly impede the wearer's stride."

Though briefly a popular fashion trend, they now appear almost exclusively in goth and BDSM communities.

Wikipedia lists advantages like:
# Due to their tightness and close proximity to the body, hobble skirts can make the wearer feel very warm, without having to wear bifurcated legwear.
# May be seen as protecting the wearer's modesty by largely eliminating the chance of unexpected exposure of undergarments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:HobbleSkirtPostcard.jpg

... the things you can learn on wikipedia ...