My dream closet.
October 20, 2008
My dream closet is beautiful to behold. Like this:
My dream closet is well-curated, filled with things I love and love to wear. My dream closet is not stuffed. It is easy to navigate. My dream closet contains empty shelves.
But, alas, my dream closet is a figment. A fleet-footed phantom, out of reach of my clothes-horsing, co-habitating Small state of being. It is, of course, a dream.
In the real world, in the world of bad weather and trips to the gym and sartorial sentiment, my closet takes on the appearance of Henry VIII: overfed, overdressed, generally overboard.
I’m with it enough to realize that the above dream closet isn’t a real closet. And, if it were, it would be holed up in some temperate climate, one that doesn’t have rain and wind, and one that doesn’t make its owner walk two miles to work. This dream closet is a Hers closet; there’s no His here. No Pisa-like stack of balled up man-sweaters to constrain, no sets of fancy man-shoes, each pair of which takes up the square footage of four adorable ballet flats.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t begrudge the dream closet these things. After all, I’m not interested in wishywashy climes. And it’s those His markers — the leaning towers of sweaters and Ronald McDonald dress shoes — that represent the closeness that comes with getting hitched (or, at least, living in the same house).
I do, however, begrudge the dream closet its pristinity. (Is that a word?) I begrudge its perfection, its aesthetics. I envy its simplicity; I envy its ease. But to attain said closet splendor means purging. It means purging, and not restocking. It means No New Threads, period. Either that, or a tit-for-tat tactic: one item in, one item out.
How to go about this? The “I haven’t worn it in six months” test? The “does it fit / does it flatter” scenario? The “wow, this is so ugly” frame of mind?
And, an even larger consideration: What will an exercise like this achieve? Will it keep me from scrounging secondhand stores? Will it keep me from filling up free space with something new?
The more I focus, the more I see the dream closet as a false symbol for self-control. Maybe it isn’t the dream closet I want. Maybe it’s the sophrosyne. Maybe it’s the so-called “simple life.”
Or maybe it’s that super-cute cropped jacket with the bluejay print, there on the left. Or the plaid wool overcoat. Or maybe that killer white tote. Yeah. Maybe that’s it.