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Getting the 80s out of my closet.

2004-05-18 - 9:55 a.m.

This past weekend I did my usual spring ritual of taking out my warm-weather clothes and putting away my long-sleeve shirts and sweaters. Normally this is a fun process of re-discovering favourite items of apparel that I’d not thought about in six months, maybe evaluating my wardrobe as a whole for gaps that I could then give myself gleeful permission to fill.

You see, up until two years ago, I wore the same size (and in some cases, the exact same clothes) that I had in high school. In fact, one of my frustrations was the fact that I hate to get rid of things that are still serviceable (remember, I’m rather cheap thrifty by nature), and since I’m not hard on my clothes they last forever and it’s difficult to justify getting new ones. This, of course, is juxtaposed against the fact that styles have changed since the eighties.

I once mentioned to a friend that my clothes last a long time,

“Take this shirt for instance. I’ve had this for years.”

“I should say so,” he peered at the design on the front, “the copyright says 1984!”

This was in 1995.

I still have that shirt.

Anyway, this year the wardrobe rotation was an exercise in discouragement; pants and shorts wouldn’t cinch comfortably or, in some cases at all, around my waist, and shirts that used to sexily expose my navel now expose far more flesh than I am comfortable with. There were a few pieces that I couldn’t bear to part with and kept them optimistically as “thin clothes” to use as targets. Others got put in the pile for donating to the Salvation Army.

Other clothes that I hadn’t noticed deteriorating over the course of the summer last year are now noticeably frayed and ragged when looked at with fresh eyes. Out they’ll have to go as well. (What does one do with clothes that are over the hill? Does one put them in the donation bag and let the Sally Ann decide what to do with them? Does one tear them up for rags?)

Talk about gaps in the wardrobe – I’m down to maybe three pairs of shorts I can wear and not all of them are flattering. None of them are nice, slimming dark colours. Apparently I used to have the mindset that drawing attention to my ass was a good thing.

Oh well, I guess I’ll have to do some shopping, darn it. And at least I finally had a reason to let go of my esprit pants that hugged my waist and ankles and ballooned out in between. I think I wore those to a Parachute Club concert in junior high.

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