Shopping Cleanse: Embracing The Uniform

Senior Digital Projects Editor

The main reason I went on this shopping cleanse was because I found myself anxious about money. The bills mounting on my desk were far more worrisome than a perfectly balanced wardrobe. My bursting closet was such a source of strife—it had to be dealt with. I was speaking with one of my most trusted friends, she's sort of my compass for all situations, and she asked me how the cleanse was going. Knowing what a toll the somewhat riotous spending was taking, she told me that I wear the same thing every day anyway, so what did it matter?

Eureka! She was right—black jeans, a navy sweater and a coat. As far as I'm concerned, navy and black is my thing (although, it's a lot of people's thing) and nothing I own looks better. I've known this for a while, but continued retail binging. Despite any new purchase, my navy sweaters have always remained heavy in the rotation and I never stray from my sacred uniform. Standing in front of my closet, I saw clothes that I hadn't worn in months, that just sat there taking up space, laughing at me. If they weren't part of this navy and black combo I'd grown accustomed to, they had to go. And so, I came up with the criteria:

  1. If you haven't worn it in a month, get rid of it: If you've gone four weeks without wearing something, you're probably not going to miss it too much. Maybe once in a blue moon you'll think, "Oh, man, I should've kept that." But that doesn't mean it's worth it.
  2. If you've never worn it, you shouldn't have bought it: Unfortunately, there are many items hanging in my closet with tags still on them. There's no better reminder of foolish spending than that. Toss. Also, cry.
  3. If it doesn't fit now, it's not worth holding on to: My size fluctuates a lot. Lately, it's been on the decrease (thank you) which has left me with a lot of clothes I can't even wear, regardless of whether I want to or not. Goodbye, husky jeans, I never liked you anyway.

Slowly but surely, the closet that haunted my dreams and drained my wallet became less and less of a demon. It felt great. It feels great. The shopping cleanse had now taken physical form. My hangers can breathe, my closet will close and I know that everything I own is something I love and something I wear. Wake up early on a Saturday and do it. You'll feel a whole lot better—especially if you donate the excess clothing to those in need this holiday season.

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