Monday, October 25, 2010

Treasures from my closet [and I need YOUR help!]

People, I am so, so tired. Today I've done nothing for myself at all (gym - which, sorry to say, despite being an almost nine-year-old habit is still not something I always love doing; errands with my dad; library for hours) until just now, sitting down on the couch after a handful (or two) of chips and getting to catch up on some favorite blogs and update my own. In a couple of hours, I'll be having gluten-free mac and cheese with a college friend and that will probably be the high point of my day.

... I'm looking forward to returning to Massachusetts, people, what's wrong with me?!

Anyway, on this trip, because my parents have been on my ass about getting rid of extraneous stuff around the house (you mean your parents' home isn't, like, an extra house where you can store your crap?), I've been super aware of clothes and books and objects I'm taking back to my home in Cambridge. Some things I knew I wanted to take home...others? Not so much.

Take this, for example:

I bought this midsize purple leather handbag in a boutique in Old City, in Philadelphia, in the summer of 2005, almost a year before meeting my husband, and about two years before actually moving to Old City with him. I loved it on the spot and it'd been my favorite purse for years. For some reason, I left it in NYC and for some reason didn't bring it with me on any of my subsequent trips. Upon seeing it this time, I decided that the time had come and it's now snugly packed in my suitcase.

How about this, though?

People, this is a November of 1965 Tiger Beat magazine, with such breathless articles as "Elvis Presley's Secret Life!", "Sonny & Cher: Sweetest Love Story of the Rock Age", and "Loves & Hates of the Beatles!" I have no idea what it was doing on my dresser. Someone must've bought it for me, I guess. But...who? And where did it come from? I've decided that it's another iteration of La Historiadora de Moda's mysterious Wang stork, only this one leaves exciting 60s paraphernalia instead of designer sunglasses. You bet your asses that that magazine's coming home with me.

Now, on to the clothes. I don't really have many opportunities to dress up in Boston, but if my parents want to make room, why not jump at the chance and take some dresses back to New England (and find an excuse to wear them?)? Before I go on, though, let me show you the raw materials of what we're working with:

Babe, am I right? Yup, this is how I tend to dress when I'm at home: enormously oversized cotton pants and an old, faded, oddly-shaped t-shirt. I'm too sexy for my pants, y'all.

Anyway, on to some dresses. First off, the crazy dots:

My mom and I went into Saks Fifth Avenue some years ago (maybe also the summer of 2005? It was a good year for me, apparently) to use their restroom. We saw this dress hanging on a rack and homed in immediately on it (my mother adores polka dots). I tried it on and it was mine. I've worn it very rarely - a fancy dinner once, a wedding another time, and...that might actually be it. Embarrassing. Oh, no! There was an Easter in there somewhere. I love the old-timey silhouette and the thin white belt: I used to not really like the belt, but now I'm a big fan and wouldn't wear the dress without it. The season (and my social life) is against this dress for the moment, but it'll definitely add some spice to my closet and make me more excited for parties where I can really dress up: this is definitely an adult party dress.

Now for something more classic:

I improved my Barbie-arm pose

This dress was also bought at Saks by my mom, along with this skirt: what can I say? We're New Yorkers; we like black. Anyway. Nice, right? It's another garment that I've rarely worn [the only thing that comes to mind is one of my husband's concerts], but it's suitable for most seasons and it's always good to have a classy black dress in the closet, no?

Now comes the part where I need y'all's help. This dress:

This dress was my mother's, back in the 70s. I used to wear it to some things when I was younger and slimmer and now it juuuuuuuust fits. I love the shape and the fabric (linen) and I can foresee some adorable outfits with it. But look at that pouch that appeared right at gut-level: I didn't realize that was happening until I saw the photographs. [There are pockets there, so that has something to do with the puckering, I think] Anyways, it's a little too tight and therefore hard to get on/off, but I...want to fit into it again. However, is it worth it? Will it just make me feel bad about myself when I see it in my closet and struggle into it, pretending that I still Got It? Is it even flattering at this point? Should I wait until I have more space in my suitcase? Should I invest in Spanx? Whoah, sorry, I don't know where that came from. Anyways, gentle readers, this is where you come in: could you tell me if I should take this dress back home with me now or leave it in NYC for later? Please be kind in your comments. 

Whew! Lots of outfits and photos! Oh, you want a fun fact? I got married in those shoes, along with this dress. They'll be staying in New York because right now books trump shoes in my suitcase.

So, go on! Tell me what to do!


  1. I used to save everything, especially those things that didn't fit anymore but I was sure later on. Sometimes I was right, sometimes I wasn't, but most of the time those pieces just ended up taking up space. I've really learned to be alright with ruthlessly editing my possessions, and only keeping the stuff that really matters. And it's not hard to know what that stuff is - it's the pieces that make you feel like you've been hit in the gut if you imagined getting rid of them.

    All that said, only you can know which pieces are really worth keeping. And Tiger Beat is timeless, but you already knew that.

  2. I'm with Katie on this one; I have become more ruthless with editing over the years. Unless something is REALLY special, if it truly doesn't fit anymore, I don't keep it. (That said, this rule doesn't include seasonal weight fluctuations - I'd never fit into my white jeans in the winter, but they fit in the summer. Thanks, New England winter!) The same rule applies for items that I haven't worn in more than a year (with exceptions for fancy/cocktail attire).

    I love, love, love the green polka dots and the black dress is fantastic. I'd donate or swap the blue if it feels too small and is going to cause you any anxiety about fitting into it again.

  3. Well, for now the blue is still at my parents'. Since it was my mom's, I'm not yet ready for it to go away for good, but I'll look at it with a more critical eye next time I'm faced with it. Thanks for your input!