Thoughts on Clothing

Thoughts on Clothing

Attila is now working days. This means he is gone before 6 a.m., and returns at about 8 p.m. My day is a blank slate.

Because the new beds are to arrive next Tuesday, I am going through all of my clothing with an eye to giving away items. I donated a green garbage bag full of clothing to the charity shop last week. Yesterday, I had another green garbage bag almost full of clothing to donate. My problem is that I have my clothes from 1987 on, all of them. I even had some clothes from the late 70s, those went with the first bags of clothing I donated in September. I love my clothes. The memories attached to the items are precious. But it is time to allow them their freedom.

I have not maintained the same body weight, or shape, that I enjoyed up until the age of 40. The clothes that looked great on me back then are not flattering in the least now. Also, I have decided that new memories are now being made, so new clothes are in order. Well, at least wearing the newer items in my wardrobe is in order. I probably won’t buy any new clothes, unless I need them.

When I have bought clothing that delighted me, I bought expensive, long lasting items. Shoes that lasted for 20 years, a winter coat that has lasted for 23 years and that I am wearing it again this winter, boots that were resoled three or four times, a suit purchased at a Toronto designer’s shop at a discount in 1988, these items have been with me for decades and I still love wearing them.

But my collection includes items I don’t like, such as logo t-shirts from places of employment, items that never did fit all that well but served me well in the workplace, and items I bought for events that were the cheapest things I could find at the time. There are stacks of these types of clothing items, that I didn’t really choose, but just sort of ended up with.

I think for these last years of my visit here on planet earth, that I will spend time looking for a few pieces of clothing that delight me, and fit me well. I don’t need much, but I would like to once again feel good about what I am wearing; it has been a long, long time since that has happened. I plan on having a great time trying things on, and learning what looks nice on me now, and what does not!

Attila doesn’t give a toss what I look like, or what anyone else looks like for that matter, so I’ve only myself to please. Presentation is not what Attila sees when he looks at people, he judges a person’s “looks” by what he sees in their eyes.

Me, I do have an eye for style, finding certain physical presentations very appealing, and beautiful; these are mere flashes of attraction, or perhaps it is simply appreciation. The flash that attracts my eye is not the usual fare though; I love presentations that are casual and/or unusual. I do not appreciate the corporate beauty image at all, and almost always prefer the before images of made-over women to the after. I find it nightmarish to have my hair “done up” for events, and have submitted to this silently, as it seemed very important to other people who I cared about. Between you and me, when I am subjected to the ministrations of the business of beauty, I feel made up and dressed up like a clown. Not a great feeling, but only I notice it; other’s seem to think I look great.

So this is an adventure I am about to embark on, this dressing to please my own eye. Hopefully it will not elicit the throwing of vegetables from an unappreciative and tasteless public.

The first step is to give away all clothing I do not like. The second step is to slowly replace the donated items with a few, very carefully chosen, items.

Of course, my existing “renovation ensembles” will be kept in the closet, ready for action.

As suggested, I have taken some photos of our recent projects.

The shelves above the steps to the basement. I could not get back far enough to take a picture of the whole setup! At the top of the photo the wood that can be seen is the bottom of the top shelf. The top shelf is very deep, the next shelf less so, the next shelf even less so. The shelf depths were graduated to allow adequate headroom when humans walk up and down the stairs. We have all our Christmas decorations on the top shelf, and paper products and other light items on the lower shelves. In the spring, when we can open the windows, we will paint the shelves white.
This is our current solution to the missing kitchen cabinet between the fridge and the range. It is a table, which was purchased in 1969 at DeBoers in Toronto. It is a very sturdy table, but is too big for our kitchen at Mist Cottage. It has been a very handy countertop in the short term. It is too wide for the space though, so that the range sticks out into the traffic area. The new cabinet will not be so wide, allowing us to move the range closer to fridge, making it easier to get around in the kitchen.
One of the two wardrobes we purchased. The second one is not yet assembled and sits in a box in the basement for the moment. This wardrobe does the job, and it doesn’t look too bad from a distance. It is relatively flimsy though, a step above cardboard, just a step. It works!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EST Friday 4 December 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 5.8°C
Dewpoint: 0.6°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: WSW 23 gust 34 km/h


“Appearances often are deceiving.”
620 BC – 560 BC


  1. I’m so glad you’re getting new clothes! I hope you have good luck finding things you really like. When I was at my heaviest, somehow I managed to collect 85 shirts. I know this because my partner Julia counted them one day. The only one I wore threadbare was an expensive Ralph Lauren plaid flannel shirt. I loved it, it had such rich colors. (I’ve resolved now to collect so many now, for one thing, the smaller closet in our house now wouldn’t have space for that many!)

  2. Nine years ago I moved to a condo after living in houses all of my life (except for university housing). I seem to downsize constantly. My wardrobe now consists of only high quality clothing that fit and flatter me. So much easier! However, I do have a drawer in my dresser, in which I keep a few choice outfits—things that I wore on special occasions, and awaken wonderful memories. I never look at them, but it feels good to have them there. Experts suggest that we should take pictures of such items, and give the real thing away. Speaking of pictures, I’d love to see some photos of your 70s clothing…and if you have anything earlier, so much the better!

  3. Bex

    Stuff. I am realizing we have way too much of it in our lives here, as do most people these days – at least on this side of the globe. If it were simple to shift most of our stuff to those in need, I would welcome that. You are to be commended for your generosity and efforts to do that with your “stuff.” When I find myself thinking of new storage ideas, I have to stop and say “get rid of stuff, don’t just store more of it!” — but sometimes I don’t listen to myself so well!

  4. I’m with you on feeling like a stiff plastic doll when I dress up in clothes I don’t particularly like (probably why they are rarely worn) or let someone do my hair in a way that doesn’t look natural, and makeup is now out of the question since I’ve gotten out of the habit of putting on mascara, eyeliner and blush for the last 10 or more years. Now it’s just a big “Why bother?” that looks okay on others but phony on me. As for clothes, my sister Joan put it in a way I remember: “If it doesn’t make you come alive, leave it at the store.”

  5. lol Joan, I knew what you meant about resolved NOT to collect so many now!

    Like you, I tend to wear the clothes I like the most the most often. I usually wear what is most comfortable when I am at home, and change into what is most passable when I am entering the public domain.

    Small closets force me to decide what I like most. If I store something out of sight, I might as well not own it, because I won’t remember it is there. I have always been this way, forgetting what I don’t see, when it comes to the physicality of living. For things cerebral, well it is just the opposite, I have always been able to keep the concepts firm in my mind, as a sort of template. Sometimes I wish I had a smaller mental closet, but then I come right back to liking what I have.

  6. I love the idea of that treasure drawer Lucky Few!

    Taking pictures of objects isn’t the same for me as actually being able to touch them. I tried that with my special boots, and now I can’t find the digital file!

    I have donated most, perhaps all, of my 70s clothing now. I still have the baby outfit I wore many decades ago. I have no memory of wearing it, but I do have a picture of me wearing it. I have some 80s skirts, they are still in the cupboard. I will take photos if I find anything else; things keep popping up from out of nowhere!

    I remember my Granny had a trunk with dresses from the 1920s and 1930s. I don’t know what happened to the trunk or the dresses, no one seems to know.

  7. I think a lot of us suffer from not listening to ourselves so well Bex!

    We knew when we decided to reduce our living space significantly that our lifestyle would need tweaking. It requires a lot of tweaking! But even after donating almost a truckload of stuff, we have too much! I think for us it will be like peeling an onion. Layer after layer of belongings are going, first the least used, then working through everything again with new eyes. I think I will be working through everything again with new eyes forever!

    This experience has changed how I feel when shopping. Now my first thought is, where can I put that, do I really want it badly enough to trip over it all the time? This has been a real boon to me, because I can go to pickup potting soil, window shop at the same time, and walk away with just potting soil, no matter what is on sale!

  8. crochetlady or Lee Ann

    My daughter looked at this apartment for us and assured me that it had plenty of kitchen storage space and clothes closets. Yeah, right! Good thing half our stuff got left behind! All our clothes came, but not all the hangers. Still have to figure that spacing out.

  9. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Maggie, I think you and I are travelling a similar road but with a different starting point. What I’ve been doing lately is (since I had very little wearable clothing) purchasing comfortable and (when necessary) passable clothing, even though I haven’t gotten rid of my old clothing that doesn’t fit.

    Like you, I have clothing that I think can go back to as far as the (late) 70s. Definitely the 80s. They need to go. Clothes that are out of style and made for a woman in her 20s and 30s just won’t make it on an almost-60.

    Thanks for the pics of the work you’ve been doing on your house. Things are coming together. Yay! I came across this link last night for a ‘closet hack’ while I was going through my OurHouse bookmarks. I thought you might find it interesting, and maybe even useful.

  10. Lee Ann, your daughter obviously perceives space quite differently than you do, 🙂

    I would miss those hangers. We had the opposite problem, too many, of the old wire hangers, which I don’t really like. I gave a way a large box of wire hangers to a charity shop, and they used them to hang their wares in the store, good use for them. I hope you find suitable replacements for yours.

  11. Teri, for a long time I thought I would get back to the physical state I was in during my 20s and 30s. I no longer hold any such delusions! Some people stay the same size and shape the whole of their lives. Most of the women in my ancestry do not. My Grandmother’s, my Great Grandmother’s, and my Great Great Grandmother’s were healthy, happy women who were not wisps. One Great Grandmother was an exception, she was a woman of child like proportions, I think in my family that is where the standard of what constitutes being “fat” came from, if you appeared to be larger than a wispy child, you were considered to be “fat”. A few of the descendants enjoy her tiny proportions, all their lives through. I am not one of them. I inherited the other line, swashbuckling, sturdy bones, and a sense of worth and independence.

    Thanks for the link to the closet hack, I have bookmarked it, great idea. I don’t know what we will end up doing, but it won’t happen at our house until we gut both bedrooms, rewire, reinsulate, redrywall, refloor, and then we will know what is possible and might work. That is years down the road.

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