Thursday, June 14, 2012

Clothing and memories...

Guest post by Laura Edwards (of Love, Life and Lessons)


Sometimes, there’s no better therapy than cleaning out your wardrobe.

It’s as if throwing away all those unused clothes signifies a clean slate, a fresh start – or at the very least room for newer, better things.

I did this recently.

Most of my clothes went to charity, but the rest I decided to make some money from and sell at a vintage market.

I set up a stall, and as I carefully hung my clothes on the racks, they suddenly looked like new again – shinier, glossier.

I had gone into this in sales mode: sell the clothes, pocket the money, done and dusted. I was hoping to be as clinical as a clinician. I never thought emotions would come into it. Selling a house, yes. A car, maybe. But clothes?

Yet I still felt the sting of rejection when shoppers flitted nonchalantly through my clothes and abruptly turned on their heel, uninterested, to the next rack.

There was a pang of regret when the designer baby doll dress I bought for $300 – and had never worn – sold for $40.

And then came bitterness when a woman smaller than me tried my Sass & Bide jeans that I could no longer get past my hips and looked…better than I did.

“Look away,” my friend consoled me, as the girl happily walked away with the jeans for $30.

“At least they went to a good home. It’s like the sisterhood of the travelling pants! Except they, er, just didn’t fit you.”

It’s not just the pain of someone looking better than you in your own clothes: it’s the many memories that come swarming back when you remember what you were doing when you were wearing them. Like perfume, a piece of clothing can instantly trigger a moment in time.

As I pulled together my unworn, crumpled clothes from the back of the cupboard, I was piecing together those significant moments in my life, good and bad.

The jacket I wore on my very first date with my now partner. The dress I wore to my school formal.

The sweatpants I was wearing when I was told my grandfather had died.

The red dress I wore when I spent the night crying in a nightclub toilet after a breakup.

The top I proudly bought with my very first pay cheque.

Although some of these clothes didn’t even fit anymore, I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to put them on the sale rack. I felt like selling and watching someone else walk away with them was like throwing away a link to a memory.

I always had visions of me, old and gray and losing my marbles, suddenly being able to connect the dots through said garments. One of the shoppers at the market approached my stall and held up the lace skirt I was wearing when I had my first kiss.

“This is beautiful,” she said shyly.

“It is,” I smiled, secretly wondering how I could somehow snatch it back from her without causing a fuss.

Although it didn’t fit me anymore, when I looked at that skirt the same butterflies I felt back then entered my tummy again. I could even almost smell the (copious amounts of) Lynx deodorant my date had been wearing and the scent of lavender outside my house.

“I was thinking I could wear this to my engagement party,” the woman said, smiling.

Watching her eyes light up, my urge to snatch the skirt slowly faded.

I knew I was being silly, that I’d always have my memories, no matter what – and rather than sitting in the back of the closet collecting dust, this lace skirt could have a new life, creating new memories for someone else.

Resisting the urge to tearfully whisper: “take care of it – it doesn’t respond well to water above 30 degrees when washing,” I packed the skirt into a bag, pocketed $30 and locked away a memory in my mental filing cabinet, which will hopefully be easily found later when I’m old and gray and losing my marbles.

To view more amazing posts from Laura check out her blog - Love, Life and Lessons


  1. great post!

    Follow my blog on Bloglovin, if you like it. I will follow you back with pleasure, just leave a link in the comments.

    LA By Diana Live Magazine

  2. This is such a beautiful post. I very much agree with you; I have this strange, obsessive habit of always fixing up my room, always having the desire to throw/give things way to make room for new ones, especially in my closet. However, there's always a pang of regret, or a wave of nostalgia whenever I see things go. Like you, I often feel like I should hold on to these memories, they were a special part of me, after all. But after giving them away, I knew that they, too, would create new (and perhaps, wonderful) memories with my things, and it felt like passing on something beautiful to someone else. There was always a feeling of relief afterwards and a thought, that even though they don't belong with me anymore, I still have memories to keep. Now, I'd like to think that things may come and go, but at least there's always room for new ones, new memories, new beginnings. :)

    lots of love,
    Cariza :)

  3. Cleaning my wardrobe is a delicious experience.
    I love to see what I love and what I don't love anymore. And I always have things to share and give away from other people, like my mother and little cousins.

    See you :)

  4. what a lovely post! it's so true as well about clothing attached to fleeting moments in our lives.

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I ♥ reading all of your sweet comments, thanks so much!

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