Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to clean out your closet

Next week brings along that fateful day of turkey and rejoicing as over-worked college kids finally get a chance to relax.

For many of us, this will be the first time we’re returning to the nest since our parents dropped us off in August. While the opportunity for television marathons and free food is great, an (almost) entire week with extended family can be a bit daunting. If you’re looking to dodge Aunt Sally’s cheek pinches for a few hours, I suggest seeking refuge in the cozy confines of your bedroom and cleaning out your closet. After all, the holidays are a time of giving to others, so why not clear out those folded piles of nostalgia and take a drive over to your local Goodwill? Not to mention if you clear your sartorial cache now, you’ll have all the more space to cram in Black Friday purchases!

I spent a few days over the summer clearing out my closet. I’m a self-proclaimed neat freak, and my haphazard wardrobe was not exactly depictive of someone who folds her underwear. I figured I needed to say adios to the stretched out cardigans and flared jeans I have never worn. Upon digging around, however, I realized my closet was a veritable graveyard of 75 percent-off sales, moments of impulse and generally bad choices.

Closet overhauls are a great time to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s times like these that I learn to rule out cap sleeves, full skirts and Bermuda shorts for myself. Plus you never know what kind of hidden gems will show up. Recently, I found a handful of scarves I had long forgotten and a white clutch that I only used once before stowing away.

If you’re not sure how to go about pulling the weeds from your drawers, I’ve come up with a few pointers. It’s best to approach this arduous task with a tough-love sensibility. So take no offense, buckle down and start filling those trash bags with all of the following.

While fashion trends certainly have a way of reinventing themselves and coming back into style, I think its safe to say you can toss anything made mainly out of polyester, colored pleather and overly chunky heels. Oh, the ’90s. Good intentions, bad executions.

While you’re at it, get rid of those weird tops that I know many of you wore to dances circa 2000 — those ones that started out the size of an apple but stretched to fit you? Yeah, they aren’t coming back anytime soon.

Get rid of anything you don’t wear on a moderately regular basis. To people who say they’re “saving things for the right occasion,” what exactly are you waiting for? An invitation to the Met Ball? Get over yourself; It’s not going to happen.

And honey, for goodness sake, don’t give me that “it’ll look great when I lose 5 pounds” crap. There’s nothing that makes dieting less successful than a closet full of clothes taunting you. Get rid of everything, lose the 5 pounds and then go on a shopping spree. I promise it’ll be more fun that way.

Say goodbye to articles with an excessive use of pompoms. Toss anything that can only be worn in conjunction with a holiday — if you already have sweaters in your closet donning jack-o’-lanterns or reindeer and you aren’t a third grade teacher, I’m a little concerned.

Follow these rules and you’ll experience a great sense of rejuvenation. If you actually are the type who can pull off any of the aforementioned pieces, I say brava. Really, this isn’t sarcasm — I champion creativity when it comes to attire. If you’re just going to pair that pink fleece vest with coordinating go-go boots though, send the stuff on over to Goodwill and let someone with a little more originality figure out what to do with it.

So everyone, have a happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your mashed potatoes and be thankful that your closet is free of all those atrocities.

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