Some of my clients are serious ‘cullers’ they empty their wardrobe each season of clothes they no longer wear. They keep nothing in their house that they don’t love and cherish and use regularly. They have mastered the art of ‘Kondoing‘ their surroundings.
But then there are the clients who are sentimentally attached for some reason to garments. They may no longer wear them, but they keep holding on. They know that this item no longer works, is out of fashion or doesn’t fit them, but have difficultly in letting go. There are a few reasons why:
- the garment may have been expensive when purchased and they feel they are throwing money away if they get rid of it
- the garment has specific sentimental value from an important occasion (or it may have belonged to someone dear who is now departed)
- the garment is from a past aspect of their lives and it reminds them of something that is currently missing and they want to keep that feeling, that possibility close to them
Are you holding onto garments or outfits from your past because you want those aspects of your life back?
If you are, what do they represent to you? It’s important to figure out if you are missing something from your life now. It could be:
- a feeling
- an activity
- part of your personality
If you spend a little time thinking about what it is that is missing what have you discovered? What are the emotions that come to the surface when you look at these old garments or outfits? If it’s an activity you used to do and enjoy can you bring that activity back into your life?
Ideally you want to let the old garment go (space is expensive and clutter is not good for your health). If the garment is from a specific sentimental experience – can you pack it up and store it somewhere safe? Remember that your wardrobe should be treated like a kitchen.
Once you’ve figured out why you don’t let these garments or outfits go how can you add those elements of that life into your wardrobe now so that you can let go of the old garments but find that aspect of your personality or lifestyle again in your life?
I’ve had clients who have completely repressed their creativity as they have gotten bogged down in “adult responsibility” and sometimes finding a new creative pursuit, or adding in creative elements to their outfits has made them feel so much happier in the now, rather than wishing for the past.
Some have felt they had to repress their femininity as they entered a male dominant work environment or became mothers and ended up in the ‘sweatsuit’ uniform for practicalities sake when their kids were tiny babies, but never got out of it again as they grew up. Adding in feminine elements to their clothing has made them feel more whole and stylish. Learning how to add femininity to a more masculine set of attire has made them feel like they are themselves again, rather than playing a part.
What is holding you back? Why are you holding onto those garments? How can you bring back that feeling into your life?