Saturday, August 22, 2009

What Not to Wear: Oakland Edition

I live in a one bedroom apartment with a pretty good amount of closet space but no other storage to speak of. Hence, the trunk of my car serves as a closet annex where I store camping gear and other outside/dirty stuff that would otherwise go in a garage like the grill, beach chairs, etc. But even with this storage on wheels, my bedroom closet was getting over-full and yet I still felt that I had nothing to wear. It was with this sense of frustration that I plowed through my closet this weekend. My mission: ditch anything that hadn't been worn in a year, was not flattering, or didn't fit properly. And be ruthless.

What I learned from today's exercise:

1. It doesn't matter how nice or expensive they are: unless I lose significant inches from my hips, stomach and butt, or grow four inches I must never EVER wear pleated pants again. I have seen tall, lanky women rock pleated pants in that fabulous gender-bending Greta Garbo way. But on my short, short-waisted, muffin-topped self? Schlumpy librarian. Goodbye.

2. Long dresses/skirts: disaster. Skirts should end anywhere in the zone between right above the knee and mid calf. Period. Though I would make an exception for a fabulous muumuu should one ever cross my path. I decided to spend some money shortening my very favorite skirt, an awesome Goodwill find, and a dress that I love, so that I look more fabulous and less like an extra on Big Love.

3. Boxy sweaters make me look like the Liberty Bell. Goodbye.

4. Despite the media blitz on the ropy muscular arms of Michelle Obama, Madonna and Sheryl Crow, I must admit defeat to my gene pool. I have the sausagey upper arms of the Russian/Italian/Irish peasant stock from which I come and am definitely not willing to go to the lengths it would take to overcome it. Instead, I ditched a half dozen shirts whose sleeves were too snug in that critical top third of the upper arm.

5. My sister recently met Stacey London of What Not to Wear and she gave the audience a lot of grief about capri pants, especially for the petite. I'm still on the fence about capris, or as my mom called them, "clam diggers." Done well, they seem to work on even semi-midgets like myself but I did ditch a few pairs today. I'm not sure if I understand yet what causes one pair of capris to be great and the other to be weirdly Munchkin-like. Thoughts, reader?

6. I've got quite a bit of junk in the trunk, as they say. Just like Sir Mix a Lot, I don't think it's possible for a woman's ass to look too big.

The downfall for the callipygian? Poor pocket placement, overly high-waisted, or both. To wit:

Poor Jessica Simpson got slaughtered for being fat in those last two pictures. Sure, she had gained some weight since sporting the Daisy Dukes, but the weight wasn't the problem. It was the damn high-waisted, weirdly-pocketed jeans. (Though that belt didn't help matters.) I said goodbye to a few of those today, too.

Reader, I filled four bags within an hour, brought them to the sidewalk outside my building, and they were gone almost instantly. I love city living! Not only does this save me a trip to the thrift store but I am thus prevented from having second thoughts and putting stuff back in the closet.

There are still some items in my closet that ought not be there according to the rules of my purge, but I made enough space so that I can open the closet door without all manners of clothing, blankets and lampshades falling on my head, so I'm satisfied for now.

Also? The older I get the more it becomes clear that I have exactly the same body shape as my mother. To think of all the times I mocked her unyielding shapewear, or compared her giant undies to a sail! Sorry I was such a brat.


sarah said...

you must come back east and help me weed my closet. i have no willpower...

Professional Critic said...

Be strong, my friend!