The most delightful client this morning — a woman of a certain age who has lost 50 or pounds in the past couple years. She looks fantastic.
The issue: holding on to clothes from 20 and even more years ago.
Have you faced this? Clothes from college (when you are more than a couple years out of college)? Your letter sweater, but now you’re 40 (or more)?
What’s really going on here? It is the actual piece of clothing that’s so hard to part with? No, of course not. It’s all the feelings it represents — who we WERE when we first wore that piece of clothing. It’s that nostalgia for a past self that’s difficult.
I never, ever push a client to get rid of these pieces. It would be like asking her to part with a treasured photograph. Instead, we talk it through … what was this piece for? What does it mean to her? Will she ever wear it again? If not, would she want to store it somewhere out of sight? Together, we find a solution to the problem of clothes front and center in the closet that she’ll never wear again. The idea is for her to feel lighter, freer, happier without them … never to feel regret over something she loved and let go and now misses.
That’s why she has a gorgeous watermelon vintage coat hanging in her closet, even though she’s given away a dozen or more now-oversize sweaters. She just loves it so much and can’t let it go. And if it makes her happy to look at it in her closet, then it makes me happy, too.