Finally let go of my vintage clothes...Good Bye!

claire_de_lunaOctober 19, 2007

It was harder than I thought! My old friends were old when I bought them, and I wore them all for many years. They were styles that looked great on me...then. Most of these were Victorian clothes up to the early 1960's. A young woman who had come to my sale called about looking at these and I was forced to deal with them at last. As I got them out of their garment box, I discarded the ones that had been destroyed, and revisited them for the last time. I realized that this young woman who was so into fashion was the same age I was when I last wore these clothes, and it would be right for them to live on with other young women who loved them as much as I did. The good news is the ones that weren't her style, are her roommate's style, so she's sending her by to look at the rest of them. I did find a vintage coat I'd been searching for, and it's off to the cleaners so I can wear it this winter. When I think about this now, I'm a little shocked and amazed I kept these for all this time.

You know, I have to make peace with the fact That was Then, and This is Now. The time has come to let go of storing things of my youth that don't serve me at this moment. Clothes like those need to be worn, and it was fun to see a young ''kindred spirit'' appreciate my...collection...and plan to update them simply by wearing the clothes.

You know, I seem to have spent a lot of this month letting go!

Another good news moment is the scale I wanted working again has parts on the way, and needs a permanent spot in my home to live again. I'm gladly finding it that space.

I'm wondering if anyone else has let go of ''old friends'' recently? Maybe things that were a little painful to release? I'm curious about what prompted you to go ahead and say good-bye?

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Oh Claire. You are so brave. I don't think I could do that. But I, too am a textile nut and love vintage clothes.

It is good to have them in a good home. I'm proud of you and I'm in awe. You did well to sell them to someone that cares.

I'm still in the "junk"-mode. Not the parting with valuables-mode. But of course, parting with junk makes the other stuff "special". Shows it off better -- I can care for it better and I appreciate it more.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 8:59AM
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I'm a little shocked and amazed I kept these for all this time.

I think that w/ some things, there are timing issues--sort of a "stages of grief" issue. Earlier, even though you weren't wearing them, you weren't ready to get rid of them.

Now, you ARE ready.

Plus, you see a pathway for them. I think the things we have an emotional invesment in (they represent our true selves, or our dreams, or something) sometimes need to leave us under a different atmosphere, in a different mood.

We don't want to "discard" them--to send them out of the house w/ the sole purpose of getting rid of them.

We find it easier to give them away "free to a good home" where we know the objects will continue to be valued by someone.

I know this is often true of me, and it's true of my kids.

What great luck that you could find someone to enjoy those!


    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 9:38AM
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Yes, Claire, it is awfully hard. Tally is right about the timing issues and grief. We have to be ready to do it, and when we are it's OK. It's losing a part of one's history. Memories are wonderful, but having tangible memories are better for people like us.

I'm like Cathy right now, in the "junk" mode (and I am very sentimental about a lot of junk), but I'm getting closer to having to deal with the "good" stuff, and then what.

When I was cleaning my sewing room earlier I was wistful about all the fabrics and plans I had, and I couldn't bring myself to get rid of any of it. It's piled neatly now, awaiting my attentions. First I must reclaim this house, then I will be able to sew, read, garden, travel, etc.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 10:36AM
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Congrats on completing such a difficult task, Claire de luna. I can really relate. This summer I got rid of more than half of my vintage clothing and accessories. It was really hard to part with these items, as they all had beautiful prints and colors. Even though I realized they were no longer right for me, I felt sad just putting them in a bag for the thrift store. I hoped someone would find them and love them as much as I had. How wonderful you got to meet the person who would now wear and enjoy your old favorite clothing!!

Several years ago when one of my oldest friends had a baby, I sent her the christening gown and cap my grandmother had hand sewn and tatted. It was in beautiful condition and was made around 1915 for my aunt and later worn by my mother and uncle. I saved that gown when my grandmother's house was sold, but knew I'd eventually have to give it away since there was no one left in the family who could use it. I hadn't been ready to part with at the time, but I knew it was the right and timely thing to do. My friend would appreciate the gift, the specialness of it, and know how thrilled I was for her. I'm so glad I made the process of giving that gown away a special memory, rather than having to send it off not knowing where it would land.

Isn't it funny how we become attached to articles of clothing and pieces of fabric??

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 1:33PM
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How nice to come back here and find so much understanding! (I also didn't realize quite how many of us appreciated vintage clothes.)

You know, part of what convinced me to let them go was the condition some were in when I pulled them out of the box. I felt like I wasn't being a good steward of those beautiful clothes, as some had irreparable damage. Part of my ability to let them go had to do with the high maintenance aspect of keeping them as well. It was definitely time to peel another layer. How I relate to an Onion these days!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 2:58PM
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I recently "let go" of a number of work clothes--fine wool skirts, pants, jackets. I'm still doing nearly the same work, and wearing professional wardrobe, but these either no longer fit or don't look quite right. I also almost exclusively wear pants and jackets now rather than skirts, and I previously had had a lot of narrow skirts that fit pretty closely and with not much forgiveness in the hips and waistbands! I had not worn them in maybe 5 years and had had many of them out of my closet for a year or more but could not "let go."

It helped me to try on a bunch of things in my closet and to see that I had other clothes that looked better now and that I had a slightly new "look" that wasn't achieved by the old clothes. So, that actually styles HAD changed a bit and that I would buy new things rather than make those work. And there is the 5 extra pounds--that I might lose, or might not. But I really can't completely explain why I could collect this huge pile this month and could not do the same thing the previous year. Somehow I was able to see that I just was not going to wear them. And, that somehow I would be able to find other things (this idea is re: the hidden hoarding, being afraid I would not find other clothes. That's not so far off really, because "they" did quit making some fabrics and styles that I like--or at least, not readily available in local dept. stores.)

I think also these represented a lot of my early professional years and investment in my work wardrobe, and there is some nostalgia for that young(er) working woman.

I have had the same experience with some other items this year--things I could not have imagined giving away last year, now I look and say, why on earth do I still have this?

So to me, it is encouraging not to be too hard on myself when clearing out things--that, if I seem to be struggling with something, I can either take a little time to try to unravel why I'm struggling--that does sometimes help-- or I can just put it aside, but that when the time is right, I will be able to let it go and it will feel right.

This seems to be true for a number of things when you have a family--one year you couldn't imagine giving away some games, or puzzles, or sporting goods, and the next year, kids are different, now you realize nobody's actually used it in longer than you thought, and boom--give it to someone who will use it.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 6:23PM
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frankie, I always enjoy your thoughtful posts. You have such insight into clothing issues.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 6:32PM
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WWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH another vintage clothes horse here. Course none of them fit me any more and never will. Most I have sent on to new owners. A few I thought to Ebay but have not gotten to it yet.In two ears. Sigh. I think I need to set a deadline for myself. I have emotionally turned loose of the things so if I do not get them onto Ebay I will get them into the thrift store by Dec 31. How is that?? Man my mother's beaver coat. She would have a fit. But it needs cleaning and does not fit me.And the way people are about furs now I am almost afraid to ebay it. :^((

Claire de Luna I understand you wanting them to live on in someone new. I gave several tings to a friend that always loved them. Blue plates for decor. When she came to our house we have now the first thing she said is "Where are all your blue plates?" I told her they were up in the loft and she said she missed seeing them in my house and how much she loved them. I boxed all of them up and took them to her the next day. She was thrilled and had them hung on her walls right away. I had had those plates for years and felt I HAD to keep them just because. They had become a burden to me. Moved them three times and never hung them up.Time for them to go. Now I can go visit them at her house. LOL

Some of the things I have already let go sort of bothered me at first. Then the empty space they left behind was so nice and in the long run made my life so much easier. Easier to find places for things I used all of the time. Easier to put things away. Easier on my mind not having to think about the things that are gone. I still have lots of places to clear out but like you I look at it like an onion. Peel off layers at a time. Do what you can handle for that time. Revisit the area again later, months or years later, and you will be ready to let go of more. And it is not all about just getting rid of stuff. If that were the case we could all just box it up and live in empty rooms. I think it is more about just making our lives less complcated.

You did well!!!!


    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 8:36PM
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