Surely you’re familiar with guilt and duty wear—the not-quite-right items of clothing that someone you love gave to you as a gift. The clothes that looked great on you in the store in front of those deceptive skinny mirrors, but not so great when you got home and faced reality mirrors—or your husband, who gave you that strained “okay-y-y-y” look. The clothes that you’re going to diet down into. The perfectly good clothing you wear, because, well, it’s perfectly good, even though you feel dowdy when you wear it. The expensive mistakes, the cheap mistakes, the I’m-sure-gigantic-flange-sleeves-with-shoulder-pads-will-come-back-into-style mistakes. (They never did, although I waited for a good twenty years.)
Why did I hang onto guilt and duty for so long? Because I’m frugal. Because I might have needed those things someday. (Halloween? A branding?) Because, even though pale beige makes me look like a plague victim, the jacket in question is beautifully made and was purchased at a spectacular savings. And I might need it someday. It’s so difficult for me to move past that one.
But I have. I’m free. Now I can start accumulating new guilt and duty wear…just kidding. I’ve finally convinced myself that wearing mistakes or letting them hang in my closet will not give me my money back. It’ll only remind me that I wasted the money. Out of sight, out of mind. But I did discover one good use for a few of my guilt and duty items before I sent the rest away to charity—they make excellent painting clothes.
Do you have things you keep out of G&D? (Guilt and duty?) Or are you one of the lucky ones who can purge freely? My daughter donates one item of clothing for each new item she buys—the price of living in a studio apartment. I haven’t quite reached that stage yet, but I’m getting just a wee bit closer. How about you?