We lock eyes from across a crowded floor. My heart beats faster, I start to smile involuntarily. I make myself walk forward in a normal pace. “Don’t trip.” I say in my head. I’m there, I reach my hand out and gently grasp the hanger. I lift the black ruffled skirt from the rack and think, “LOVE! I have to have this!”
Fast forward three years.
It’s New Year’s Eve 2016 and I’m trying to decide what to wear to the big party. I pull out my dresses one by one. Too small, too big, too plain, too skimpy, too fancy, etc. I pick three to try on, one of which I have never worn before.
I hold a little fashion show for my boyfriend and he picks his favorite dress (not the one I would have picked – typical). I’m happy with the choice and I start packing up my overnight bag. I step back into my closet and go to hang up my runner up outfits.
Something ruffled and black catches my eye. I smile involuntarily. I take the party skirt from the closet rack and remember buying it three years ago, and then it hits me. I’ve NEVER worn it. Never, not once. This skirt that made me feel so much REAL love in a department store that I bought it without looking at the price – I tucked away and never wore.
You’re probably nodding your head up and down as you read this because you’ve done the same thing. I’m not alone in this sad story. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.
I remind myself of my goal for 2017 and decide ‘What better way to ring in this new year of change then by wearing this skirt. It’s time to start making use of EVERYTHING in my closet. I pull the skirt from the closet and pack it in my bag.
Dinesh and I get to our room and start getting ready for the big night ahead. I walk out in my skirt and gold sequined top (not the outfit he had picked out just an hour ago) and he smiles. He says I look great and wants to know where that skirt came from because he’s never seen it. I tell him it’s a long lost treasure from my closet.
I know “treasure” might seem like a strange word for a piece of clothing, but I paid a lot of money for that skirt, so it was a treasure to find...again. And I’m not the only person who has lost treasure in their closet - you ALL do!
A survey conducted by VoucherCloud in 2014 found that the average woman has $550 of unworn clothing in her closet. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/28/unworn-clothing-survey_n_5048486.html) Go ahead, I know you’re doing a mental check of what’s in your closet right now because you’re thinking there’s no way YOU have that much unworn clothing. Go look, I dear you.
Did you go look? It’s ok, no need to be upset with yourself. We ALL do it! Here’s some excellent advice from Jamie Feldman from the Huffington Post on how to avoid that kind of behavior in the future.
Next time you want to set out on a big shopping trip, take an inventory of the things you already have. Try and figure out what you actually need, and if there is anything in there that can be returned, given to friends or donated. That will give you an excuse to not only play around with the pieces in your wardrobe you may have forgotten about, but might even make you feel better about the purchases you do end up making.
I feel really good about the outfit I wore to the big New Year’s Eve party, not only because it looked cute, but because it was a step in the right direction. I know the slogan on January 1st has always been “Out with old, in with the new”, but I think in 2017 it should be “Make use of the old, and it will feel like new”.
My name is Misty Day (yeah, that really is my name) and I'm a normal every day person. I'm a twin, I work as an analyst, I take my daughter to Girl Scouts and swim team, I play bass guitar in a band, I love food and wine, I like new clothes, and I'm trying to be a better person.