Purging for the New Year by Quinn Nichols
The New Year inevitably instills within us the hope of new beginnings, re-fortified resolve and fresh inspiration as we re-commit ourselves to our personal goals. As the days are beginning to lengthen once more, one can’t help but conjure up hopeful visions of all the fruitful possibilities as we imagine ourselves blooming into who we are meant to be this year, slowly welcoming back the sun from its dark slumber.
Seasonal changes herald different weather, of course, requiring us to dispatch our clothing into hibernation until the appropriate season for them returns and beckons them out of the closet once more. But these transitions are also natural catalysts for inner change, not just material. We always speak of spring cleaning, but in many ways, the New Year presents that same sensation of needing to cleanse, purge, and start afresh.
So, we all know that it’s what is on the inside that counts, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc etc. And yet, as I look upon my wardrobe and consider the life I’ve lived in those clothes, I can’t help but wonder: aren’t my stories infused in the very stitching of my garments, my hardships and triumphs evident in the frays, the worn out colors, the lost buttons who stole away with my secrets, never to be seen again?
My clothing, of course, can only represent me so much if we’re going with the whole inner-substance theory — but they still DO represent me. Or a part of me.
As the New Year came upon us, I stashed away old clothes that no longer seemed to suit my personal style into a cardboard box. After a couple days of uncertain hesitation, I finally delivered that box to the free store at my local transfer station. I’d never wear those clothes again — there was no looking back.
It felt so very good.
Though our appearances don’t necessary relay our true selves, our styles most certainly reflect who we are, even if inadvertently. So when it comes time to start fresh in our lives, it only seems natural that we start with our clothing, or our style, or our hair — the things that people see in us first, the outward things that resonate our quirks and uniqueness.
We go through many personal transformations in our lives, and our styles depict that (wow, I really don’t want to revisit the Hot Topic days of plaid pants with chains and dark poetry about unrequited teen love!)
If you’re wondering if it’s such a good idea to switch things up and enhance your personal style in light of the new year, I’m gonna go ahead and give you permission right here and now. Remember: as you relieve your old clothes of their duty to adorn you, you’re shedding your old skin and making room for the new, the adventurous, the improved.
Maybe you’re ready for a different look; maybe you’re transitioning your wardrobe into a 100% organic or Fair Trade affair to appease your conscience. Maybe you’ve given into wanderlust and you need to swathe yourself in durable and attractive wear that will last but also radiate who you want to be and who you are. Maybe you’re ready to shine your own individuality and sport unique jewelry handmade by passionate artists. Whatever you choose, you’ll be paving a new way for yourself.
If you’re looking to get rid of clothes that no longer resonate with you, consider donating them to your local Goodwill, dropping them off at a free store (as I did) or consigning them at a nearby boutique. This way, others can still continue to enjoy them and you can cut back on waste!
You may even consider signing up with thredUP, the largest online consignment & thrift store. They’ll send you a bag that you can fill up with your lighty-used brand-name garments. When you send it back, they post your items for sale and you can earn a bit of money in the process.
Here’s to a sauvely stylish 2019. Happy New Year!