With little funds and a closet stuffed with clothes, I decided to shop in my own closet.

For many of us those doors and rooms that hold our clothes are never empty. They are filled with pink blouses, purple trousers, and red jackets that we never wear. Fashion is a question of personal taste. But with each season, and change in weight, our love of our clothes changes.

It is for those last reasons, change of season, and weight gain, that I decided to shop in my closet, rather than in the stores for new things.

I went through everything I had. I tried on everything with my mirror on my closet door as good as in any store. I started to make stock piles. The things that were just garbage, like jeans so ripped in the crotch, no seamstress could possibly repair to fit me, and they would just be indecent to wear. Then I made a pile of clothes I would give away to Salvation Army or Goodwill. Then knowing I had a few select items that I knew would fit friends of mine, I decided to use some good will and make piles for them to give as presents.

The process was painful at times. There were some clothes I had really grown attached to or paid a lot of money for and they did not fit me anymore. Many clothes had memories. Like my brown patterned summer dress from Olio Studio in Toronto in Village by the Grange. That dress always made a statement when I was in it. How many times did I hear horns honking in that dress and traffic stop. But, my butt was not fitting in it any more. As my body had moved on, the dress stayed the same. So I had to give it away.

The clothes that remained I found some new ways to wear them so they would complement my new style and weight. I found some great combinations that would impress any shop window. Like wearing my grey Mosquito dress with a red vest I got as a present years ago. This of course would match my Italian red shoes.

The entire experience was fun, and I did not even have to spend a penny on my new wardrobe. Based on the clothes that remained, I learned a lot about the kinds of materials that would complement my new body. This helped me in my next step to fill the gaps in my closet. The closet shopping gave me the space to do some store shopping. But, this time making lists of things I needed and not buying impulsively.

In this consumer society, we can often collect a lot of things (like clothes) we do not need, or want at the moment, and do not want the next season. Closets remain jam packed with great clothes, and some of us wear the same things over and over again. Getting into a rut is never good. And we can celebrate every new day, with a different outfit with the clothes some of us have in our closet. At least that is my case. I looked for a way out of the rut by shopping not at The Gap or flying to New York to make it for Bloomingdale’s sales, I flew to my own closet.

Now I celebrate every new day with a different outfit, a new combination of clothing that promotes my creativity. I feel like a star never having to wear the same thing twice in a month’s time if I do not want to. One day a blue Hawaian style top with jeans, then a grey skirt I got altered months ago as a towel type dress because it’s long enough. And all from my closet with just a few additions from store shopping. Now when I open my closet, I can shop for what I want, without a penny in my pocket, and a credit card. Well, I’m usually naked any way so there would be no place to hold the money.

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