I'M IN THE MIDST of unpacking the mess I made after packing up my Brooklyn apartment and repacking it all into two TSA measurement-approved suitcases for a move across the country to Los Angeles. In an attempt to streamline my wardrobe, I have begun categorizing everything into three piles: take, save and take later, and give away. At the moment, the take pile is a towering mound of textiles, the take later pile is substantial, and the give away pile consists of several measly scraps that are either stained or completely ridiculous (see: 1970s psychedelic maxi dress of questionable origin with bell sleeves that is three sizes too small for me.) I've been playing tug of war between the give away and take piles, where I convince myself I absolutely must keep the vintage Lacoste dress (remainder from my Margot Tenenbaum phase) and the heart-print flippy mini skirt that I wore when I was backpacking through Europe. A pink and purple striped scarf that I purchased in my first month of living in Glasgow tugs at my heartstrings and screams "If you dispose of me, the memory of that time will be gone forever." And you know what? That frightens me. It frightens me so much that it has turned me into a clothing hoarder, staring down a closet of memories rather than garments which reflect the person I am today.
What's a girl to do? I'll probably never wear that dress I bought at a flea market in Paris for an astonishingly low price (I surprised myself with my bargaining skills in French,) the vintage size 26 Levi's that will probably never fit me again, no matter how much yoga I do, the dress I wore to city hall when everything seemed so much clearer, neater, and perfect somehow. How can I dispose of the ghosts of my wardrobes past without disposing of everything they symbolize?
Currently taking suggestions. Until then you can find me buried under piles of fabric.