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How To Wear Everything In Your Closets


In the photo above, I'm standing in front of a friend's amazing painting which hangs in the TVG Marketing Services office. In addition to loving the colors in this striking piece of art, I like that there's also a hidden scripture in the painting.


The artist who painted this also happens to be of the most generous individuals I know. In fact, one year, she decided not to purchase any new clothes. Instead, she donated the money she'd normally spend on her wardrobe to charity.


I thought about that as I embarked on the final week of my Closet ClotheSure Challenge. In case you're not aware of what Closet ClotheSure is, let me explain. Back in January 2020, my youngest son Nick remarked that I had too many clothes. "I bet you could go the rest of the year without wearing the same outfit to work," he said.


In all honesty, I didn't think I had that much stuff but I knew there were many things that should have hit the donation pile long before this conversation.


Like most women, I have my "fluffy clothes" and my "skinny clothes" and then there are those outfits that fit me when I'm at the "just right size" for me. I recall hearing a radio personality who'd been sponsored by some weight-loss company and slimmed down to their goal weight, brag that they were now able to wear everything in their closet.


Here's the thing about that—it's been my experience that when you succeed in losing enough weight to wear everything in your closet, you don't want to wear what's hangin' around in there! You want NEW STUFF! So, you go and buy a bunch of new outfits (which look amazing on you, btw!) and for a spell, all is right with the world. (This is how I ended up with too many size 6 pieces and even a couple of size 4's)

Here's an Ann Taylor (Size 6) number that got the boot during Week 31 of The Challenge. (full disclosure: I couldn't get the silly thing zipped up all the way in the back because it was so tight and had to wear a jacket over it all day to hide that it was too small on me)


Now, please don't get me wrong. I'm a firm believer in staying healthy and trim but my true size 6 days are way back there in the rearview mirror (I'm thinking maybe the 80's, lol) And, as much as I enjoyed my short-lived soirée into the 6's, I gradually crept back up to my "just right sizes" of 8's and 10's. And, for the record, I'm okay with that.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are my "fluffy clothes" —or as I like to call them, my "pie-eatin' jeans! These are the garments I pull out whenever my size 10's get a little snug. (You know, the ones where you can indiscreetly unsnap the waste button and actually breathe because you've indulged in a little too much Mexican food?)

This high-lighter pink swing dress hides a multitude of sins! (It got the boot in Week 27)


Do'in It Right -

I worked with a girl a few years back who was on a successful weight loss trek. Like me, she had a variety of different-sized clothes she couldn't or wouldn't wear. As she lost weight, she would buy inexpensive jeans at Walmart. As the weeks went by and she became too small for her current jeans, she would toss them out and purchase new ones in the next smaller size. I've gotta hand it to her for sticking with it. It's been over ten years now and she's still wearing her goal-weight-sized clothes and looks incredible. I promise you, her closets aren't filled with multiple-sized clothes so as long as she maintains her goal-weight, she can wear everything in her closet!

Wearing my "just-right for me size" dress by Calvin Klein, Week 40 - Definitely feeling Like a "Ten"!


After spending the last year chronicling this journey, I feel it's important to share the harsh (albeit, self-imposed) rules of my Closet ClotheSure Challenge:


1. I must wear a different outfit to work, Monday through Thursday without repeats until I run out of clothes. 2. I must wear what’s in my closet. (If something’s hanging in there, I must have had a reason to keep it, right?) 3. I cannot buy any new clothes during The Challenge—gasp! 4. Anything that doesn’t make me feel like a “ten” when I’m wearing it will be donated to charity or given to a family member or friend.

In case you're wondering, I made it a full year (a month past when Nick challenged me on this adventure), and admittedly still have enough garments left in my closets to continue for a few weeks longer. But, enough is enough! If you're interested in seeing the full 52 weeks of my Closet ClotheSure Challenge in review, you can check it out on Pinterest where I've itemized each outfit and explained why it was either a loser or a keeper.


https://www.pinterest.com/mesimmons32/closet-clothesure-challenge/


Overall, it's been a lot of work but a lot of fun. In a strange and funky way, it's brought my husband James and me closer together. I'm grateful that he's been my patient and supportive photographer for all these weeks. (I think he's still amazed & a little freaked out by how many clothes I have. (had) I can't tell you how many times he said, "I've never seen that dress before." hmm)

Since we've come to the end of the road, here's my final scorecard:

Beginning Feb. 3, 2020, through January 28, 2021, I've worn 203 different outfits. Out of these, 86 have been donated and 117 have been kept. (You're thinking: she still needs to get rid of some stuff, right?)


Closet ClotheSure has definitely been a learning experience and I've gotten a lot of joy from handing off garments that no longer work for me to others. I've found that whether it's a kind smile, a thoughtful word, or pledging your would-be wardrobe purchases for the year to charity, it all adds up to brightening someone else's day. And, while ridding myself of some clothing that doesn't make me feel like a "ten" is a very minor thing, it was nonetheless, something I'm happy to have done.


Who knows? Maybe I'll take the 117 pieces I kept and cull those down on another round of Closet ClotheSure. We'll call it, Season II!

Sidebar: I can see James cringing as he reads this!

Closet ClotheSure Week 52


Monday -


Ann Taylor orange fitted dress.


This stunning, side-zipper number was one of my go-to favs a few years back. The problem with it now is that the garment has begun to show its age.


While I love the bright color and the flattering cut, I've noticed some areas where the fabric is "balling" in places and looking a bit tired.


I'll donate this piece to a local charity.

#anntaylor #businessattire #workwear







Tuesday -


This fun, black swing dress from White House Black Market is also on the loser board.


It's not that there's anything wrong with the dress, it's just . . . well, boring!


I thought about hanging onto it for a while but that would defeat the purpose of Closet ClotheSure.


Besides - I still have so many black pieces in my closet.


It's time to say goodbye!


#whitehouseblackmarket #kissitgoodbye




Wednesday -


From New York & Company, this long, stretchy purple dress has a fun necktie at the collar.


It was one of the last things I purchased online before my Closet ClotheSure Challenge began and I didn't pay very much for it.


I'm keeping it for another couple of wears, but I doubt it will stay in my closet for very long. After this past year of discovering what I truly want to wear, this would not be one of those pieces.


But I do love the color!

#purple #newyorkandcompany



Thursday!


The very last outfit of Closet ClotheSure is this long, fitted dress by Eva Mendes. Although this dress received a lot of negative comments on social media, (one friend even commented that the fabric reminded him of the drapes that Julia Andrews used to sew clothes for the children in The Sound of Music! lol), it's one of my favs.


I purchased it a few years back to wear to my youngest son Nick's college graduation. I find it ironic that the jade-green lace-up heels I'm wearing with the dress are the exact same shoes I wore with the very first dress in Closet ClotheSure. (Serendipitous?)



Week One of Closet ClotheSure - Feb. 3, 2020.


As I look at this photo, I'm wondering if the Monica in this picture realized what she was getting herself into by accepting this challenge!


In my opinion, the gal in this picture looks a little haggard (and perhaps about five pounds overweight!)


Little did she know when this picture was taken that 2020 would cast her into the craziest, most unpredictable year of her life.




To those of you who stuck with me during Closet ClotheSure . . .

From The Great Outdoors -


Out for a stroll with our granddog Dallas and enjoying some lovely Texas sunshine in January!


God bless you all and remember - God is in control and hope is on the move!


Love,

Monica