It’s that time of year again.
The time for the changeover: the time when you take all your summer clothes out of the upstairs drawers and closets and replace them with the fall/winter wear that has been tucked away in a Rubbermaid bin in the basement. Last summer we did a big “clean out” of the basement, and reorganized a bunch of stuff so I now have a bin called “Trevor’s off-season clothes”. You’d never know by looking at our basement that any type of organizational methodology has been applied to it, but it has. We even bought a label maker, so there.
It is also a time to check out the stuff that you’re about to pack away and really decide whether it’s worth keeping another season. There’s a Salvation Army drop off bin across the street in the Anglican church, and last summer we filled the damn thing…twice. I’m not expecting such a purge this year, but I’m sure I can fill a bag, at least.
For example: that red swimsuit. I know I’ve lost weight over the past year, but I haven’t lost THAT much weight, have I? Even with the drawstring tied as tightly as it can go, the trunks will NOT stay up. Most recently I wore them in a hotel pool last week and I nearly lost them in the hot tub…..twice. So they’ve been added to the discard bag, along with another green paint inexplicably dabbled in white paint, and a beige pair that foolishly has a velcro fly in the front and if you’re not EXTREMELY CAREFUL you’re liable to catch some pubes when you do them up or take them off.
And then there’s the things that sat in my drawer all summer and never saw the light of day. A bunch of tank tops. I guess at some point I wore tank tops in the summer? I can’t imagine when. I wouldn’t wear them out anywhere, right? Maybe at a beach, but I didn’t see a beach this year. Maybe cutting the lawn? Anyway, I have several of them, including two from P.E.I. The weird thing is, of course, that I have never even BEEN to P.E.I. They are slightly different designs, but both have pictures of mussels on them and both make use of the same pun “Mussel Shirt”.
Out they go.
I also have a Calgary Stampeders jersey. I don’t even really follow football, but if I were to have a jersey of ANY team, it would probably be my home team, yes? I sometimes used it to cut the lawn, because it was quite breathable, but I didn’t wear it once this year so again, see ya.
I’m making good progress, but I could do ever better. My summer style “go to” shirt is a short-sleeved, buttoned up, collared number. I have my favourites that I wear in heavy rotation, and then there are a few that get pushed to the back of the closet that never see the light of day. Sometimes this is because they don’t find right, sometimes I don’t like the colours or textures, and sometimes there is no good reason at all. A few of these shirts went into the bin too.
This is really only half the job, because now that I’ve gone through the summer stock, it’s time to look at the fall/winter line up. You know how you get to a certain age and you stop growing and so you could feasibly have clothes that are 15-20 years old, but you probably shouldn’t? That’s the bulk of my fall/winter wardrobe.
If I were to accurately describe my fall/winter style, it would be “armchair lumberjack”. Lots of flannel, lots of plaid, lots of LLBean and fleece. Digging through the apparel, I made some executive decisions and tossed some items into the bin without much deliberation. Yes, some of these shirts are favourites, but many of them were looking a little thread-bare and really needed a rest.
And then I made a disturbing discovery.
And I realized that approximately 95% of all my clothes, winter and summer were NEVER actually purchased by me personally.
You heard that correctly. The thing about having a birthday in May and a Mom who loves to buy you clothes is that you tend to get your summer “outfits” as she calls them for your birthday and your “winter outfits” at Christmas. On the plus side, I hardly ever have to go clothes shopping, which I sort of hate, but on the down side, you sort of become an adult “Ken Doll”, getting outfitted in clothes picked by other people. A case in point, for a while there, my Mom thought I looked good in “V-Neck” sweaters and went on a tear getting me them as presents. Now, I HATE v-necks, (#teamcrewneck) and tried to let it be known, but not before I had amassed five or six of them. I remember the first time Marla met my friend Kaj. We were going to meet him downtown for a movie or something and I was wearing one of the dreaded V-necks. “Just wait and see, ” I told Marla, “I bet Kaj is going to say something about this V-neck”. Sure enough, the first thing out of his mouth was “What’s with the V-neck, George Michael?”
I’m not going to do this, obviously, but if I were to toss EVERYTHING out and start fresh, this is what the winter wardrobe would be like:
12 pairs of boxer shorts, same size, same brand
20 pairs of identical wool socks (mix and match!)
5 plain t-shirts, various colours
3 CREW neck sweaters
5 button up long sleeve shirts
3 turtlenecks, flannel
3 pairs of khaki pants
3 pairs of jeans, blue
3 pairs of corduroys, brown
2 pairs of long underwear
AND THAT’S IT. That would be the wardrobe, and every five years this would need updating, no exceptions.
But of course I don’t have the time energy or resources to do this, so I’ll carry on with my weird lined LLBean jeans and my sweaters with the zippers in the middle that I HATE and the plaid shirts that may look good in the catalogue or on some dude chopping wood outside but seem a bit much on a guy sitting at the information desk at a library.