Long summer weekends evoke images of backyard barbecues and children splashing in pools. There are tall glasses of lemonade and pitchers of sweet iced tea. The warm air fills with the smokiness of the grill and the freshness of cut grass. It’s the perfect, all-American backdrop to what we actually do: clean.
I am no exception. I am clearing out my closet this weekend, purging the too little, the too crazy, and the never worn. Fireworks over skinny jeans and regrettable shoe purchases will ignite. But despite the work ahead, being knee-deep in piles of clothes is my idea of bliss. Three days of me, my clothes, and self-care breaks sounds glorious!
To say I’ve amassed a collection of prints and patterns, textures and trends, is an understatement. I’ve spent my adult life assembling fashion, allowing it to cumulate and contract over the years. Bounded by trends, style, and the physical space of my closet, I like to annually cull and refine, particularly on a long weekend like this.
Last year’s edit rendered one of the best editions of my closet yet, thanks to long stretches of home life. My closet was lovingly (and sometimes painstakingly) managed to match the aesthetic I had been striving for. But after a year of additions, the exhibition has grown too big. It is now overflowing its borders, overwhelming instead of delighting the senses. And so it’s time to pare down again, creating the next iteration of my closet by raking through it with a fine-tooth comb.
Of course, that means some thought must go into what this exhibition will look like over the next year. Who do I want to be when I get dressed for the next 365 days? Last year I was intent on being a cool girl rock star. I embraced the relaxed fit and collected edgy details. That rock and roll aesthetic is a vibe that I've been running with for a while. I doubt it will be disappearing any time soon. But how it comes across does change. Some years I’m feeling a bit bohemian, like a groupie following her favorite rock band. And some years I’m feeling like I should be on tour with Bananarama. You never know. I haven’t settled on a theme for the next year, but I have a feeling Harry Styles makes an appearance. Whatever label I plaster on this year’s style, there will be some hard choices to make over what to keep and what to toss. What is adding value to my closet and what is toxic?
Like any good detox, a closet cleanse rarely happens overnight. As anyone who’s done a closet purge will tell you, it’s exhausting. It’s not only about the physical act of trying everything on and sorting it. It’s also about the mental energy expended trying to detach the emotions from the clothing. Which makes a long weekend the perfect opportunity to do it. You can break it into sections, making time for hair masks and manicures between rounds of Will It Stay Or Will It Go. Instead of being a grueling project, as it tends to be, it becomes relaxing summer activity. It feels like playing bocce ball on a fresh-cut lawn with a glass of sangria.