Closet purging is quite cathartic, and even therapeutic. It is nice to walk into my closet (yes, I have a walk-in closet) and know that everything in there will fit in a flattering way without significant adjustments, such as belts, pins, etc. But after my latest round of closet purging, I'm in a very new area.
I'm now small enough where the purging is becoming significant. For years, I was a size 20W. I fluctuated up and down, but consistently a 20W is what I wore. When I got much heavier, I did eventually get up to a 24W, but for years and years, when I went shopping a 20W is what I pulled off the rack. Now, my 20Ws and even many of my 18Ws make me look like a little girl playing dress-up. So, out they go.
I have not yet purged my gowns. That may not ever really happen. I have many memories associated with those gowns, and they are a good reminder of how big I'd gotten. The dress I wore for John & Wayne's holy union is my "before" dress. My other gowns... I can look at them and tell you about the gigs I wore them for, what I sang, and even how it went. This is the dress I wore to win a competition, the one I wore for each of my recitals, what I wore when I sang with various orchestras.
Even without purging my gowns, though, I am now at the point where my closet is equal parts clothes and empty hangers. I have always been a clothes horse, I admit it. To see so much empty space in my closet is almost unnerving. And yet, exciting at the same time. Of course, I'm adding a couple part-time jobs to my schedule because a new wardrobe doesn't come cheap -- especially when one is as particular about what they wear as I am.
So what is happening to my old clothes? There is a lady at my church, a friend of mine, who recently underwent gastric weight-loss surgery. She is still over 300 pounds to my best estimate, but she's loss over 100 pounds so far. Her financial situation is not quite as good as mine; her husband's business is weather-dependent so during the winter, he isn't working. Also, plus-sized clothing is very, very expensive. Because of how she carries her weight, her top is much smaller than her lower half. So, her torso is already able to fit into some sized 24 clothes. She is the recipient of all my hand-me-downs, which to date is 11 kitchen-sized trash bags. She's thrilled, and what she doesn't want or need will go onto other ministries and people in need.
Meanwhile, I'm collecting coupons and scouring clearance racks. The only shorts I own are for the gym, and summer is about to come knocking -- including a business trip to Florida in a month. At least summer dresses can forgive a multitude of sins through a couple of sizes, even if I have to pull out a belt or two.