The first step to downsizing my wardrobe was to recognize my clothes for what they were: CLOTHES.
Clothes aren’t memories of a beautiful past, they aren’t validations of love and friendship and neither are they testament to the kind of person we are. They are just clothes, plain and simple.
Our memories lies within ourselves, not in the objects we own. Our feelings for others do not restrict themselves to the gifts we give or receive from them. What we have inside us, our morals, values and beliefs define us way more than a designer sharee or a bespoke suit.
When I made peace with that, it became very easy to let go of my sharees that were gifts in my wedding (that’s five years ago!), some of which I probably wore only once or worse, not even once! I am giving away my other eligible party attires (ones that I no longer wear) to my younger cousins as well. My worn-out everyday wears will be going to the helping hands in my and my mum’s place. With Ramadan coming in two months, I am glad to be doing this now, so I will have plenty to giveaway during Ramadan. I am only holding on to those attires that I love and see myself wearing again and again.
That brings me to the concept of repeat-wear our clothing which seems to be a scary thought to many of us:
“If two of my friends are getting married in the same month, and there are three events per wedding, I need six new/ different attires! I mean it’s the same crowd, I can’t be seen wearing the same clothes! I can’t upload pictures in social media wearing the same sharee in the same month! People will think I don’t have clothes! ” Sounds familiar? Well, if you are shy to admit it, I will just go ahead and confess that that surely sounds like me from a while back.
In the past, I have been so caught up with what I wear and how I look when it came to social events, that I completely took out the fun from it. Lets face it, Dhaka traffic is no bliss. It use to take hours for me to get ready and then hours to commute to the event and stay there just long enough to give a check-in, eat, socialize “a bit” (read none: P), take mandatory group selfies (I am terrible at selfies!) and profile pictures in front of posh decors-all within 2 hours at best. Seriously, where is the fun in all that stress and rush?
A social gathering is suppose to be a pleasant meet-up with people we haven’t seen for a while. It shouldn’t be about what we wear and how we look. If it’s a wedding, its about celebrating two people who decided to take a chance on each other and the best part: mind-blowing food (read Kacchi-Biriyani with loads of potatoes)! Its about meaningful interactions not layers of make-ups, endless selfies and online posts. It’s about having fun!
Having said that, there is nothing wrong in wanting to look and feel beautiful when we are out and about. That’s completely okay. The idea is to try to take the primary focus away from ourselves and shift it to the company and the event. The idea is to be present in the moment right then, not online, in our Facebook and Instagram stories.
In one of my upcoming write-ups, I hope to share about decreasing online presence and how it is enabling me to be more present in the moment. It has helped me not to be so fussy about clothes I wear and repeat-wear since I no longer post live updates of my life every moment. Most importantly, if the Duchess of Cambridge can repeat-wear her clothes, I am sure, we can manage to do the same :D!
Now that we have tackled with clothes to giveaway and be comfortable to repeat-wear, how do we move ahead from here? Well, ever since I have embraced minimalism, I have stopped buying on impulse and started buying based on my need, not just clothes but everything else as well. With my every intention to purchase, I ask myself: ” Do I really need it? Do I have something similar already that can be used instead?”. With those two simple questions, I am surprised at how less I end up purchasing.
So when Pohela Falgun (first day of Spring in Bengali calendar) was around the corner, instead of browsing through online pages for a sharee that I will wear once in a year, I went over my wardrobe to see whether I could find something befitting of my purpose. When I couldn’t, I skimmed through my mum and mum-in-law’s closet. I never come empty handed when I go through either one of them. As a matter of fact, this year in Pohela Falgun, I wore my mum-in-law’s yellow jamdani ❤ and received rave reviews (photograph below) !
There is merit in finding value in what we already have.