I’m fed up with closets stuffed with unwearable clothes. Before I make another purchase, I’m asking myself: “Is it reunion-worthy?”
Let me explain.
I’ve never been a big spender. Au contraire. I’ve always relished hunting for earth-shattering bargains.
But things have changed. When I go shopping, I have a compelling new reason to think carefully before I buy.
My class reunion.
With a class reunion looming, the prospect of seeing my classmates has led me to rethink how I shop for clothes.
That’s led me to scrutinize my entire wardrobe. After browsing through a closetful of things I wouldn’t dream of wearing to my reunion, I’m launching a whole new wardrobe strategy.
The new standard for my purchases? Are they reunion-worthy?
I’m a lifelong bargain-hunter, and a favorite pursuit was scouring the racks of reduced apparel at stores ranging from Macy’s and Nordstrom to small local boutiques. The result? My closets are filled with bargains that I never wear.
Not that they don’t fit me. Okay, I’ll admit that a few of them don’t. I bought some of them in those giddy moments when I actually thought I was going to wear a size 4 again. (I can dream, can’t I?)
But even those that fit me perfectly tend to inhabit my closet, unworn. They looked terrific in the dressing room. Was it the soft lighting? Was it the “skinny mirrors”? (Remember how Elaine on the ‘90s sitcom “Seinfeld” accused Barney’s of having skinny mirrors?)
I happily toted my bargains home. Then came the moment of truth. I emptied my shopping bags and tried everything on again.
Sadly, by the time I stood in front of my bedroom mirror and concluded that some items didn’t flatter me, the time for returning them had expired, and I was permanently and unalterably stuck with them.
Now with my class reunion coming up, and with closets full of things I wouldn’t dream of wearing when I get there, I’ve launched my new wardrobe strategy.
Here how it works: I’ll view each potential purchase as something I’d actually wear to my class reunion.
We all know how we want to look at a class reunion. Whether it’s high school, college, or any other reunion, we want to look fabulous. Every item has to show us off to our best advantage.
Remember those classmates who were slim and sleek when you were kind of puffy? Mercifully, thanks to your fitness regime and a healthier diet, you’ve pared down your poundage, and you want everyone to know it. Is there any question you’ll view every possible purchase with that in mind? Just ask yourself, “Does this make me look as slim as possible?” If not, don’t buy it. It’s simply not reunion-worthy.
Then there’s the question of style. Take a good look at those clothes that haven’t been stylish for a while. Do you really want to wear them at the reunion? Doubtful. They’re not reunion-worthy.
This awakening has taught me a lesson, and you might benefit from it as well. Just start taking this approach to everything you buy. So what if an outfit’s been reduced from $200 to a rock-bottom 39 bucks. Don’t buy it unless it’s reunion-worthy. That sweater or jacket you fell in love with at the store? Even though it’s terribly chic, it’s styled for someone with a totally different shape. Forget it. It’s not reunion-worthy.
Shopping online might present a challenge. You have to take a chance that something will look great…and willing to send it back if it doesn’t.
It’s probably easier to hunt for clothes in your favorite brick-and-mortar stores. But when you do, try to remember our newly-minted wardrobe strategy. You’ll finally have closets no longer stuffed with unwearable clothes. They’ll be filled instead with only those clothes that make you look terrific.
I hope to have a great time at my reunion. Just in case you’re wondering, I plan to look smashing–garbed in my reunion-worthy duds!
[Earlier versions of this post appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and on this blog.]