Recently, I was lecturing my daughter about the ridiculous amount of stuff in her room. Declaring an immediate war on junk, I prepared to attack my closet, garbage bag in hand. I couldn’t believe some of the things I found there – leopard-print halter tops, pleather pants, and other sordid items I haven’t thought about (or fit into) in years. Here are eight items that, once upon a time, were staples in my wardrobe, and which I’ll most likely never wear again.
1. High-heeled boots. I’m talking about those knee-high, leather gizmos designed to make you look like a respectable version of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I used to wear these all the time – to the office, to happy hour, on first dates where I wanted to impress without baring too much cleavage. I know plenty of moms who still rock this look, arriving at the preschool pickup line looking like they just came from a photo shoot or a nooner at a classy hotel. Unfortunately, since having my second child – and months of squeezing my now size 8 feet into size 7 shoes – wearing heels is like reenacting a scene from Hostel. There’s just no way. Of all the wardrobe items I have to say goodbye to, I’ll miss my hooker – I mean, high-heeled – boots the most.
2. Thong underwear. These days, between the “me do it” toddler and the eye-rolling kindergartner, I have enough pains in my ass. I think I’ll stick with my comfy briefs, thank you. Added bonus: when one of my kids decides to pull up Mommy’s skirt on line at K-mart, I won’t have to flee the store with a discount towel draped over my head to hide my shame.
3. Miniskirts, short shorts, etc. There are plenty of women who can wear these things. They’re tall. They’re skinny. They have long, lean legs that look straight out of a swimsuit issue. I was none of these things before having kids – forget about now. Plus, just thinking about the personal grooming involved makes me want to take a nap.
4. Earrings. I used to love wearing earrings. Then I had two kids and was lucky if I found time to brush my hair, let alone accessorize. Sadly, the hole in my left ear closed up, making all of my beautiful earrings completely useless. I thought about getting my ears re-pierced – but then I remembered I’m not a 14-year-old girl. Perhaps when my daughter comes of age, we’ll go to Claire’s together and get our ears pierced in a delightful mother-daughter bonding event. Or perhaps I’ll invest in clip-ons.
5. Strapless bras. I hated these contraptions long before my boobs discovered the triple threat of gravity, pregnancy, and nursing. These days my ladies need all the support they can get – and even then, by the end of the day my bra begins to feel more like a medieval torture device than a supportive undergarment. No strapless dress, not matter how cute, will ever convince me to wear one of these things again.
6. White pants. Before having kids, I wore white without fear. Hell, I even wore white capris after Labor Day! These days, the very thought of white pants terrifies me. I never know what fun surprise is lurking on my chair, just waiting to be sat on – markers without caps, glistening pools of apple juice, still-wet art projects. And then, of course, there’s the potty-training toddler who wants to sit on Mommy’s lap – while test-driving his new big-boy Cars underwear. Given the messes around here, the kids will have to be off to college before I even think about wearing white again – and even then, I may not chance it.
7. T-shirts with beer logos. Lately, my 6-year-old attempts to read every word she sees. I really don’t need one of those words to be Heineken. Nor do I want to explain to her why the grinning amphibians on my Señor Frogs shirt from Cancun, 1994, look like they’re about to fall over. Party’s over, amigo.
8. Maternity clothes. OK, I’m going to fess up here: I have a couple of beloved maternity dresses that I still try to pass off as “baby doll” style. But for the most part, my maternity clothes just sit there, daring me to admit I’m done having babies. I’ve accepted that I’m not having more children. And should that unexpectedly change, buying new clothes will be the least of my concerns. But the symbolism of discarding these items has always overwhelmed me. Now, as I look at my closet, clothes bursting from every corner, I know the time has come to reclaim the real estate – symbolism and all.
A lot has changed over the years, including (thankfully) my wardrobe. It’s time for my closet to represent the mature, semi-showered woman I’ve become, to toss those tanks I’m embarrassed to wear outside the house. Although I may keep those pleather pants – you know, in case I want to impress my husband or beat down an assassin. It’s good for a woman’s wardrobe to have a few surprises.