Coming Out of the Closet

Coming out of the closet.

by Lee Ann “Sunny” Brown

I am coming out of the closet. I have spent the better part of my life in there and it’s time to step out and finally acknowledge this (in a fabulous pair of heels, of course) — I have nothing to wear. Absolutely nothing! I just finished trying on everything in my closet and it’s been confirmed. How much time over the years have I spent searching in there trying to find something to wear? Too much time, that’s how much. Enough is enough! It’s time to come right out and address the issue and to finally deal with the skeletons rattling around in there — empty hangers that have shed their once beautiful clothing that is now lying in a heap somewhere on the floor — ghosts of shopping trips past; shirts, slacks and dresses that once fit but are now shapeless, baggy, unspeakable horrors that are still hanging around in there collecting cobwebs, some with their price tags still dangling from their limp silhouettes. Shapeless, scratchy, itchy, scary, ugly things that should never again see the light of day. It’s time to exercise, (oops) I mean exorcise some of those past mistakes still haunting my closet and partake in that ancient, cleansing ritual embedded in our DNA — Spring Cleaning.

I don’t know what it is about this time of year that makes me have a mad desire to gather up my courage and venture into the deep dark recesses of my closet in search of missing items or to finally discard and/or donate things that I might wear again one day when I lose that few pounds, or have them mended, or exchange them when I find the receipt. All I really know is that I get completely dressed, including hair and makeup, put on one of my favorite outfits, the one that makes me feel really good about myself, a pair of my favorite shoes and step into my closet to do a little shopping. I just know that somewhere in there among those clothes all crammed together lies an outfit or two that is perfect for any and every occasion, and that — with a well organized closet —  would finally have an answer to one of life’s most pressing questions: “What should I wear today?” Surely there is some kind of accessory in there that can transform a little black dress into 101 different outfits. I have read that you just have to look at your things with a different set of eyes, so I changed glasses and headed into the abyss with my goal of coming out of my closet with at least two new outfits.

I’ve considered hiring a fashion consultant to come in and help me with a wardrobe makeover and closet organization, but I would have to replace everything in there before I could let them see it. If I did hire a consultant I would have to make them sign an officially notarized document stating that they would never, ever breathe a word to anybody about what they saw. And then, unfortunately, I would still have to kill them. I just can’t chance the glamorous people at HautePink or MyScoop finding out about how unorganized, or how (gasp) un-glamorous my closet is!

The truth is that I like for my closet to be full. I like walking into my closet and seeing it overflowing with clothes. It makes me feel like I have so many choices. So what if I only actually wear the same five things in there, or that most of the time I can’t find what I am looking for, or that most of the clothes in there I outgrew long ago? Who cares if the pile of clothes that I intend to have mended or altered or cleaned is bigger than the pile I really wear? It feels like I have more clothes to wear. And that’s what’s important. I’m afraid that if I take out everything that is stuffed in there and only put back the ones that I actually wear, my closet will be a sad closet. Sad and empty, echoing with the hollow sound of only four pairs of pants and a handful of shirts. Then I will feel sad, too, every time I look in there. That’s a very un-glamorous feeling.

As it turns out I do have an LBD —  with a scarf that I found way in the back on the floor — that makes 101 new outfits! I feel so much better. Now I can stop and do Spring Cleaning next year. •

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