Have you ever- scratch that- how many times have you watched the Rodeo Drive scene from Pretty Woman with complete envy? The musical montage where Vivian comes out of that cramped dressing room in every outfit imaginable while the sales ladies keep bringing her more, and the nods, the claps, the head shakes that greet her every time that mirrored door swings open? Am I the only person out there who dreamed that could be me? More importantly, am I the only woman out there who is completely fashion challenged and shopping averse? Judging from the number of fashion bloggers around these days, I just might be! Until, that is, the day I had my very own Vivian experience, my closet edit. It was a birthday gift to myself and the best self love I’ve shown myself in years.
Two stylish bubbly young girls showed up on my doorstep bearing champagne and numerous expandable hampers. The instructions were simple. Remove your entire wardrobe form the closet and put it on your bed. Lay out your shoes, your accessories. In practice, it was not simple at all. It was far more excruciating than I pictured. Never had I felt so exposed, more naked than I would be in actuality at any point that day. My bed was covered in dresses, suits, cardigans, button downs, blazers and God knows what else, but I took a pic for posterity.. Who knew I owned so much?
We got right down to business. After brief introductions, the fashion show began. Shirt after shirt, dress after dress, I put them on, then took them off. If they didn’t go back on a hanger, they landed in a hamper, never to return to the land of the wearing. One might think this exercise could be quite deflating, demeaning even. But no. With every item tossed aside, with every oldie but goodie that landed in the hamper, I felt lighter, freer than I had before. Clothes that I hadn’t worn in ages, or those that I had put on simply out of guilt, were given permission to leave my life. They didn’t make me feel good, they weighed me down. And now, they were gone.
As the hours passed my closet thinned out and my spirit soared. I loved the pieces that were left- they made me feel pretty, confident. They brought me joy. The stylish fashion girls never laughed, never shamed me for my past sale driven purchases. They simply gifted me with their honesty, and supported me with their eye for fabulous. They shed new light on long neglected clothes I had overlooked for years and was certain they would trash. They nixed some articles I treasured and had worn forever. They were stern yet fair. They were my fairy godsisters .
Three hours passed before I finally saw my bed spread again. My new/old wardrobe was hanging or folded where it belonged. Color coded, in order of season. My shoes were ALL approved (thank god) and I even had an outfit selected for the night’s festivities. I had bid farewell to a lot of old friends that day, but it was a happy split- there were no tears, no fights.
It was hardly Rodeo Drive, and Richard Gere never made it to my big fashion montage moment. In fact, I sent my whole family out of the house that afternoon. Although I didn’t spend a single dollar on a new article of clothing that day, it was an investment I will never forget and never regret. I found a new me, buried within my own crowded closet.
I’ve gotten so many compliments on my looks in recent months since my closet edit. I am not even sure it’s my fashion selections themselves that are drawing attention, but the relief I have knowing that what I selected that morning is on pointe adds a few inches to my height and takes at least 5 pounds off my demeanor. If it’s something you haven’t tried, I’d highly recommend the pretty woman experience ASAP!