I Cleaned Out My Closet And It Was So, So Humbling

Find out what horrors this stylish woman (me) found buried in her closet

Have you ever imagined coming face to face with your younger self, thus being forced to reckon with what a fucking moron you used to be? This weekend I did just that. No, I didn’t get access to a time machine (my membership is still suspended!) or have a particularly lucid dream — I cleaned out my closet.

Going through one’s old clothes is an almost unparalleled act of bravery, comparable only to going all the way back through your own Facebook photos (which I also did for this post. I’m a hero!). But I’m a strong woman who lives in a small apartment and has too much shit, so this past weekend, I mustered up all my courage, took out my stepladder and remembered what a wannabe skank I was in college (I only dressed the part — I had no followthrough).

Now I’m going to fearlessly share some of my most embarrassing findings with you, dear readers, on one condition: DON’T JUDGE ME OK fine go ahead and judge me, but know I’m judging myself much more harshly.

SHOES

Jennifer Aniston would still wear these

Can you believe I used to wear SHOES?

LOL have you ever seen a foot look so ugly?

With heels! Wedge heels, usually.

What kind of person was I when I wore these? A college student/recent college grad who liked to fuckin’ party, as evidenced below.

Me and my friend Brent at a club or something and I’m probably wearing those shoes lol Brent doesn’t know I’m posting this HI BRENT!!!

Oh my GOD did you keep this shit or what??: I threw all of these things out. Not Brent (hi Brent! I know you’re not reading this!), but like, the shoes.

DRESSES

Me in a DRESS with BANGS and my college BFFs Lauren and Abby (this pic was taken a few years post-college). Hi Lauren and Abby!

Can you believe I used to wear DRESSES? With ruffles and shit (not pictured but part of the skirt)?

Me wearing this dumbass dress one last time. Please note that I wore this print before I became one of those people who rides a bike everywhere and never shuts the fuck up about it.

Look at me now, a middle-aged mother of three (stylistically speaking), trying to pull off a fucking whimsical ass dress with fucking bikes on it. Insane!

Who was I when I wore fucking cutesy dresses? A mid-20s Zooey Deschanel wannabe with bangs that didn’t suit my face!

Even I can’t even believe this is an article of clothing I spent money on! Also pictured: visible signs of aging.

Oh my GOD did you keep this shit or what??: I threw the first two dresses out because I haven’t worn either or proudly called myself “quirky!” in at least five years. I kept the last one, although I have no idea why because I’m pretty sure I’ve never worn it in public, but I’m a mysterious woman whose motivations are often opaque even to herself.

SKIRTS

Here’s a photo of me casually carving a pumpkin in a FUCKING SILK LEOPARD PRINT SKIRT

Can you even believe I used to wear SKIRTS? And like, casually. Like to my friend Rick’s pumpkin carving parties (hi Rick!).

Who was I when I wore SKIRTS? A college student/early-20s wannabe career woman trying way too hard.

Is this a good outfit?

I bought this skirt in college because it looked like something Carrie Bradshaw would wear and I was still dumb enough to think I was a Carrie when I’m obviously a Stanley.

Oh my GOD did you keep this shit or what??: I threw both of these skirts out, along with many others that I didn’t photograph because they’re not quite as ridiculous. Oh wait — I just remembered I actually kept the leopard one because I like it for some reason even though I haven’t worn it in at least seven years and probably never will again.

SHIRTS

My brother got me this shirt at an ACTUAL Blink 182 concert!!

Can you even believe I used to wear SHIRTS? Teeny tiny little shirts, usually from the children’s section, with stuff written on them?

Who was I when I wore fucking SHIRTS? A college student who liked to fuckin’ party, mostly at concerts or aquariums in foreign countries (???).

From my foreign aquarium collection

In fact, I used to like shirts so much that I went through this phase when every time I visited a city, I went to the aquarium and bought a t-shirt. That’s crazy for me to think about because A) it’s bizarre, borderline alarming behavior and B) I now know that aquariums are cruel and don’t go to them anymore WOW I’m such a good person.

I wasn’t kidding when I called it a collection. I have like 12 of these.

You may have noticed that these shirts are not only ridiculous but tight. Like, so tight you can tell I (kind of) have boobs. Now I prefer to wear shirts so loose I could smuggle a whole turkey underneath without anyone realizing it.

If you think I threw this out, you’re fucking CRAZY

CONFESSION: I still wear shirts. In fact, I still wear this, my very best shirt, which I bought on my 21st birthday (crazy considering I’m currently 17!) at an actual Hilary Duff concert I attended while studying abroad in Madrid. Who was I when I went to Hilary Duff concerts in Spain? A fucking idiot who liked to PARTY.

Oh my GOD did you keep this shit or what??: Um…yes. I don’t know why! Throwing out my weird collection of children’s aquarium t-shirts would feel like throwing out a part of myself — a dumb part that belongs in the trash, but a piece of me nonetheless. Also HELLO that Hilary Duff shirt is literally my best article of clothing!

If you don’t believe I used to be the kind of person who’d go to a Hilary Duff concert on her 21st birthday (you have no reason not to believe me), here’s some evidence:

OH MY GOD IT’S HILARY!

I WAS THERE.

I’m 21, bitch! (Note how thin my eyebrows were YIKES.)

After the concert, my friends and I went to Penelope Cruz’s nightclub, or rather a nightclub that used Penelope Cruz’s flawless visage for economic gain. I think we had fun?

Me spanking my friend and former roommate Janice (hi Janice!)

SO DID YOU LIKE, LEARN ANYTHING?

Yes! I learned that I used to try a lot harder than I do now that I wear jeans, t-shirts and white sneakers almost exclusively, although maybe that’s a different kind of effort, focused on defining myself as the kind of person who doesn’t define herself with clothing. I learned that it took me time to figure out who I wanted to be (also my hair. It took me a long time to figure out my hair) and that I’m now pretty comfortable just being myself, which includes being (relatively) comfortable with my former selves, bad fashion choices and all.

I also learned that these clothes have absolutely no value now, and I learned that lesson the hard way: by getting all of them (plus two more entire bags of clothing) rejected by a Buffalo Exchange buyer who was wearing cat ears.

Most importantly, I learned that I was a fucking idiot and, I’m proud to say, am still a fucking idiot today. And I still like to fuckin’ party! Like once a year. While wearing sneakers. And a turtleneck.

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