"What about y'all?" a friend asked recently after during our nightly Zoom call. He'd just introduced everyone to his newborn baby and shared the birth story. "What's new with you?"
"What's... new with me?"
It's the lockdown. No one had much to report -- and certainly nothing that compares to birthing a quarantine baby. Finally, I said, "Well... I found a box of my old clothes from high school and middle school in the barn. They're in really good condition, and I think they still fit."
Sure enough, everything in the box still fits -- though, admittedly, a little differently:
The skirt in the first photo is from my childhood closet. I vaguely remember buying it, then hardly ever wearing it because I didn't know what to wear it with. My adult self knows it was obviously meant to go with my baby blue kitty cat shirt.
Between the closet and the box of clothes I found in the barn, I feel kind of feel like I just scored a whole new wardrobe. Here's a dress I used to hate that I would now at least try on if I saw it at Anthropologie.
And here it is again with a little duster thingie that I'm certain no one's ever worn before.
Then, of course, there's the long blue dress I used as the header for this post. It wasn't mine -- it was my mom's. Nevertheless, it's so adorable, it kills me.
There is so much more amazing 1990s, early 2000s, 1980s, and 1970s fashion to come. I'm not going to need a new dress for a wedding for a long time. (And not just because all the weddings are happening on Zoom now.)
In fact, writing this post, I realized many of the clothes I've gotten the most wear out of lately... were things I bought, forgot about, and salvaged after cleaning my closet. I bought this swimsuit in 2011, wore it maybe once and decided I didn't like it (I thought the floofy waist thing was dumb, and also the plastic part between the cups makes it unideal for surfing), then found it in 2019 and decided to take it to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Its most recent appearance was in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. I like it more each time I wear it.
Here's a one-piece swimsuit I bought in 2009 for a water polo class I was taking. After the class ended, I forgot I ever owned it... until my dive trip to Komodo in 2018.
One of my favorite shirts to bike in today lived under my bed for... I don't know. Over a decade?
I didn't throw out most of my rowing unis for sentimental reasons... but I never found them particularly adorable. Now, I find myself working out just for the excuse to wear them. (That's why I generally think it's worth investing in great workout clothes -- if you don't love the way you feel and look in them, you're not going to exercise in them.)
Here's another dress I totally love that spend decades in a box before traveling to my boyfriend's graduation.
And another rescue shirt I ended up loving.
The point is, there are many wonders to be had in your closet, in your attic, in a box in the barn, and under your bed.
Next time you're thinking about shopping -- which, I'll admit, I've been doing way too much of lately (though certain expenses, like these ocean and starry night projectors, the wines I've been ordering from Naked Wines and Winc, and my super cheap used music books, are necessary quarantine expenses) -- clean your closet first.
It's advice I've heard before, but never fully appreciated until now.
Even though I've previously advocated for spending more, not less, money, and even though it's totally possibly to have fun every day without spending much (or any) money...
When you spend less money on swimsuits, you have more money to spend on -- you know. Liveaboards in Komodo and hot springs on the Rio Grande.
When you spend less money on dresses, you have more money to spend on experiences and conveniences, which are scientifically proven to make you happier than spending money on things.
When you spend less money on biking clothes, you have more money to spend on bike components.
Not that I necessarily expect people to act this way, just because they think this way. Behavioral economics doesn't always work like that.
But it's still fun to freshen up your wardrobe for free.
It's still better for the environment to produce less waste and ship fewer new things.
And who doesn't love a good dose of nostalgia?
What have you salvaged from your closet that makes you smile? Share in the comments!
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
Want to support The Happy Talent? CLICK HERE!
Or Find me on Patreon!
What's Popular on The Happy Talent:
Trending in Dating and Relationships:
What's Popular in Science:
Playfulness and Leisure Skills:
Popular in Psychology and Social Skills: