The Occasional Woman — A Woman Needs a Plan

| Jun 8, 2020
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Are all of these shoes needed?

Well, hi there, Readers! And welcome to Week 428 of the COVID-19 Quarantine. How are all y’all doin’ out there? I bet you are as out of your mind with boredom and cabin fever as I am—but hey, I’m still alive and virus free, so I can’t really whine about it all that much. What I have been doing, besides making a couple hundred masks, is going through all of my closets, drawers, Big Plastic Containers, Small Plastic Containers, and 4 floors of fabric, clothing, shoes, purses and stuff I can hardly identify! What, you may ask, was my Plan? If you knew me personally, you would know that I, and my life, am the anathema of Planning; but I did develop several plans for my Big Keep or Toss Experience.

1. I broke it down to floors of the house. Starting at the top, the attic, while it was still cool enough to ransack the place where heat rises, I took all of the hanging clothes on the “Not In Season” rack and threw them down the stairs; next time I do this, I will remember to tell my huzzband first, so that he is not pelted with flying objets d’arte. then, I pushed the teeming masses into my sewing room, where I sorted them by: Outerwear, Fancy, Pants, Skirts, Dresses, Tops and my favorite category, known as “HUH”?

2. Next, I assembled appropriate undies, shoes and tall mirror. Over the next few hours, I tried on EVERY BLESSED THING that once lived in the attic! These went into separate piles:

a. Keep—all good. These are items I really loved, that fit well, and needed no work, i.e., shorten, mend a rip, add some trim etc.

b. Items that I really loved, but needed work—these had to be remarkable clothing, as I already have tons of sewing to do.

c.Things that have got to go—with two sub-piles: Thrift and Sell. Those 2 clumps go immediately into bags or cardboard boxes, and off to the front porch. Then, I had a snack, and hung up or put away the items from group a. I bagged the b, or mend group, stuffed them into the closet.

3. I repeated this action for the next two floors—sort, try on, ponder, classify. We’re on Day Two by now! Piles are growing nicely.

4. My bottom floor, the Basement, is 78% fabric. I made the executive decision to ignore it. That’s for days when it is so dang hot that the subterranean recesses of the Basement make it an attractive option for hiding from the heat.

My next step is the hardest part—Re-Sorting piles a and b. The best-loved clothes are first; How long have I had it? How often (if ever) have I worn it? Does it really look great, or just good, and when will I ever get the opportunity to actually wear it? I was able to really pare down this pile, as the tapestry ‘70s coat was fabulous—but I had worn it only once in ten years, and now it made my neck itch! Gone. The long black embroidered corduroy coat I adored—I never did wear that, it is kind of stiff and claustrophobic. So, I may have saved 1/2 of what I had originally placed in that group. The Mending pile was equally quick to go—would I really remove the zipper, shorten the bodice, let it out as much as possible, shorten the hem, and add sleeves from the discarded hem? Would I actually live long enough to to all that? the answer was. . .no. Gone.

I did this with all areas of clothing—I just did the entire t-shirt drawer yesterday; tried them all on, with jeans and/or shorts, and wound up shortening about 10 shirts last night, and 86ing the rest. I found three skirts in various stages of sewing, mending and fitting—I finished altering them all by this morning. I now have a good selection of skirts for summer, and blouses, shirts and other tops to go with them! And the dresses. . .After the three actions of Try, Fit, Classify and alter, I now have 6 or 7 great summer dresses in my closet, to wear when. . .uh, when we can go out again!

I heartily recommend this method of sorting. It lets you know what you have and what you can actually wear; it saves you money in not needing to buy new stuff, and the ability to make some money by selling no longer used stuff. It helps free your mind and self of tons of superfluous items, gives you more space, and when we de-clutter our space, our mind gets less filled with flotsam and jetsam too. Why not utilize your quarantine time to help streamline your life?

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Category: Transgender Fashion

The Occasional Woman

About the Author ()

I am a native Californian who has been based in the Philadelphia area since 1984. My first CD fashion creation was a gold lamé dress for the now esteemed editor of this publication. Since then I have made tons of fabulous frocks and other fashion apparel for the crossdressing and transgender community. Contact me for custom clothing or alterations via email: Visit my Facebook page, @alterationsbylorraine

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