Sartorial Rituals

Sometimes I let the calendar guide me but normally the compulsion to switch out my closet is dictated by the change in the weather. Here in the Midwest we’ve experienced a warmer than usual summer with both heat and humidity appearing early on. From June through this past weekend, pleasant summer days have been few and far between. Of course, the calendar tells us that fall has officially arrived but you wouldn’t have known that with the muggy conditions here yesterday. All that has changed, however, and today’s weather felt noticeably more like fall.

And so, I began the process this afternoon of pulling out camisoles and sleeveless shells, capri pants and short-sleeved tops in pinks and lavendars, oranges, peaches, light blues, yellows and pale greens in addition to numerous white blouses and shirts used to accent the colorful pants and shorts worn during warmer, milder weather. I laid them all out carefully on the bed in the guest room, careful not wrinkle or crease items while I diverted my attention to the sweaters, fleece and quilted vests, long sleeve tee’s, jackets and wraps that have been patiently awaiting their moments to shine once again on glorious fall days, keeping me both warm and stylish as September yields to December and on into March.

With a practiced eye, I also used this time to cull the herd, removing items from my wardrobe and immediately placing them in an already formed pile in the back seat of the car, destination: Goodwill. Occasionally, I will grant a reprieve now and again and put something back in place with promises to myself that I really will wear this or that again this season, for a change. Sigh. We’ll see.

This time around my eyes drifted downward and I also viewed the assorted footwear taking up real estate in our closet and, after a few brave, no-looking-back decisions, I filled a bag with several pairs of boots and shoes and tossed them on the floor of the back seat alongside the clothing earmarked for recycling.

The ‘old’ season items are now all hung up in the guest room and put away and as I turned my attention to organizing my day-to-day closet, I carefully placed items by category – quilted vests and long-sleeve tops here, hooded sweatshirts there, fleece vests and jackets on the top, sweaters and heavier shirts on the bottom with footwear on the floor and shoe racks beneath it all. Later, I’ll attempt to organize clothing by color but I feel that’s enough for one day.

Progress was definitely made and I’m now ready for the new season, cooler temps, brisk fall weather and eventually, the wind and snow. Seasons change with spectacular regularity here in Iowa and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The ritual each fall and spring of moving wardrobes from one closet to the other is just part of the fun!

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