Suitably Embarrassed

A while ago Carrie Rubin posted “My Closet Has Skeletons – Literally”, in which she offered blog awards to those brave enough to post photos of their own closet-cleanout detritus.

I can’t resist the opportunity to accumulate blogging awards and public humiliation simultaneously, so here goes…

I hate waste and clutter.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve cleaned out my closet over the years, ruthlessly culling clothes and shipping them off to charity.  If it doesn’t fit right, isn’t in style, or I haven’t worn it recently, out it goes, no matter how much I paid for it or how much I loved it at the time.

But every now and then I get caught in an embarrassing bout of hoarding.

I got this suit sometime in the late 80s or early 90s; I can’t remember.  The pants still fit, which leads me to believe that it looked just as ridiculous when I wore it regularly as it does now.  The photo fails to capture the enormous bagginess of the rear.  (The pants’ rear, not mine.  I have no ass to speak of.)

But it’s linen (the suit, I mean).  It feels wonderful and I love the colour (it’s nicer than the photo).  And, hello, it still fits twenty-odd years later.

Please excuse my geeky expressions – as I’ve noted before, I’m NOT photogenic.  And I have never worn the suit in public with white socks, either.  Promise.

Please excuse my geeky expressions – as I’ve noted before, I’m NOT photogenic. And I have never worn the suit in public with white socks, either. Promise.

Somehow the suit has survived all those culls even though I know:

a) it doesn’t look good on me now;

b) it probably never looked good on me;

c) it’s not fashionable;

d) it probably wasn’t fashionable when I wore it;

e) the probability of it ever becoming fashionable is roughly on par with the probability of Oprah hiring me as her fashion consultant; and

f) even if it did become fashionable again, I probably wouldn’t wear it because, let’s face it, it doesn’t look good on me.

So I tried it on, snickered, got Hubby to snap those incriminating photos… and then tenderly tucked it back into my closet.

I’m embarrassed.

Hubby is my exact opposite.

He putters happily around his man-cave surrounded by his “stuff”. He’s completely unfazed by the knowledge that he’ll likely never need, use, or even look at 90% of the stuff he’s hoarding.  He might need it someday, and that’s good enough for him.

And I acknowledge the wisdom of his approach every time I throw something away and then discover I need it two days after the garbage truck has come and gone.

But I can’t overcome my need to organize and throw away.  Except for my linen suit.

I prefer to call this “loyalty”, not “irrational hoarding”.

Are you a thrower-outer or a pack rat?  And please tell me I’m not the only one clinging to an unsuitable, unflattering, useless item…

P.S. I’m still in Manitoba this week, and I thought I’d offer you folks in southern climes a small opportunity to gloat.  Welcome to mid-April in southern Canada:

Yes, this is unusual even for us.

And it’s snowing again today. Yes, this is unusual even for us.

47 thoughts on “Suitably Embarrassed

  1. Diane, (You spell your name funny! Just saying!)

    I think you look great in that suit! As jenny_o said, the high waisted pants are back in, big time! The jacket is a timeless style and has never gone out. If I looked that good in a suit like that, I would wear it in a hot second! Paired with black heels, a black top, jacket open and some nice jewelry, you would look amazing!


    PS: I’m.dying to get your next book on my Nook!


      • Diane,
        I just downloaded book 6 last night! I discovered it was out when I was subscribing to comments on your website! I can hardly wait to finish the book I’m reading now so I can get started on A SPY FOR A SPY. How did I not know it was out? I guess I wasn’t paying attention! Thank goodness, I hadn’t already blown my book budget for the month!
        Thank you for continuing to write and for giving me hours of enjoyment! Please don’t stop! 🙂
        Diann M Morales


        • I’m glad you found it – it hasn’t made it into all the stores yet, but I hope it will get there in the next week or two. And thanks for the encouragement – I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series! 😀


  2. Shit, Diane – I remember that suit!!!! The Ice-Cream Cone profile was the rage back in the 80’s. I still have a few mega-shoulder long jackets in my closet. Pair them with those flattering sag-ass-tapered-to-the-ankle pants. Hang on to them long enough and their back in fashion. Scary thought! Should you, however, get impatient: see Lisa’s comment!
    Sally Ann has has a few bags of old business wear coming at them


  3. What do you mean, not photogenic? You could melt ice at thirty paces. (It’s the white socks but from someone who wears shorts and cowboy boots, or socks and sandals, what do I know?).
    I buy shirts like some women buy shoes. I have a closet full of long and short sleeve. but I don’t hoard. When I get more than 30 of each, I get rid of some.


    • Aw, thanks! I knew those white socks were my secret weapon. 😉

      The shirt rotation sounds eminently practical. Pick a number you like and stick with it. Applies to both shirts and birthdays…


  4. I buy clothes because my wife says they make me look good…. then never wear them because they are too stupid tight or fit funny. I have a small selection of clothes i wear that are older or i managed to buy without her around lol. The only way i got jeans that fit decently was because i went on course in Ontario and ripped the only pair i brought 😀


    • LOL! Yeah, I’ve never understood the whole concept of wearing something uncomfortable just because it “looks good”. Which explains a lot about the way I dress – nobody will ever accuse me of looking good unnecessarily… 😉


  5. Hi Diane.

    I’m not really a hoarder, more of an I’ll-clear-that-out-later type of person. In fact I believe my company makes us all changes offices from time to time just to keep the amount of retained paper to tolerable levels. I guess if my wife ever found out this trick I would only have half the stuff I have now!



    • Aha! A clever strategy on the part of your company. I shudder at the thought of moving house, though. My stuff wouldn’t be too bad to pack, but Hubby’s would be an absolute disaster. I think I’ll stay in our house until they carry out my cold, dead body. Then it’ll be somebody else’s problem. 🙂


  6. I think you should keep it. Not to wear in public, but as a testimony. Whenever you look at it, you can’t think anything else but: “damn, life is good!” Not only do you fit in your clothes of all those years ago, but you also grew as a person (since you know it doesn’t look good on you now or ever, but at a certain point you thought it did.)


  7. I’m definitely like your hubby. I still have pants in my closet that I wore when I was nearly 30 pounds heavier. You never know when those days may return! Oh, and by the way, I have a pair of baggy ass pants too. Man they’re comfy. 🙂


  8. Have a look here:

    Pleated pants with high waists are baa-ack!

    And you have a perfect right to keep something for sentimental value, even if you never, ever wear it again, especially since you’re otherwise a tosser. My two cents 🙂

    Oh, yeah, the question of keeper/tosser – I used to be a pack rat, but I’ve been working on that for two years now and am much better except for clothing!


    • Don’t tell me I actually own a garment that’s on the cutting edge of fashion… it’ll utterly destroy my self-image. 😉 Then I’ll start rummaging around for the pair of pants I used to own – bright yellow with matching suspenders. Nobody wants to see that.


  9. I have kept a fringed leather miniskirt that my husband bought for me when we were dating. It is a reminder that I was once (at least in his mind) young and sexy.
    But I had a suit like that many, many, MANY years ago. It was not young and sexy. The shape made me look like a bowling pin (and you do too – which I can see from the pants photo is not the REAL YOU at all!) and linen wrinkles like you slept it in for a week and then left it on the floor. THROW IT AWAY ALREADY!
    Signed, Your Fashion Advisor, Nancy


  10. No offense, but I don’t think this suit can be saved with a little tailoring :-/ Very timely post, though, because I just got home from dropping off 3 big bags of clothes at Goodwill – I can’t stand clutter.


    • If you’d seen the rear view, you’d be certain. I should’ve gotten Hubby to take a picture of my butt, too, but there’s only so much humiliation I can handle in a day.

      Glad I’m not the only thrower-outer in the crowd!


  11. I agree with Lisa above — you could definitely take it to the tailor and see what can be done. Major kudos to you for being able to fit into a suit from 20 years ago!


    • Thanks, Christi! Guess I’ll have to think about remaking it… but I haven’t had to dress up in nearly two years, so maybe I’ll wait. I’d hate to get it all updated and then find that the styles had changed again while it languished in my closet…


  12. Hahaha. I laughed so hard at this, not because the suit is–shall we say…interesting–but because of your good-humored approach to it. I remember having a suit with a baggy rear as well, though mine was black. Your bold red choice says, “I am woman, hear me roar.”

    But all joking aside, a big, big kudos to you for being able to still fit in it. You look fabulous. And I know you’re not fishing for complements, but you look wonderfully fit and toned. I’m a sucker for anybody who treats their body that well. 🙂

    Thanks so much for the mention, and I hope you took every award I offered. You earned them with this!


    • Thanks, Carrie! Wow, that makes me feel good! I’m lucky to be able to make time for my workouts – one of the perks of working from home. I’m not looking forward to next week’s workouts, though – I feel like a machine here in Manitoba at just a few hundred feet above sea level, but the first workout back home at 4,000 feet sure drives home the reality again. 😉


  13. I actually think that suit has potential. I like that you keep it because it’s linen and well made. This is the reason I keep some of my old clothes. Here’s what I would do if I were you. I’d take it to a tailor and have him or her bring it in to 2013. It can be done fairly inexpensively. Shorten the jacket, a little nip and tuck and wah-laa! That way you keep it and now it’s updated and looks awesome on you.
    I know, I’m so clever. No need to state the obvious, Diane. 🙂


  14. Aw, come on–the white socks MAKE the ensemble. *grin* BTW, I think I have that same suit–in green–hanging in my closet. It may still fit me (technically), but it is not baggy. *cough*

    Alas, I am a pack rat and so is my husband. Though not to reality TV extent, let me hasten to add. We simply never should have bought a house with a basement–we have no incentive to throw out old “treasures.”


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