All my life I have bought clothes — Payson calls me a clothes horse — in an effort to look good in a comfortable sort of way. And though I have a bulging closet,when it’s time to go out, like last night for the excellent play ACROSS WORLDS that our dear friends Jeff Salz and Alepho Deng wrote together and performed last night in Carlsbad, I feel I have no clothes to wear.

In my spare time I have been thinning out my closet, giving stuff away, but more importantly, I have been rearranging and organizing my closet by outfits. This is about paying attention to an aspect of our lives that matter to us women, bred as we are to think about appearance and our own needs (internalized societal injunctions?) to be ‘pretty.’ Here’s another confession: I like to look pretty! And because I am no longer young (thank God!) and no longer have the advantage of youth, I make up for it by dressing well.

It doesn’t take much to dress well. One can work very well with what one has, or even if one has to buy a thing or two to complete an outfit, one needn’t spend tons of money. I now shop at the inexpensive stores — Marshall’s, or Macy’s when they are having a sale — because I have come to see clothes as disposable in the sense that one outgrows one’s attraction to them. What works in one season/time/year doesn’t work in another. It is always good to give clothes away because then they remain in circulation.

But I have gone off the track (tack?): I was speaking about organizing clothes according to outfits. If I wear something that works for me, I immediately put it away as an outfit, together with some jewelry (I make my own with semi-precious stones: in fact, that has been a passion of mine till the last few years), or an accessory, like a shawl or scarf that goes with it. I like to embroider my own, and one of these days I’ll get it together to post some pictures.

What I like about all of this is PAYING ATTENTION to all the details of my life. And not only that, but ENJOYING all the details of life.  

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