I used to be quite the clotheshorse, and until last week, I could easily prove it. But in a recent fit of clutter-cutting, the last indicator of my once-stylish wardrobe took a dive – into the dumpster, that is. I finally cleaned out a dresser drawer stuffed with old pantyhose.
To see how I dress now, you’d never know I once stopped by the mall on the way home from work at least once a week to buy a new outfit. And I’m not talking about clothes only. I’d often buy the shoes, jewelry, and – yes – pantyhose to match.
But about 15 or 16 years ago, my wardrobe began to take on a more casual flair. I’m a casual kind of person by nature, so the lure of the simpler styles of the 1990s was too much to resist. Beginning early in that decade, each time I’d clean out my closet, more power suits and dresses wound up in the donation bag, and more jumpers, broomstick skirts and chinos, all with matching pullover shirts and sweaters, took their place.
Then about 12 years ago, I began working from home, and my wardrobe became even more casual, with shorts, sweatpants and T-shirts becoming the dominating attire. I naturally dressed up a little more whenever meeting with clients or conducting in-person interviews. But unless I was attending a wedding or funeral, getting all decked out was something I hardly ever did or have done since.
Even when I briefly returned to a law office setting a few years ago, my wardrobe rarely ever rose above the business casual mark. The firm was smaller and more laid-back than the large firms I formerly worked for, so dressing comfortably was the norm. Still, though, when I first became employed there, I was faced with the expensive and rather daunting task of rebuilding my work wardrobe to a respectable degree.
By then, I wasn’t the chronic shopper I used to be, and my economic priorities had changed over the years. So spending huge amounts of time and money on clothing and accessories no longer excited me the way it once had. And none of my purchases included pantyhose.
So it’s obvious that for the past decade and more, my need for pantyhose has been nearly nil. For some reason, though, I never bothered to clean out the old pantyhose drawer, even though much of what it contained was far too small and out of style.
Don’t ask me why it took so long. I guess I thought I might need them someday, you know, to tie up tomatoes or rob a bank or something. And it’s not that I couldn’t have used the drawer space, because I could have.
Most likely, some small part of me hated to let go of that younger, trim-waisted, more fashion conscious me that grew up aspiring to the stylish likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and my mama decked out from earbobs to pointy-toed, spike-heeled pumps on Sunday mornings.
But even though I care neither for the thicker waistline of today nor the achy indicators of age that preclude my wearing four-inch heels without extreme discomfort, I do appreciate the freedom and ease my mostly casual wardrobe affords
And dang, is there anything more miserable in the dead of summer than wearing pantyhose and high heels? Not that I can think of. But I used to wear them five days a week – six, counting church on Sunday. Remembering those times made it a whole lot easier to dump every one of those torturous pairs of pantyhose into the trash can.
So if I need something to tie up tomatoes with, I’ll just do what any normal wife would do and tear one of my husband’s T-shirts into strips.
And as far as robbing a bank goes, well, I guess my life of crime is over before it could even get started. Without the right pantyhose to wear over one’s head, what else can a girl do but stay out of trouble?