Whole Parenting Family

cleaning my closet: to keep this dress or not?

I’m on a kick. A cleaning kick. No, not like I’m actually scrubbing the bathrooms, silly, but more like organizing and purging. That closet at the end of the hallway? Done. Those dozens and dozens of unused hangers? Gotten rid of. My clothing from college that I literally had in a plastic bag called “college favs”? Done. The mounds and mounds of children’s toys? Purged. Even the ones I like. We just don’t need 17 wooden puzzles for the same age & skill set.

Now it’s on to clothing. This is tough. I have accumulated a beautiful lawyer wardrobe. Suits, skirts, blouses, lovely, lovely. I’m not ready to give those up as they were pricey and well-fitted. But when will I wear them again? Those ones are on hold. The real kicker are the dresses. College dresses {were they that short? were they that tight?}, the intermittent print phase {mostly designer hand-me-downs from my glamorous new yorker of a sister}, and then living in Vegas. Ah, the Vegas phase!

When I clerked for a federal judge in Vegas for a year, many many moons ago now, I was living out there alone–with just two new girlfriends to my name {Love you, E & S!}. So aside from eating Twizzlers and watching cable TV for the first time in my life, a lot, in the early evening, I shopped. Designer Fashion Clearance was its name, and wow. Couture affordable! I picked up a few Manolo shoes, Jimmy Choos, and a few handbags. But mostly I picked up very fancy dresses.

A whole new meaning to all dressed up with no where to go. Me, headless, sticking it all out at 31 weeks. Clearly I’m not fitting any of these anytime soon. I’ll give a little description of the highlights. Vote on what to sell on eBay, and what to keep, people!

31 weeks, headlessdressesBottom left was a little number I picked up from the designer in New York in her boutique. I wore it once to this Christmas party that I thought was a dressy Christmas party. I even did my hair like it was prom. Then my date turned up in khakis and a plaid button down. Then the party ended up being mostly my friend’s older small town midwest relatives wearing jeans and flannel. I tried to hold my coifed head high, but it was probably the most embarrassing few hours of my life. I just so wanted to put a bag over my body and sit in the corner.

The black lace number on the bottom toward the right has an internal slip, that slipped up during the entirety of our 1L Christmas play. I was running around organizing it all in basically a sheer number. Someone told me far later. Far later. So much for Catholic law school modesty.

That weird white skirt bottom middle? Bought it in Florence, wore it once, realized it doubled as some kind of sci-fi costume, not couture.

dresses1What can I say about the Vegas dresses? So fun. So so so fun. Silk brocade, silk, beading, rustling. You name it.

dresses4The most fascinating print dress is one I bought in Paris when I worked the summer in France. I had this odd week without work and spent it alone in Paris. That meant lots of phone card time talking to my sisters & mom. That also meant Hermes sandals from a consignment, and the bottom right dress. It’s a DVF and beautifully sequined. Hand done, and flows out gloriously when you twirl. The neck is a delicate V that’s asymmetric. I’ve actually worn it pregnant, not pregnant, and in between.

I love prints. Love ’em. Many of these are flexible enough to be pregnancy (early on) dresses, or nursing dresses due to the deep Vs. Ahem, that also means I probably need an undershirt with a V that deep!

The top right is a sweet little floral I got in Florence when I got the other fun ones mentioned in college. I wear it more probably because it’s more normal looking on, and more forgiving of my growth & shrinkage in size.

You have it. Almost all of them. Whew. I’m exhausted. And really want ice cream.


  1. Kate on March 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Whew! Ok, first of all, next time there’ s a “law firm prom” (which is maybe never bc the last one was for the 100 year anniversary of the firm) I am definitely coming to your house to get dressed for it!

    That said, here’s my advice: Don’t go crazy purging right now when you can’t try things on! On the non-couture regular stuff, give each one a serious “truly am I ever going to wear this again?” assessment. Maybe pare down similar styles and get rid of half or so. On the couture, I really think you could justify keeping all of it if you want to, at least for now. Maybe sell a few now if you truly feel they have no future in your wardrobe and are too nice to relegate to kid dress up.

    Then wait a year or so and try them all on. If it never fits and never will again, either get rid of it or save it for your daughter(s).

    Also, now I want to go shopping in your lawyer wardrobe! 🙂 But then, let’s get real. I live in Alaska. Today for a Thursday at work I am wearing maternity jeans, a tent-like white button down, boots, a messy bun, and no makeup. Switch the pants to dressy and add a jacket and I’m ready for court. So who am I kidding? I don’t need a fancy lawyer wardrobe.

    • Natural Mama Nell on March 6, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      Hahaha–love your description of yourself right now. Mama, you’re hot! You make a great point about separating the really nice stuff from the eh-fine stuff. And I really should wait until I can try it on again.

      And come on over for law firm prom!!!!

  2. Donielle on March 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I think most/all of these are keepers if not for you they would be great for a dress up moment for lil girls =). I would also wait until after baby and try a few on. Do they really need to go right now? are they in your way? If not wait til your sure. BTW you wore the 1st one to my wedding =)

    • Natural Mama Nell on March 6, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      Oh my gosh–I totally did wear that one to your wedding! And I had really short Beatles hair cut at the time!

      You’re right. I should wait until I can actually fit into them again. I’m just in this crazy nesting purging phase!!!