Not a resolution. A realization.

Every year, my husband gives me pajamas for Christmas. He started this tradition when we were dating, and I find it incredibly sweet that once a year, he girds his manloins and heads to Victoria’s Secret for me. He thinks that’s the only place on the planet that sells women’s pajamas.

This year’s pajamas are particularly comfortable. They’re like long underwear, and I’ve worn them approximately 120 hours in the week since I received them. These jams manage to make me feel sporty, comfortable, warm, and svelte, all at the same time. My Guy for the jammification win!

So, my week of jammified comfort left me ill-prepared for finding an appropriate outfit for New Year’s Eve. We were meeting friends for dinner at a nice-but-not too-nice restaurant. I knew that if I were a guy, I’d wear slacks, a shirt, and a sweater. Basically, I’d dress like my dad because he always looks appropriate.

But I’m a woman. Dammit.

So, I stood in our freezing-cold closet and attempted to cobble together an outfit that was nice but not “I’m 22 and headed out to the bars.” Something that was a bit more festive than I’d usually wear, but not trying too hard.

I looked at my dress pants. Some of them were literally dusty. Now that I no longer work for The Man, my days are spent in jeans and yoga pants and the fleece pants that My Guy and I lovingly refer to as “couch pants.” But for a very chilly New Year’s Eve, I figured that dress pants might be just the ticket.

So, the dress pants I bought 10 years ago don’t really fit anymore.

They fit, but they create a slight muffin top that’s kind of a confidence crusher.

The last two and a half months, I’ve been working out like I’ve never worked out before. Not working out like a madwoman, but just working out beyond just hitting the treadmill. I haven’t lost weight, but I’m fitter. I’m gaining muscle. And I’m thinking that maybe that number on the scale is just what I’m supposed to weigh, since all roads seem to lead back to the same number all the time.

But I have a closet that has lots of clothes that are … a little off. They’re from a previous life when I was 10 pounds lighter, 10 years younger, and living a life that isn’t at all where I am today.

So, last night, freezing in my unheated closet and trying to figure out what I could wear to dinner besides my ever-present pajamas, it occurred to me that I could cull my closet. I could donate those clothes that are no longer just right. They could be a blessing to someone else.

But that would mean admitting that the part of my life those clothes belonged to is really, truly over. It would mean announcing that yes, I wear t-shirts and torn jeans and am no longer the type of woman who wears dress pants, even on special occasions.

Truth be told, I never really liked wearing dress pants. But they just seemed so grown-up. It was like trying on being a fancy, corporate lady. Like being Day-to-Night Barbie.

I’m not a fancy, corporate lady. And I’m so much happier now that I’m not trying to be. It looks like my new year’s realization is that it’s time to hand off the dress-pants baton.

I threw on a favorite dress, purple tights and a pink sweater that totally didn’t go together but made me happy, and called it good. Because, as Bill Murray chanted in that famous scene from “Meatballs,” IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER.

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  • Reply Mrs. G. January 1, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I just recently donated all clothes I had not worn in 18 months and all the skinny clothes I've held on a decade. It was slightly painful but liberating. Happy New Year!

  • Reply Suburban Correspondent January 2, 2015 at 3:55 am

    I have 3 different sizes of black dress pants in my (also freezing cold) closet. It's getting downright silly in there.

  • Reply Cassi Renee January 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I have actually never worn or owned any dress pants. I'm pear shaped, so a dress or skirt was always a better option, and tights are SO great –no more pantyhose 🙂

    However, college teachers don't have to dress nicely. Clean and neat are all that's required, and jeans work great.

  • Reply Becky January 2, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I rarely wear pants – I'm a skirt or dress girl. Fleece lined tights and leggings are a dream come true to wear under them this time of year.

  • Reply Kari January 2, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I still have maternity pants in my closet.
    I haven't been pregnant since January of 2008.

  • Reply Heather Nelson January 3, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Ah! A toast to General Awesomeness!

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin January 3, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    This was a wonderful New Year read on so many levels. I'm inspired to take an honest look inside my own closet now, too.

  • Reply cookingwithgas January 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Yep, every winter I give clothes away. Get in line, for years I adopted the clothes my kids discarded, really, I know how pathetic that sounds. Finally I have given in to the new me. Embrace the curves…..and get comfortable with clothes.

  • Reply Average Jane January 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Dress pants are the worst.

    I'm actually going in the opposite direction a little bit. I used to wear jeans, t-shirts and high-tops all the time, but now I'm in a work world where t-shirts and Converse don't feel quite appropriate. I've switched to layering sweaters, plain tops and scarves (lots of scarves), which makes me feel just as middle-aged as I am. I still get to wear jeans, though, so that's good.

  • Reply smalltownme January 5, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I guess I have some dusty dresses I should get rid of.

  • Reply Linda Anderson January 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I love your comment about having to admit that something is over when you cull your clothes…

    "sure that dress doesn't fit, but I bought it for that special occasion – it looked so good then…" Yep, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, now it doesn't fit either, but I can't seem to get rid of it!

  • Reply Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen January 16, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    I need to do this too. I stand in my closet and unless I am going to work/orchestra I have NOTHING to wear. Half the time when we are going out I end up wearing all black anyway because those are the only decent clothes in the closet. Ugh. I always liked the IDEA of those shows where they come in and help you get a new wardrobe but I think I would cry if they were mean to me.

  • Reply Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen January 16, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Also, if I had to wear a dress I would be in deep trouble…I'm not sure I own one that fits. Haven't worn one in years. Bring on the dress pants!

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