A few days ago, I was feeling especially sad about my weight gain. You see, I had just finally come to terms with the fact that my absolute favorite vintage coat was never going to fit again, and I had listed it for sale. This coat was one I had kept in my closet for six years. I had found it before ever having kids, on one of our first day trips as a married couple. Not only was it nostalgic, it was everything I had ever wanted in a coat. Plaid, princess cut, hooded, basically perfect.
But my body has changed and it was time to let go of the dream coat. You might be thinking this all sounds a little bit dramatic, but here’s the thing: it wasn’t solely about the coat. Not really. The coat is just that, a coat. It held so much more than that.
With that single garment sat all of my expectations for my future self.
A body I hoped to have again, the projected feelings that would come with reaching a goal, the last bits of “what if” that I hadn’t shaken from my closet. I firmly believe in keeping a wardrobe that fits, that is comfortable, and that brings confidence. Get rid of the things that make you wish you were different, and keep the things that make you happy the way you are. And yet, I hung on to that one thing because… what if?
It wasn’t really about the coat. It was about me.
It was about me adjusting my expectations of my body now. It was about me adjusting how I practice self-love. It was about me accepting that some things may never change and that’s ok. I will likely never be a size six again, nor even an eight or a ten. It’s entirely possible that I’ll remain the size I am right now… forever. And, in listing the coat, I was telling myself: no more “what if”.
I was coming to terms with my body as it is right now, and not “I wish it was.”
So, I listed the coat. I listed the coat, and then I made myself get dressed in something I really loved, and I went outside and took photos to remind me of who I am and what I love. This 1950s star print dress is one of my absolute favorites that Laci sent me — and you can see them all in this video! — and I hadn’t worn it yet. Putting it on with some bright colors and my signature red lip lifted my mood. It reminded me that despite the things I have a hard time loving, I can accept my body. It reminded me that I am fashionable no matter what size. And that I love my wardrobe now more than I ever did then.
The coat sold in a matter of hours, and I told myself that instead of allocating that money to arbitrary things I could reserve a portion of it to purchase a new dream coat. Something I’d wanted for absolute years, that would fit me now and make me just as happy as the old coat. It was absolute luck that someone had a Collectif Pearl coat up on Poshmark in my size and accepted an offer that was my exact budget; this new coat is something I’ve wanted since I saw Miss Victory Violet wear it six years ago. I’ve never had the money to purchase it until now.
You could almost say… the stars had aligned.
So I sold the coat, and I let go of more expectations, and I began to work again on adjusting my view of my own body and what I want it to be. The work is definitely not done, and I still have some pieces in my wardrobe that need letting go. I still have some expectations that I need to adjust. Even as I work on my health, I have to learn to live in the here and now. Because hanging on to old things that make me sad only stops me from finding a healthier and more positive normal.
My biggest piece of advice to anyone wading through clothes that don’t fit and feeling afraid that they’ll miss them later is: let go. I hung on to a coat for six years, but through giving up that coat I found a new dream. None of that would ever had happened if I’d left that coat in my closet forever! So let go. Let go of the dresses that are inches too small because of the body you used to have. Let go of the pressure on yourself to change because an arbitrary number in your head is telling you you’re not good enough right now. Let go of the things that bring you sad wishes.
Open up your life (and wardrobe) to new dreams, new possibilities, and a happier you.