No Holds Barred: Coming out of the closet

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Checking for the “all clear” to come out of the closet.

Don’t get me wrong, pandemic backyard re-dos are important. But honestly?  “It’s the closet stupid!” What are you going to do with all that stuff you haven’t worn in 13 months?  Will you do a complete new you, or just make do?

I have been in closet denial. Why bother to closet cleanse? Let it all freeze frame and return to that promised “normal” and then just pick up where I left off (March 2020?). Then again, who am I, and what do I even look like anymore (much less where will I be going to even get dressed for?).

ME in 1965 and more recently. My, how the fashion has changed!

Closets have always been the center of an identity crisis. Now we are in a global one, and the one feeds the other. Clothing counts, even if you lived in sweats and schlubbery all this time. Your outsides still reflect your insides.

So … Are you ready to come out of your closet?

I originally passed on my closet cleanse since I figured I had everything I needed. What I saw while locked down looked sad, drab, and repetitive. I had enough pajamas and athletic gear. And I am old. Less is more and we all have enough. The new emphasis on sustainability will limit designers to more seasonless and expensive lines.  No wonder more people will turn to travel and restaurants to spend their stimulus checks.

Actual closet revamping is another story.  When you consider closets are “temples” of our historical image as well as our soul — IT IS important to get organized.

Recently the New York Times ran a whole “design closet” piece, and it was helpful and ridiculous. “… and it isn’t just about getting rid of clothing. If you design your closet to suit your needs, you can maximize space and make your storage more functional.”

So, they included the idea of hanging more, transparent boxes, fewer drawers, more cubby holes, and adjustable shelving.

A la Container Store.

Then we get into glass doors and spotlight lighting for handbags and shoes. What?  Is this a closet or a boutique? Why not get the cleaners’ electric rotating rack? Some of the photos showed closets as big as a hotel lobby with suggestions to get a small couch and a table with an expresso machine.  I really don’t want a “she den” (the opposite of a “man cave”) and the days of overdressed Carrie Bradshaw are over … for many of us!

The truth is the smaller the closet, the easier the turnover.  No closet stays the same forever, because we don’t. As Andy Warhol once said, “Date your clothes like the dairy case. What you don’t wear in a year, toss.” He felt even if the look returns years later, you won’t be the same person in mind and body to wear it. So, move on!

Face it, closets are monuments to consumption. They need a redo and so do we. Even in a pandemic, I thought time stood still. But neither time nor I actually stood still.  I found myself purging extra t-shirts, tons of heavy handbags, and all my high heels; even wedge shoes got eliminated. I took all my “skinny jeans” and stacked them in a box for the garage. And we know what that purgatory means: out of sight, out of mind.

All shirts color coded in my closet.
Storage box of skinny jeans.
Garage storage purgatory.

“Storage” closets are a waste of space. Say a prayer and get rid of stuff. Just don’t move it over to a new location. Hanging jewelry all over your bedroom is another attempt at not saying goodbye. This year we all realized all those Chanel pearls, gold long necklaces and costumed cocktail rings now belong on “Drag Race.” Actually, even they aren’t blinging out as much anymore.

Hmm, I think not.

And speaking of moving clothes on out. Resale and most good second-hand stores have gotten stricter in their pandemic acceptance donations. I suggest you hefty-bag your things and give them direct to the homeless (tent cities) or their various city missions. Save your humiliation at who won’t take your high-end treasured outfits. In the end, you can’t even pawn it off on your children, grandchildren or the housekeeper. They are all overstocked themselves. And remember, we now live in an era where your “something” is actually worth nothing! Get used to it.

In the end, you have to be brutal about your closet. Some closet organizing pros feel if you really want to cleanse, then 75% of your closet should go! Yikes! That sounds harsh. But honestly if you’ve ever gone on a trip for ten days and lived out of a single overhead case and a tote, you know what I am talking about. Sorry Marie Kondo, it’s not about saying a prayer over your wardrobe. It’s simply about letting go and not looking back.

More garage storage and boxed purgatory.

Personally, I am still struggling with pandemic “re-entry fear” (a real psychosis). I will play the wait and see game until I am actually dining outside again. Forget indoor concerts, theaters, and weddings, let alone seeing close friends up close and personal. One thing is for sure — in this new era of sanitation — the idea of spotlighting my shoes with their dirty soles in their own display box seems a bit much. Even if I owned a pair of the Lil Nas X “Satan” Nike sneakers! (human blood included; $1,018 a pair).

Actually, I haven’t acquired anything new to my closet in over a year, other than a Dosist Sleep THC vape pen which I procured last week. It is my first vape pen and a real piece of jewelry.  I love the look of it on my bedside nightstand. It looks like it was designed by Apple – white, sleek, sophisticated. Full disclosure: I do not smoke pot nor have I ever vaped before.

I had heard that Jane Fonda loved this dosage regulated vape pen (I think it’s designed with old broad “newbies” in mind). She said, “I took sleeping pills for years and I would feel hungover the next day.” She tried the pen and took four tokes at bedtime and slept deep and was clear headed the next day.  No fog brain? I had to try it!

Glorious DOSIST Sleep vape pen on my night table.

The mechanics of the $35 throwaway pen is an 8:1 THC to CBD formula designed to help you quickly fall asleep and stay asleep.  There are 100 doses per pen.  They also sell formulas called Relax, Calm, Relief, Bliss and, of course, Arouse.  Now this is real “fashion trending” to me.

Nowadays wine and cannabis are on the rise especially for people over 65.  Dispensaries are opening everywhere as recreational use is now legal in many states. Many of the dispensaries look like Barney’s or Bergdorf’s. The cannabis industry is now an annual $17.5 billion industry. I spoke with my dear friend Jeff Smith (known as the Los Angeles “Wine Guru” for his expertise at outfitting luxury personal wine cellars and an aficionado of “altered states”) about it after he emailed me the Dosist site (which was very high end).

The accessory item of the moment.

But … as Jeff wisely informed me before I tried Dosist: “I have 2 issues with the cannabis craze. I can’t tell the nuance that a lot of those dispensary salespeople promise. The same could be said for a lot of people who walk into a wine store. The other is that a lot of these “stoner” salespeople tend to oversimplify things; Indica makes you sleepy (but fails to mention you may be hallucinating all night in Sgt. Pepper land) or that Sativa gives you energy (to eat 6 pizzas).  Nobody really knows what strain to use for what purpose. Dosage is a calamity. CBD does have some curative properties, but it’s been embraced as a panacea. Smoking is bad for you. Period. Vaping is better, but most real doctors don’t recommend it.”

Packaging is everything!

I thanked him for his warning, while noting that my carwash now sells CBD drops. Even Martha Stewart is busy producing her CBD/Hemp line of supplements (thanks to her friendship with Snoop Dogg). Everyone is in on the act!

As I inhaled my first Dosist Sleep measured dose I was a bit apprehensive as I haven’t inhaled anything in 40 years (except bad air).  It felt smooth and smelled great (like a good men’s cologne; not sweet or fruity). The pen vibrated after four seconds and shut off automatically, and I exhaled a cloud of vapor.  I felt a little woozy and didn’t like the full feeling in my lungs. I thought I would be knocked out in 30 minutes.

Martha and her CBD gummy necklace.

Instead, I was in an “altered state” of “hyper-awareness.” I felt vaguely wired. I thought how could Jane inhale this four times at 83 years old?  It took me three hours to settle down out of “Sgt. Pepper Land” with the help of a needed half dose of Ativan. So much for deep sleep. But I did get up the next morning with no hangover.

A friend insisted I try it again in a week, without the full three-second dose. I think I’ll stick to my pharmaceuticals, but I still love the look of the pen. And guess what? I decided to keep it and put it in my newly emptied Tchotchke drawer — in my closet!

We will see if it makes the next closet cleanse cut.

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