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The definition of "a lot of clothing"
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jducoeur
You have to keep in mind, the deal between me and Jane was always that we indulged each other's addictions -- her my comic books, me her clothes habit. I don't think I ever took the word "addiction" literally until today, though. Can you be addicted to clothes shopping? I guess you can.

Susan offered, some time back, to deal with the clothes; that's a major project, and I took her up on it. So for the first phase, I rented a storage unit last week, and today Susan and Mark came over to work with me on moving clothing into it. I rented a 9x12' unit -- not the world's biggest, but surely big enough for *clothes*, right? I may have made an error.

Today, Susan built 10 clothing racks in the storage unit. We've already filled all of them, and probably need several more tomorrow. We've already brought over seven large Rubbermaid bins that were already full of sweaters and things. I think there are another several pre-filled with out-of-season clothing in the attic. I have ten more that are empty for us to fill up tomorrow from dressers and bookshelves, and I have a nasty feeling that it's not going to be enough. And that's to say nothing of the 75+ pairs of shoes that we've been fishing out of every nook and cranny of the closets. I think Jane owned more clothing that she had never worn (based on the tags still hanging from it) than many of my friends own clothing in total.

I loved Jane dearly, and mostly I'm bemused by the whole thing. But having lived with this habit for the 25 years that she's been accumulating (and, admittedly, aiding and abetting much of it -- the reason so much of it is from Chico's is that I *like* much of Chico's line, so she knew that she could drag me in there and get a relatively interested and involved opinion), I've kind of been the boiled frog, never consciously noticing as the closets got more and more full. Now, though, as we move carload after carload of it, I'm starting to realize just how much there is -- and how empty some bits of the house are going to feel afterwards. It's rather freaky, suddenly realizing that, even using generous amounts of rod space, I simply don't have a use for 2/3 of these long-overfilled closets...
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(Deleted comment)
Something like that is likely for at least some of it, yes...

I do know of a Rainbow girl who is doing her Bat Mitzvah project by collecting dresses for charity. Let me know if you want me to contact her.

Other than the evening gowns to Eastern Star thing, I wonder if some of the unworn clothing would be worth selling in a consignment shop, or if that would be more trouble than it's worth. I donated a lot of Wolfie's pants when he died -- I kept the t-shirts because we gave up segregating them long ago, and just wore whichever one struck our respective fancies.

Recycling your way to glamor.

Another thought is, we do have a snooty food party coming up.
I wonder if it would be weird or neat to have as many women as possible dress in Jane's gowns for the night. After that they could go to charity.

Granted, I have worn Jane's clothing before, we were oddly of a size, so perhaps I am just projecting.

(Deleted comment)
Very interesting! I have bookmarked this site for later.

That was going to be my suggestion, too.

Especially important in this very difficult job market.

I was going to suggest this too. :-D

Susan here.

For everyone that is interested: sometime in the spring (defined as: when the snow is mostly/all gone), I will be moving all this clothing to my house (probably into my two-car garage), and then inviting all ladies who are interested to come, try the clothes on, and take them home. (Jane had posted about doing this back in September, but never got to it.) I am NOT going to call this a clothing "swap," because as Justin says, this is going to involve so much clothing that I don't think anyone should bring MORE clothing to this event. (I would be delighted to organize a further get-together where people can swap their own clothing, but I'd like to deal with Jane's first.)

Jane had excellent taste: silk blouses, lovely dresses, outfits from Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, and Jones New York, as well as Land's End and Chicos. There are outfits from size 10 to size 18, with all the accuracy generally implied in ladies' sizes. (*sigh*)

So when we have this adventure organized, and when the weather is a bit more welcoming (and there's room to park!), I will have everyone over. Please feel free to contact me with suggested dates in April or May, and please think of people that should be invited. I KNOW that Jane knew many more people than I do, and I will be depending upon everyone to help me invite all ladies who would be interested in owning some of these clothes.

Selfishly, I am going to ask please not the same weekend as Coronation or Carolingia's 40th- it'll be the end of the semester for me and time will be at a premium.

That sounds like a lovely way to remember her.

Mark,

Do you have a sentimental attachment to any of Jane's clothes? Otherwise, surely the best thing is to look up "Salvation Army" or "Good Will" on Google, and take the clothes there or to a woman's shelter. You'll also receive a tax deduction, which will be useful in the coming year.

Perhaps the best thing would be to save a few items (at least for a while) which are most reminiscent of her: some crazy hats, or t-shirts picked up in places you visited together; offer a choice to friends who may be her size; then find a good charity for the rest.

Love,
Mom

There's sentimental attachment to a little of it, but that's a tiny fraction and is being separated out as we go through it all. By and large, I'm being fairly ruthless about it, by necessity, keeping only a few items purely for sentimental value. (Mainly one-of-a-kind items that were *specific* to Jane, where it feels like it would be wrong for anyone else to wear them.) See Susan's response for more details about the broad plan.

The tax deduction is less interesting than you think it is, due to the vagaries of the way the estate will work -- all of this is estate property (*not* mine, and the difference is key), so all that matters is true fair-market value, which isn't much for used clothes. (And besides, remember that inheritance is broadly untaxed, so this year probably won't be a horrible tax hit. I expect the life insurance to be the only big hit tax-wise for me.)

Oh, and I have one shirt currently set aside for you. (It's a pink Disney Cruise Lines polo -- I suspect it will fit, and that you'd like it.) Help me remember to give that to you...

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