I stopped shopping at fast fashion retailers several years ago. Terrible environmental and labor practices aside, the thrill of being able to buy a LOT of stuff for NOT A LOT of money didn’t excite me the way it did in my early twenties. Here I was, standing before a closet full of crap. Sure, I had a handful of well-loved pieces that I saved up for and would keep forever, but most of the clothes I owned were disposable. I spent an afternoon trying on everything; if it didn’t make me feel amazing, it got donated. I was left with a much smaller wardrobe filled with things that I would actually wear—and continue to wear—every day. I no longer woke up every morning in front of an overflowing closet of old trends, lamenting that I had nothing to wear.
Coincidentally, I was going through a similar purge with my girlfriends. At the time, I was going out a lot, seeing the same types of people, exchanging the absolute smallest of talk. I had 14 variations of “Jessica” in my phone, most of whom I’ve only halfheartedly texted about getting coffee soon. I may have “known everybody” at whatever party or bar I was frequenting, but only by a first name in a dim light. One night, I got fed up spending all my free time with people I only kind of liked. I realized I hadn’t seen some of my oldest and dearest actual friends in ages because I became passive.
I had what Oprah would call an “aha moment,” and immediately traded in those unfulfilling nights surrounded by hundreds of acquaintances for meaningful IRL hangs with my real ones. I made actual plans with friends; we would go for walks and catch up or just catch up on the phone (like, actually talking and not just texting.) I was so fulfilled by this relationship renaissance that I no longer felt the need to go out all the time. My girlfriends were as paired down as my closet, and I freakin’ loved it.
I’ve been lucky to have a lot of great friends throughout my life. Some, like my yellow floral babydoll dress, stayed in my life lovingly for a few years, and others, like my vintage Westwood jumpsuit, have grown with me and only gotten better with time. As a discerning adult, I am as picky about what comes into my closet as who comes into my life.
For more on Gold’s experience and why her late twenties and early thirties have been the most rewarding, read the full article here.