“Mommy! I don’t know what to wear today.”

Someone yells this refrain nearly every morning, and I marvel at the lack of independence in simply pulling a shirt and a pant or skirt from a drawer. So easy, right? Is it that they simply want me around and so they ask me for help with things they don’t need help with? Or they truly don’t know from one day to the next what to wear?

Recently, I hired a stylist to assess my closet and show me what to wear. I had stuffed racks of hanging garments, mashed shelves of folded items, so many options and yet every morning I stood among the clothing, wondering what to pair with what.

Jessica came highly recommended. She began pulling from the hanging rod – “try this on,”  and “No!” and “this makes you look too – young – old – heavy – small – unprofessional – matronly – fill-in-the-blank.”

At the end of the two hours, a mountain of clothing – some never worn, some worn haphazardly, some very very old – lay exhausted, ready for the charity pile. Seventy-five percent of my wardrobe, mind you.

It was so freeing. I knew that a bunch of these pieces just weren’t me. I also reclaimed several that I held fast to and still believed in.

Then Jessica took me shopping. Five hours we spent at the mall, ducking into stores whose thresholds I never normally cross.

We discovered that I wear a smaller jean size than I had been buying. (Yay!) We found black skinny pants and high-heeled boots. We realized that I am not so much a cardigan kind of gal but I like unstructured, knit or leather jackets over sleeveless tops and tanks.

It was fun. It was exhausting. It was a start.

So this morning, when my kids called down in desperation that they just couldn’t figure out an outfit, I had to relent. Of course they were stymied. I’d been there, done that, hadn’t I?

Perhaps when we have too much, we don’t even know where to begin.

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