Lingerie And Love

12/16/2011 04:29 pm ET | Updated Sep 28, 2016

My closet is a visual representation of my dating history, but only a few items grab me in such a way. Clothes are not like photographs that you can simply discard or never look at again; you have to wear clothes every day, and they are physical reminders of a person you cannot ignore. I can't help but wonder how other women who fall in and out of love deal with their closets afterwards: Do they sit and stare at the red dress from their one-year anniversary? Do they burn it instead? What about something truly intimate, like lingerie?

The lingerie market is a $2.6 billion a year industry. After spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on lace and silk, do women then just discard it? Is it a form of betrayal of an ex's memory if a woman wears what she wore for one man with another? Can you wear the same lingerie with the next man you fall in love with and grow emotionally detached from the item? Is there something shallow about investing emotions in a piece of fabric? Do you just have to wait for the right amount of time to pass before wearing it again, or is it better to just get rid of it or send it to The Salvation Army accept it?

Upon further research, I've found many thrift store fashionistas who flock to Goodwill for their vintage slips, which can date all the way back to the 1940's. Goodwill offers to take your undergarments -- even your thongs -- off your hands. Your bras, too, can be given away and the proceeds can go to breast cancer survivors and survivors of domestic violence. A service has also been created for women who can no longer look at their jewelry box, Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry, where women can sell and trade those earrings, bracelets and necklaces their boyfriends once gave them. As the website states, "you get it off your chest and out of your sight. Just because you don't want it, doesn't mean somebody else isn't dying for it. Everyone's a winner!"

The question becomes this: Would you rather donate items that remind you of your ex, swapping those emotion-tinged items for new memories? Or can your clothes take on the memories of new people, new experiences?