Do you ever feel like chucking the whole contents of your wardrobe out and starting again?
That’s exactly what I felt like doing on Saturday.
Except I didn’t as that would be wasteful and I am not made of money.
Maybe it was me feeling a bit out of sorts, that started my minor wardrobe meltdown. I’m not sure but as I opened the wardrobe doors and let out a weird squeal/strangled cry that sounded like a girl thirty years my junior having a tantrum. Adult tantrums it turns out are not alluring in the slightest.
The crux of the anguish? The old chestnut, I’ve got a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear.
I felt like I was looking at a higgledy-piggedly mish-mash of clothing owned by someone 10 years younger than me. None of it looked chic. None of it really worked together. I didn’t feel put together wearing it. For something which is a representation of me, well…. I think that speaks volumes.
The only thing to do? Carry on my tantrum, throw the entire contents onto the bed and try and sort it all out.
Six hours later, after having lost the impetus to sort it out three hours in, I learned the following:
I have magpie tendencies and a love of largely impractical pieces
I could dress for a Christmas party every day of the year but a Saturday pootling around St Albans, I’m stumped!
It might sound strange but there are some clothes I buy, not because I really ever have a chance to wear them, but because I like owning them. I covet them and simply like seeing them hang in my wardrobe.
Cases in point: I have a beautiful Tory Birch skirt that has an oversized diamanté feather adorning the front of it (bear with me, it’s wonderful). I have worn it once. Then there’s the floral satin MSGM dress with a massive pouffy skirt which is reserved for my most slender and fancy days only. I have worn it… not once. Then there’s a beautiful pink silk Alice and Olivia dress with faux underskirt and cut out back. Again, I’ve worn it once but I love it. None of them are going anywhere. Both literally and figuratively. It doesn’t really help me on a day to day basis though.
Surely office attire?
I don’t wear my jewellery
Over the years I have accumulated jewellery from my grandmas, my mum, gifts…yet everyday I seem to wear the same ring, necklace and, occasionally, earrings. There’s no way I’m parting with it but I never wear it. I’m trying to wear a different piece everyday.
It’s £7 ballet pumps or 3.5″ heels
My downfall in three words: Cheap. Ballet. Pumps. I know I shouldn’t wear them all the time, but I do, then I’m met by British summertime i.e. rain. Many an outfit of mine is let down by cheap, soggy, disintegrating footwear. Then they’re only good for the bin.
I need to do some washing!
It turns out I do have things to wear, they’re just all in the wash! Sunday was spent with the washing machine on solidly. My washing basket it seems is an Aladdin’s cave/black hole. I even unearthed the iron (not from the washing basket, it lives in the utility). Shortly after this I took my temperature, popped two aspirin and poured a large gin and proceeded to read the manual). I found two jumpers, four breton tops and two pairs of jeans – a capsule wardrobe right there!
The main thing though was if I just bought a few keys pieces I could really make my wardrobe work a lot better for me.
A pair of black heeled boots, a smart pair of gloves, a decent pair of jeans, non-novelty socks. A few pieces that would make a massive difference, yet I buy a red handkerchief off the shoulder dress.
In short: I only, it seems, have myself to blame.
Happily, we are coming into Autumn, a season where I feel like I have more of a handle on dressing. I am more within my comfort zone. I have a pretty timeless, classic uniform that I fee most comfortable in; namely a jumper, jeans and boots.
I dress in navy, burgundy and grey mostly. I shy away from patterns but will succumb to a kitsch logo once in a while.
When I finished clearing my wardrobe out, I had a bag for the charity shop, another for eBay and another for the bin.
It was now clear. I could also see my wardrobe. See my options. I could also see the gaps that I *needed* to fill:
Alpaca Sweater £110 from The Outnet The sleeves!
H&M merino wool jumper £34.99 I bought two of these last year and they are a real staple.
Accessorize earrings, £6 – I’m so glad these came back after coveting them last year.
Mo&Co navy tie jumper, reduced to £45 at Selfridges
Funnel neck burgundy knit reduced to £55 at Whistles
Ideally, it’s my aim to buy fewer, better quality pieces and wear these over and over again and actually curate a “grown up” wardrobe that provides me with classic pieces to wear for all occasions. I hope I have made a start.