As I said over at Shoeperwoman this week, my mission here isn’t to totally pare down my closet, and get rid of everything but a few timeless classics, as we’re told those chic French women like to do. Nuh-uh. I have a lot of clothes, and I LIKE having a lot of clothes, so I’ve long since accepted that I will never be a chic French woman. And not JUST because I’m British.
So, while I’m not trying to create a capsule wardrobe here, what I HAVE been doing is trying to get to a point where my closet is filled only with things I love and wear. Ideally I want every single item to be things that I feel good in. Working from home is the enemy of this idea. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE working from home, and I wouldn’t change it for all the 50s-style dresses in the world. I’m also not the kind of person who can work from home in her pyjamas, or a pair of sweatpants, or whatever ( I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, obviously, just that I personally can’t feel productive unless I’m wearing “real” clothes of some description). so my issue isn’t the typical “always in my pyjamas” one, that people always seem to associate with home-based workers, either. No, MY problem is the old “saving things for best” one.
Now, I HATE the idea of saving things “for best”, because, without wanting to get too morbid, you never really know what’s around the corner, do you? I’ve always said that I will never lie on my death bed saying, “Thank goodness I didn’t ever wear all those lovely clothes I bought!” so my aim is to wear them, and to wear them often. It’s a good aim, but I have to admit, it’s one I’ve been slipping up on lately. I constantly battle the idea that a nice outfit is “wasted” on a day when I’m just going to be sitting at my desk, in my house, and probably won’t see another person other than Terry, the postman, and the ASOS delivery driver, bringing me yet MORE clothes I won’t want to “waste” on an ordinary day.
Because of that, most days I settle for wearing the PAST its best stuff. The older jeans, The saggier sweaters. The old busted ballet flats that I tell myself are only fit to be worn around the house, but which really aren’t fit even for that, if I’m honest. I wear these clothes because it seems like a waste to wear something better. I mean, yeah, I could wear those new J Brand jeans, which fit perfectly, and have a bit of a retro feel to them, but, well, they’re a dark wash, and if I wear them too often around the house they might start to fade at the knees, and then if I DO want to wear them somewhere “nice”, I won’t be able to, because they’ll look old and worn out from over-use. So, I know! I’ll just wear those old jeans that are ALREADY all stretched out and white at the knees, and it won’t matter, because no one will see me!
But the thing is, I see me. And as I’ve said before, while I have no issue at all with dressing myself when I’m actually going somewhere, if someone knocks on my door unexpectedly, or I bump into a neighbour in the street, I normally feel horribly embarrassed by how frumpy and sloppy I invariably look, so over the past few weeks, I’ve been ruthlessly clearing out my closet. You know, like Eminem did? Gone are the saggy old sweaters. Gone are those tatty old ballet pumps: replaced, I might add, by shiny new ones, which I mean to buy months ago, but didn’t, because I’d rather have a new skirt I’ll wear a few times a year than a pair of shoes I’ll wear every damn day. Isn’t it crazy that I invest much more time and money in the clothes that rarely get worn, than I do on the ones in constant rotation? It makes no sense, and I’m on a mission to change it. I’m not saying I want to start wearing 50s-style dresses and stiletto heels around the house, of course – or not ALL the time, anyway – but there has to be a middle ground between that and looking like a hopeless slob, and I’m determined to find it.
I’m also determined to stop keeping things “for best”… because every day should at least get the chance to be “the best”, shouldn’t it?
P.S. In related news, today I’ve been summoned to the consignment store, where the items I gave them have apparently reached the end of their time there. According to the message, I should pop in, and they will “have it ready for me”. Unfortunately there was no clue in the message as to what “it” actually is: logic would dictate that “it” be either a) the clothes themselves, unsold and therefore being returned to me or b) a giant wad of cash from their sale. Ever the optimist, though, I’m hoping “it” is a pony. I will never give up that dream…
[Wearing: Zara sweater, Zara trousers, Menbur shoes (c/o Sarenza), RED Valentino shoulder bag*]