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Rebuilding a Wardrobe

Posted on 4 min read
winter outfit ideas: green faux fur jacket with leather boots
Keepsake green faux fur jacket
faux fur jacket and leather riding boots

tory burch brooke black riding boots
[AD: This post is sponsored by Shopbop]

S

o, now that we have (most of) the house organised, it’s time to move onto my wardrobe – which is a much trickier prospect. 

The problem here, you see, is that I have plenty of clothes that “spark joy” – if we’re going by the Marie Kondo method of organising and clearing out. I just don’t have any reason whatsoever to actually WEAR them. Which is a problem, really. 

Like, I have this absolutely beautiful white dress, for instance. Gorgeous. And, I mean, OK, it’s just from ASOS, so it’s not like it’s some super-special vintage piece that you’d want to pass down through the generations or anything. But, to me, it’s perfect. Beautiful cut, lovely fabric, great fit: the kind of dress that, as soon as I laid eyes on it, I thought, “Dress, you will be mine!” And it was so. 

But that was… ooh, maybe four years ago now? Five? And I have NEVER worn that dress. Not ever. Because, the fact is, it might be beautiful, but it’s totally and utterly impractical: not just for the life I have now, as the mother of a toddler, but even for the life I had four years ago, when I first bought it. I mean, no matter how you spin it, this dress is a summer party dress, really. The only kind of “summer party” that would be fancy enough for it, though, would be a wedding or similar, and not only are there no wedding invitations winging their way to me right now (Or not that I know of, anyway), even if there were, I’m old fashioned enough to believe you don’t wear white to a wedding, so it wouldn’t be much use for that either. 

Why did I buy it, then, I’m going to pretend to hear you ask? 

Because, four or five years ago, that was how I shopped. Randomly. Impulsively. Er, stupidly. I’d see something I loved, and I’d feel like I absolutely HAD to have it, regardless of whether or not I was likely to actually WEAR it any time soon. 

I don’t do that any more. 

No, these days I’m happy to say that I’ve stuck to my resolution to only buy clothes I know I’m going to wear – and wear often. Clothes I know I’m going to get my money’s worth out of. I no longer want to have a closet filled with party dresses when I spend most of my days at soft play, or wriggling my way under the couch on my stomach to retrieve a stray building block or toy car. To be totally honest, it makes me feel a little bit sick to think of all of the money I’ve spent over the years on beautiful clothes that have rarely – or never – been worn, and, because of that, I’ve actually found it quite easy to stop buying them. Sure, I still have my moments of weakness, but, for the most part, I’m no longer tempted by the clothes I won’t wear, and am concentrating instead on building a wardrobe full of ones I WILL. 

That doesn’t make it any easier to get rid of those ‘perfect’ pieces that gave me so much pleasure to buy, though, and which still ‘spark joy’ – for want of a better phrase – when I pull them out of the wardrobe and look at them. That beautiful white dress, for instance, has survived every single wardrobe clear-out I’ve had for the past four years now – and when I came across it again last week, I still struggled to throw it on the ‘donate’ pile. I mean, I’m pretty sure that if I get rid of it, I’ll instantly be invited to exactly the kind of event it would be perfect for – but then, if I don’t, I’m equally sure it’ll just languish in the closet for another 4 – 5 years. 

For now, it’s in the ‘I’ll Think About This Later’ pile. But I think I know what I have to do…

I’m wearing:

Keepsake faux fur jacket; Tory Burch ‘Brooke’ tall boots; Michael Kors bag – all c/o Shopbop

These exact items are currently sold out, but please take a look at these other great brands from my sponsors at Shopbop.com: Rebecca Taylor;  Temperley London; Madewell (My current favourite for sweaters and shirts); Scarlett Blue (gorgeous lingerie); Rag & Bone; Vince and Theory 

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10 Comments
  • LindaLibraLoca
    February 5, 2019

    I can absolutely relate to that problem – it is easy not to buy them, but almost impossible to get rid of them. I have a few similar items that I just can´t seem to clear out!

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

  • Alicja
    February 5, 2019

    Maybe before letting it go, try to take a photo of it on you to have a nice memory “forever”?
    Then giving it a second life should be much more easy 🙂

  • Helen Baker
    February 5, 2019

    I think if you had 50 perfect-for-the-party-I-never-get-to-go-to dresses, then you might need to (just) (maybe) think about considering perhaps getting rid of a couple of them. But this perfect dress sounds like something you should keep. It’s always handy to have a few special occasion outfits as they can be a nightmare to find when you need them. And…this could be the perfect dress to have copied into a wedding appropriate fabric if the need arose!

    • lalie
      February 5, 2019

      what a good idea! A friend of mine dyed a white dress so she could wear it at weddings – it was quite a brave move but that particular dress still looked beautiful.

  • lalie
    February 5, 2019

    your white dress sounds perfect for a nice holiday dinner! It should have been in your suitcase when you went away last winter!

    • Amber
      February 5, 2019

      Alas, white dresses and toddlers don’t mix well, I’m afraid, and it was a very casual kind of place – I’d have felt really out of place in something so formal when everyone else was in shorts!

  • Jean
    February 5, 2019

    You’re singing my tune. I have worked at home for 15 years, after formerly living in New York, where I loved dressing up each day (even though I was merely traveling to a boring office job). Many/most people in New York dress up every day. I couldn’t seem to stop the buying/thrifting habit for a long time after working from home. I then had two children. And aged. And my life has changed a lot. But those beautiful dresses (mainly dresses) are so very hard to get rid of. Yet a big part of me knows I’ll never wear them again. And now I feel too old to “carry off” a number of them. They’re still in my closet. Guilting me.

  • Dee
    February 5, 2019

    I hear this so much. I have about twenty dresses in my wardrobe, and every day I open it and realise that eighteen of them are far too dressy for what I actually do on a normal day (working from home). Thing is, it’s so hard to find casual dresses that I actually like, and so easy to find fancy ones!

  • Jill stylishatsixty
    February 6, 2019

    I can so relate to what you are saying! As my child was growing and I didn’t have the same available free money I did curb this habit but now I am out the other end I have slipped back into my old ways.

  • Amber DeSadier
    February 6, 2019

    I feel much the same and have the added bonus that my new post baby body is just SLIGHTLY different than my old one and clothes don’t fit the same. I can’t put a pin in exactly what has changed or how it exactly changes the look, but it does. Buying a whole new wardrobe is expensive and frustrating.

AD | We’re spending a few days at @highlandheatherlodges in beautiful Perthshire, for what Terry is optimistically referring to as his ‘birthday week’. (I say ‘optimistically’ - we’re only here for three days, and his birthday was yesterday, but don’t stop believing, Terry!)⁣
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There’s a hot tub for us and a playpark for Max, so needless to say, we’re having a fantastic time, and I’m already dreading having to leave. Today’s big question: can I pass as an under-12, so I qualify for a pony ride at the nearby wildlife centre? 🤔 (On second thoughts, don’t answer that one...)⁣
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#thetraveltag #scotland_ig #visitscotland #scotland_insta #scotlandlife #scottishblogger  #stayandwander #travelbloggerlife #travelblogging #tblogger #thattravelblog #travellifestyle #travelpreneur #perthshire #scotlandinsta #reallifeandstyle #wearingtoday #igstyleblogger #fashiongrammerv

AD | We’re spending a...

AD | Time for a quick game of “Where’s Amber?”⁣
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It’s another rainy Monday, so I’m throwing it back to our trip to @universalorlando ‘s amazing Volcano Bay water park last month. I’m a bit of a scaredy when it comes to water flumes, but this park had tons of stuff for pretty much everyone: plenty of rides for me, and an amazing splash pad for Max 👶In fact, I’d still be on The Fearless River right now if I possibly could be. Still, doing the laundry and turning the heating on will be just as good, right? Right?! 🌋 🏊‍♀️ .
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#universalorlando #volcanobay #waterpark #lazyriver #vacay #floridavacay

AD | Time for a...

Good news! We took Max to hospital this morning, and saw two different surgeons, who agreed there was no need to go ahead with the surgery as his lip is healing really well on its own 😅  He’ll definitely have a scar, unfortunately, but that would’ve been the case whether he’d had the surgery or not, and if it turns out to be worse than anticipated, we’ll have the option to have it corrected under local anaesthetic when he’s older. ⁣
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I’m still really upset that this happened in the first place, obviously, but so relieved that we don’t have to put him through a general anaesthetic, and just incredibly grateful that it wasn’t anything worse. I know some parents have to deal with much more serious stuff than this, and my heart goes out to you all: it’s been a rough couple of days, and I’m really grateful to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday’s post - your stories were so comforting when I was panicking yesterday ❤️ ⁣
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(Old photo, obviously: every time Max sees the selfie camera, he thinks it’s going to be one of those filters where you open your mouth and something happens 😂)⁣
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#pbloggers #mummybloggers #mummybloggersuk #ukmumblog #mumblogsuk #mumblogs #mamablog #ukparentbloggers #parentbloggersuk #ukparentingblog #parentingbloggers #motherhoodblogger #motherhoodblog #ukblogger #ukofficialblogger #happyblogger #mummyblog #bloggerclubuk #instamum

Good news! We took Max...

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve just spent the morning in Accident & Emergency with Max, who fell on the path outside the house and split his lip open 😥 ⁣
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They tried to stitch it up at A&E, but it was totally impossible with him awake, so they’ve booked him in to have it done under general anaesthetic tomorrow ... Max is absolutely fine: the bleeding stopped quickly, he doesn’t seem to be in pain, and is just his normal, happy little self. I, on the other hand, am a complete wreck: the plastic surgeon he saw today reckons if we don’t have it fixed, his lip will be crooked when it heals, but I’m absolutely *terrified* of the thought of my baby having to have a GA. ⁣
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If you’re a long-time follower, you might know that I have a full-blown phobia of general anaesthetic (I literally had an elective c-section in order to eliminate the possibility of an emergency one, which might have had to be done under GA), so I just can’t get my head to accept that it’s safe and he’ll be fine 😥 ⁣
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Positive stories and advice very welcome: I’m just so terrified, I can’t even imagine how to get through the next 24 hours 😥😥😥

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve...

#throwbackthursday to last week, when I needed a sunhat and SPF 50 to leave the house, rather than the current raincoat and wellies situation. Can you tell the post-holiday blues are still in full swing over here? 🌧 .
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#whatiwear #30plusblogs #everydaystyle #realoutfitgram  #scottishbloggers #fashionblogger  #fashionblog #fashionstyle #whatimwearing #stylegram  #outfitoftheday #personalstyle #todayiamwearing #styleinspiration 
#stylediaries #styleblogger #over30style

#throwbackthursday to last week, when...

I posted this on Stories over the weekend, but he looked so cute in it I figured it deserved a spot on the grid, too! This is Max all ready for his friend Eleah’s 1st birthday party on Saturday: despite the jetlag and his continuing obsession with doors of all kinds (He had an entire soft play at his disposal, but he mostly just wanted to open and close the gate into it...) he had an absolute ball, and spent the whole drive home shouting, “HAPPY! HAPPY!” Thanks to @thestirlingstyle for a great party 🥳 🎈 🎉 . (Oh, and that’s his hairbrush in his hand - boy likes to look his best 😉)
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#littlepiecesofchildhood #cameramama #chikdhoodeveryday #childofig #celebrate_childhood #babieswithstyle #ootdkids #fashionbaby #trendykids

I posted this on Stories...

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Rebuilding a Wardrobe