We need to talk. I think I’m going to have to break up with you. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m sorry. I’ve changed. Thanks for the memories; the good times, the tragic ones, oh, and the sparkles.
Are you Ensemble-y challenged? Do you ever stand in front of your wardrobe looking at the rows and rows and piles of clothes and say to yourself, I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!?” Do you wish you could dial 000 and select ‘Fashion Emergency,’ and instead of an ambulance, a big truck full of clothes and shoes and accessories would reverse into your driveway to save your wardrobe dilemma? I do, every time I have to go out. ‘Out’ out. Not just out to the shops.
I’ve always been a fairly conservative dresser, opting for classic pieces and block colours rather than full-on fashion fads and prints. However as fashion has come and gone, I’ve had those seasons that I tend to hold on tightly to. Like pointy shoes. Am I the only one that still has pointy shoes? I don’t wear them, haven’t for years – but they’re still in such good nick, they’re almost too presh to chuck.
I’ve decided I face this common dilemma due to 3 main reasons:
- I really have changed. Some of those clothes just aren’t ‘me’ anymore.
- Because of the way I currently organise my wardrobe…. By colour.
- Because I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time of purchase.
So I’m going to break this down, and HOPE that my husband reads this eventually and understands why I need to go shopping for new clothes. He can’t comprehend how with all those clothes in there, I have a mini breakdown when I’m dressing to go out.
NUMBER 1 – I’ve changed.
To clarify what I mean by this: See this item.
It’s a backless SABA dress I bought in 2004. It also crosses over in the front, and those cross over bits aren’t stitched together. I bought it when I was going to the solarium 3-4 times a week. I had a tan. Now, the dress matches my skin. I also bought it before I had a baby, which means my inner thigh areas were free of spider veins. Since this dress is backless, you really need to go braless. (I so don’t feel comfortable doing the whole show your bra strap thing that Carrie from Sex and the City does). So – braless in a silk dress means you have to have exceptionally pert boobies. Check. Oh wait, actually – no. Sometimes I forget and look down and remember that after breastfeeding a baby for 8 months, my tay-tays now resemble 2 fairly small sandbags.
(I know right? I sound SUPER attractive!)
The dress is not the only item in my wardrobe that I would never be seen dead in. (Incidentally – what WOULD you wear to your own funeral. I’m thinking that when I get old I need to shop for that, and then include that info in my will…)
There are a pile of clothing items that I just can’t rock anymore. Polka dot string bikini. Floral mini dress. Mulit-coloured belt with red sparkly strawberry buckle, (actually anything bearing little pieces of fruit), short shorts, short denim vests, anything that requires Hollywood tape, corset tops, anything see through, anything sequined. Etc… etc… etc…
You see, when your lifestyle changes – your clothing requirements change. I don’t go out for dinner 4 times a week anymore. I don’t go dancing. I don’t go to launch nights and industry cocktail parties. I don’t work with corporate types anymore and I don’t have to attend big events that I organise. I’m lucky to get to a movie. So all my pretty, sparkly, glamorous gear just sits there in my cupboard, wasting away.
I find the clothes that I feel ‘at home’ in are those that are a little more conservative, and comfortable. Clothes that look good with flat shoes, clothes that allow me do a squat so I can pick up my daughter with my bag over my shoulder, keys in my hand while carrying 4 bags of shopping. That’s my life now. Boring? A little some days, so it’s only natural that my outfits are too.
Capri-length pants and jeans, and knee length shorts and skirts are practically my uniform, with fitted T’s. Yep. That’s me.
I realise leggings would totally suit my lifestyle – but really, you’ve got to wear tops that are long enough to …… how do I say this ….. graze the vadge? Most of mine are hip length.
NUMBER 2 – Wardrobe Organisation
Currently my clothing is arranged by colour. I started doing this because I realised I’d be getting ready for work and think to myself, I need that red top. I’d look inside, pull out something red and discover it was not the top I was after. I’d repeat that a few times, til I found the top I wanted. I figured if the clothes were colour coded, it would simply be a matter of referring to the red pile, and leafing through the selection. No rummaging required.
Here are some pics of my colour coded wardrobe
This worked really well for a long time. Now I don’t care what colour shirt I wear. I care if it has a sleeve that won’t show my ‘in-need-of-a-wax’ underarms. I need a shirt that won’t show any food if my daughter decided to share at mealtime, I need a top that doesn’t need ironing because it’s a hot day and I’m in a hurry, I need a top that goes with these shoes, because these shoes are most comfortable….
SO what happens is some of my clothes get forgotten. There are some really great tops that I forget I own because they are sitting in a sea of tops the same colour. Whatever is closest to the top of the pile that will suit – is what I choose. The stuff at the top is the stuff that just got washed, because I wore it last week. Which means I keep repeating the same outfits.
This is why despite having many options in there – I wear the same 6 items all the time. Meanwhile, the poor dejected clothes at the bottom of the pile often don’t see the light of day for months on end.
NUMBER 3 – What was I thinking?
Depending on what mood I’m in when I shop, determines what I come home with. The best way to explain this is to show you some items I’ve purchased, and what was happening to me at the time.
I went shopping after watching SATC2 last week.
Given that the characters in that movie were dressed highly inappropriately for what they were doing… (yes, let me just slip on this Vintage Dior while I ice cupcakes, let me just wear an enormously huge balloon skirt to shop at a silk market….) The characters also looked as though they had raided the local fancy dress costume shop.
However, that didn’t stop me from watching the movie and yearning to have that kind of glamour and Middle Eastern inspired colours and styles in my wardrobe. So I was browsing through the shops last week, just looking of course, when… Oooh! Sparkles! Jewells! And I purchased these – hoping to fanci-fy myself up a bit.
Other times I shop for a specific occasion, and because I’m desperate – walk away with something I don’t really love, or doesn’t even fit properly, so I wear it that one time, (or not at all) and next time I’m going out, remember that I didn’t actually love it and decide I can’t wear that because, well ech! Like this:
Above was worn once. Doesn’t fit. The red dress was purchased for races, but I changed my mind.
Then there’s the times you’re shopping and you’re in the change rooms and your child is in her pram and she’s emptying water all over the change room floor, and she’s whinging because really – she’s BORED out of her mind… and you just want to try her stuff on, and make a purchase so you can get out of there. So you make uncalculated decisions and walk away with items like this:
Then there’s the time you’re overseas and you’ve got your Thailand Goggles firmly fastened. You’re having a whirlwind romance with Bargain Shopping, and you fall in love at first sight with some little treasure like this:
Finally – there’s the times you have the luxury of shopping child free – you’ve just been at the Day Spa and had an amazing facial, you’re feeling beautiful, and you feel like you want to heighten that mood totally, further indulging yourself because what the heck? You SO deserve it. So you wander into a shop feeling so free and alive, and you have a lovely little chat with the sales lady, and she’s so nice isn’t she? And you end up walking out with something like this:
Still has the tag on it. How old am I?
Meanwhile there is a HUGE pile of clothes I’m hoping to get rid of. There are at least 6 items that have never been worn. There are at least 10 items that cost over $250. There are at least 20 items with a designer label: Wayne Cooper, Alannah Hill, Morissey, Guess, Ralph Lauren, even Dolce & Gabanna.
What’s that you say? Bin them, or bag them up and dump them in the Salvo bin?
CHUCK OFF! That would be such a chucking waste!
I can’t be bothered with e-Bay. It’s hard enough doing this at the computer every day without having to check buyer’s bids every 10 minutes….
I wish I could do what Becky Bloomwood did in Confessions of a Shopaholic movie, and hire a big hall, and get all my stuff that is pretty and lovely, and sell it off – jumbo sale style.
Except that at the end, after Becky has sold everything except for that green scarf, and she auctions it off? Well I don’t have a green scarf.
I would auction off My Signature Jacket.
An item of clothing I haven’t worn since 1998. It’s Trent Nathan, and it cost me (back in 1995) $550. The sales lady had told me that Trent Nathan had purchased a whole lot of stuff off Chanel, and that the buttons on this jacket were actually designed by Chanel. I had it on layby for weeks and I should mention it was The Summer of Citrus Tones. Orange was the new black ok? I wore it for the first time to a 21st. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 4 years, and it was still messy. I had been invited to his sister-in-law’s party, and I was told the invitation still stood despite the breakup.
I needed to look amazing. I needed to look confident and happy. Like a girl who was getting on with her life and was full of bright prospects. It was perfect and on the way home my ex begged to kiss me goodbye. My head said yes. The jacket said no. The jacket had spoken.
Do you see why I cannot throw/give this away??
PLEASE NOTE: This photo was taken 15 mintues ago – SANS makeup. Anyway, I think I could still totally rock this and am convinced it’s going to come back in fashion with a FURY!
And so, as I edit my wardrobe, and assess what new items I should buy and ACTUALLY wear I wonder how it will look in 20 years time, when my children are grown up and moved out, I’m back to eating out 4 times a week, but in other parts of the world where I’m currently travelling.
Good grief, I hope not.