A New Wardrobe, Literally.

Re-Working my wardrobe has been, and still is, an emotional process…. here are a couple of lessons I have learnt so far…

I think Spring is finally here?!  Well, to be fair, the beginning of the week was perishing …. on Monday I was so cold and wet, having completed various errands on foot, that I came home, ran a hot bath and lay in it for half an hour to thaw!  (And I wore a woolly hat and gloves to walk to my Pilates class, which is actually only a ten minute stroll away!)

But this end of the week, I’m definitely feeling more upbeat about the weather.  The sky is blue, the sun is shining and I’ve left the heating on at home giving me the impression that it’s a good 20 degrees outside!

And I’ve had my bedroom painted.  Big news!  In the List of Things you need to update, change, alter and re-work in times of separation and divorce, then getting your bedroom painted is right up there with ‘change your email address’ and ‘cut your hair’  (I’ve done one of those, so far…)

I’m very excited about simply white-washing the walls, the woodwork and, of course, the Wardrobe … it’s a fresh start in every sense of the word.

I’ve promised myself I will only put back into my beautifully painted room, those things that I really love and that make me feel good.   Sound advice, Andy… but the reality is that the clothes in my wardrobe (partially edited – it’s an ongoing process) haven’t actually been removed for the job, so technically everything is still in there?! There isn’t anything to ‘put back’…

Which makes this a good time for a further Wardrobe Update.

Back in February I made a Note To Self – ‘I don’t need any new clothes; I am saving money; I am helping to save the planet; I’m breaking a pointless cycle of shopping; I am becoming more creative’…. Nine months into Project Re-Worked Wardrobe, the only part of this I am really questioning is ‘I don’t need any new clothes’. In fact, maybe I do?

Re-Working my own wardrobe has been, and still is, an emotional process.   The winter clothes have now finally gone into hibernation (about time?) and I’ve dug out, uncovered and started to edit the ‘summer collection’.

There is, no doubt, a strange comfort in a full wardrobe. But here are a couple of lessons I’ve learnt along the way and reminders why its good to purge:-

  1. I have successfully edited the wardrobe of many clients over the past few years, but – it’s much more difficult to edit your own wardrobe than someone else’s! Sentimentality can really get in the way.  In particular, don’t be tempted to have a glass of wine and tackle the job in an evening – tried that – disastrous waste of time!
  2. Having too much stuff makes every aspect of life more difficult.  Piles of clothes, drawers stuffed almost too full to close and hangers squished up against each other all create stress, a feeling of heaviness and general malaise.
  3. It can be hard to get rid of things.  Even things you know you will never wear again. This week I took a pink jacket to the charity shop – I wore it twenty years ago as part of my ‘going away’ outfit.  (I know, even the concept of a ‘going away’ outfit dates it!).  But in most cases, any momentary sadness you feel when you part with something like this, will ultimately be replaced with overwhelming relief.
  4. There are some clothes that you just have to get rid of.  It doesn’t matter that they are in good condition, still fit, and even make you look good.  It doesn’t matter if you are a wizz with the sewing machine.  If you wore it to go out with your ex; or the act of pulling up the zip reminds you of that final hellish Christmas before he actually left – it’s holding you back.  Move on, take it off the hanger and get it out of your wardrobe and out of  your life.
  5. As we grow, our lifestyle changes and clothes that still fit and even look good, may no longer be relevant to the person you are becoming;
  6. No matter how frightened you are of the future (and your ongoing financial security) – the chances are you will be able to buy new clothes at some time.  I’ve said it before and will say it again (many times) – ‘spend less, buy wisely’.  Save what money you have to buy good quality basics, and if necessary you can swap clothes, thrift store shop and, what the heck, – even learn to sew?!

LET GO – DO NOT PANIC – YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS..

So, yes, I have shopped during the past  nine  months.  I’m in the process of creating a new ‘me’.  I am doing this in so many ways, including by wearing clothes that I haven’t worn for a long time and re-vamping older items.  But as I clear out the old I am making way for the new, and I have felt justified in introducing a few new things to my wardrobe.  In particular, recently, two denim skirts – one blue, one white, and a fantastic pair of Veja trainers that go with everything.

As for the ‘would like to buy’ list, I am currently completely in love with the H&M Conscious Black/Patterned long dress for summer parties; and their blue and white striped lyocell shirt dress for summer days anywhere.

h and m conscious
H&M Conscious Dress
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H&M Conscious Lyocell shirt dress

And Ialso have my eye on this Zara JoinLife black and white gingham top for my upcoming holidays…?!.

Zara Join LIfe
Zara Join Life Gingham Top

 

Even loved and cared for clothing doesn’t last for ever… but I am trying my best to shop consciously and where possible to #Save the Planet and Save My Purse, and consider the source of any clothing I buy, its production, its fabric and its potential lifecycle.

Onward and upward…..

 

Scent and scent-suality…

It’s time for a new scent – something enticing but environmentally friendly….?

As I’m no longer buying any new clothes, I’ve decided that maybe a new perfume is just what I need to (literally!) spice up my wardrobe. Something that’s not too overpowering, as kind to the environment as possible, but still, in the words of Kelis, ‘brings all the boys to the yard’?!

Scent is hugely evocative.  Of all the senses, it has the greatest power to re-create memories and bring back thoughts and pictures, with such force it can be quite overwhelming.

I have clothes in my wardrobe that hold memories of past events. Highs and lows of my life, tucked within the silk folds of a favourite blouse or the sparkle of a sequinned dress. But it’s the scent I wore that really takes me back to places and events that have shaped my life.

It can be both positive and negative.  The other day I came across a perfume sample in my drawer and absent-mindedly dabbed it on my wrists. I used to love that particular fragrance, but as the smell drifted to my nose, I was instantly back in St. George’s Hospital and overwhelmed for a split second with the grief and trauma of seeing my child in intensive care. My oldest son is now 16 and full of the joys of imminent adulthood and independence(!) but for a short while at the age of 2, he was in an induced coma fighting for his life against meningitis. The scent, which a dear friend gave to me all those years ago as a small comfort to take into hospital, transported me straight back to that time.

On a lighter note, I bought myself a small bottle of body spray from & Other Stories earlier this year, for a (rare) girls’ weekend in Marbella.  Small so that I could take it in my hand luggage. For me now, the remains of that bottle hold the scent of anticipation!  Of a weekend of joy, laughter and female camaraderie.  Of being picked up in the early hours of the morning by a friendly neighbourhood police officer and driven to a party, because we couldn’t find the apartment we were looking for.  It is the scent of sunshine, skin, cocktails and dancing. Continue reading “Scent and scent-suality…”

Why Am I Doing This?!…

Why have I decided not to buy any new clothes for a year?!…

question mark

This was the question I asked myself yesterday.  I was feeling low.  I’m practically a single mother, and two weeks of half term with 4-5 semi-teenage boys in the house (my own three, plus nephew, plus french friend ‘learning english’) is pretty hard work!  I’ve started my blog; unsubscribed from various emails to avoid shopping temptation; edited my coats; and purchased an elongated selfie stick with which to take some ‘totally amazing’ photos of the abundance already in my wardrobe – and what I really wanted to do, yesterday, was buy myself a new dress! Continue reading “Why Am I Doing This?!…”