Growing up it was my dream to have new clothes. A dream because, as the second daughter and the youngest of a dozen cousins, I was the “hand me down queen”. I used to look at friends, and envy their new school uniform, as I arrived to school in my sister’s skirt that was a tad short for me as she was several inches shorter than me. I longed to be able to wear something new.
I vividly remember asking for a particular coat that was in fashion at the time as a Christmas present. I was prepared to forego the usual frittery of a present if it meant that I could have a coat that was brand new, never before worn by a soul, all mine and fashionable! The coat in question was a “blanket coat” in the style of a duffle coat. Oh how I loved that coat. The colours of this are the same and the style almost there.
By the time I left school I was obsessed with fashion and styling but not fashion in the sense that I followed the latest trends, more the kind of fashion that meant that I developed my own style. After all, when living with hand me downs I had to find a way to make them look like I had chosen them myself.
Upon leaving school I had very little disposable income as my wages had to be handed over to my Mum as soon as I was paid. This meant that I still had to be canny about clothes shopping and so I continued with the hand me downs but it meant that I could use my own judgement as to whether to wear it or not. I discovered charity shops and flea markets. Best of all I found a vintage shop in Liverpool city centre that sold turn of the centure (1900s) clothes. It wasn’t fashionable in those days to buy from charity shops and so I still found it hard to forge my way in my own inimitable style.
As I grew older and my disposable income increased I started to shop for new clothes more often but I have never lost the love of charity shopping and will still always pop into one to see what they have on offer. I find great delight in raiding the charity shops and coming away with a piece of clothing that is just a little different from the current fashion. I get frustrated when I want to buy something new and I am only able to find something in the latest “trend” or “season’s colour” whether it happens to suit me or not.
After my recent trip to London and the travelling light experiment I started to think about the amount of clothes that I own. Too many, is the conclusion that I have come to. With this in mind I raided my wardrobes and drawers yesterday and this is just a fraction of what I pulled out.
Growing up, in those days of hand me downs, I never owned a lot of clothes and as such I never had the headache of deciding what to wear. More importantly I never remember thinking that I had nothing to wear!
More and more I can be heard bemoaning the fact that I have nothing to wear. How ridiculous when you consider that this photo is just one drawer of clothes. I think that the problem is more that I have too many clothes to choose from.
Time for a cull, a new wardrobe (shopped from my current stock). A capsule wardrobe is the way to go. And so I am going full circle, returning to my youth when I had little but loved everything. There is a lot to be said for simplifying life.
Watch this space for updates.