The Purchases That Time (and I) Forgot…

Wardrobe clearoutI’ll admit it – I’m a clothes addict. And I’m aware that I’m not the slightest bit alone in this addiction. Trips to the High Street inevitably result in that dress, pair of heels (whatever it might be this time) screaming my name…I went through a phase when I was younger of applying the term “to die for” to my ‘must-have’ purchases – as if it were a matter of life and death. This exaggeration didn’t convince my parents, but it certainly felt that way to me.


Years on, to no surprise, my wardrobe (and bank balance) have started to suffer – bursting at the seams with countless purchases I just ‘had to have’ at the time, only to be forgotten once their successor came along.


Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not fashion-illiterate – I know an investment when I see one – a good pair of jeans, that LBD or a decent pair of ankle boots that are staples in any fashion-conscious girl’s wardrobe. All I’m saying is, far too often, I have my irrational-shopping-head on.


Determined to tackle this, and fed up with my Mum’s constant warning of “Before you DARE buy anything else, GET THAT WARDROBE SORTED!” – This week, I decided to do just that, a mass sort-out. A lot easier than it sounds – not exaggerating when I say there is stuff in my wardrobe, tags still on, that I bought when I was 14 – the only solution was to be ruthless.


As I began to sort things into piles (‘keep’, ‘what was I thinking?’ and ‘love this, but will I ever wear it?’) memories of when these clothes were the be-all and end-all of my existence came flooding back – mostly it made me cringe at my stupidity – what HAD I been thinking? But there were a few surprises in there. Two beautiful dresses I’d convinced myself would never fit, zipped up perfectly! Then there were items I’d once agonised over, that had gone so far out of fashion, they’d come back in again.


And that’s when I thought – fashion is forever changing, but at the same time everything is a cycle. Fashion trends come and go, and come back again.


Not long ago, you’d never catch anyone in leggings – the thought of them screamed 1980s, and not in a good way.. now they’ve become a fashion staple with variants in leather, animal print, and ‘jeggings’ still found on catwalks and high streets. Not a day goes by when my mum doesn’t come out with the comment “Are ____ back in again? I used to have a pair of those” – the fact that in the 1970s my mum was sporting the very outfits that Topshop and the rest of the high street are now selling just goes to show.


I can’t help but be pleased that I left sorting out my long-suffering wardrobe until now – there are things I would’ve thrown out in disgust without a second thought only a couple of years ago, just because they were ‘unfashionable’. But I’ve realised it seems to be a matter of timing. That’s not to say that you can pass off that old cardigan you wore when you were 13 as ‘retro’ or ‘vintage’ in any way. But maybe don’t be too hasty in getting rid – who knows when that forgotten purchase could be bang on-trend again?
Still working on the addiction – besides, I have room in my wardrobe to fill again…