A few posts back someone mentioned the small wardrobe that she had when growing up, which is what I remember having, and my mother and father having. In fact my parents shared a small wooden wardrobe, and it was only when they reached their 70s that they had something larger. Last year we bought our flat from the family of a deceased Reverend age 95, who obviously was of that generation as there on the old carpet was an imprint of a tiny free-standing cupboard. And what was the first thing that I did after we moved – fitted a purpose built wardrobe the entire length of the wall!
But I’m increasingly coming to the view that my love of (charity shop) shopping has to be cut back. There are so many reports and articles on the impact of human behaviour on our planet, the most recent being from the WWF saying that humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970. We have to change our ways, and while this decimation is mostly about food production, it doesn’t help our planet to have that constant turnover of clothes in our High Street shops. And what’s more I could do without the email that came to my inbox yesterday (from a well-known platform) that informed me of the 12 Pieces I’m Buying To Upgrade My Personal Style This Season (and yes it was all capitalised). Oh please – you don’t need to keep buying stuff.
I admit I do have a lot of clothes but they’re mostly from charity shops. It is OK to recycle – but I do want to stop buying new clothes, which I occasionally do. I am resolved – not any more. And I’ve pruned hard and there’s space between the hangers in my wardrobe, which is pleasing to me. There are very few items I hang on to for sentimental reasons or just in case. If you don’t wear it, why oh why is it still there? Yet, I understand why people do hang on to clothes and I’l tell you a story about one item that I’m pleased to have kept.
I have two weak spots, and no it’s not shoes because, as you know, I tend to wear one pair of ankle boots throughout the winter. And it’s not handbags. I have 6 bags of which 3 I use over and over, and these 3 are variations on backpacks. I have cured my slightly crooked back through Pilates and wearing these items instead of the ubiquitous shoulder bag, which is sooo bad for your posture.
Here’s my favourite backpack bag.
No, my weak spots are coats. I have far too many coats. The thing is I am wearing the yellow coat all the time now, so I’m keeping a beady eye on my two black coats and my two grey coats. A friend who works as a declutterer says that she helps clients put clothes ‘on probation’. Yup, one of the black coats and one of the grey coats is for the chop quite soon if I don’t wear it. Then do you remember there’s the Michael Kors 3/4 length red puffer coat bought when I got soaked in a rainstorm.
I’ve also got a new (charity shopped) long mac for rainy days. Also there’s the vintage fur coat for the freezing weather, and as we’re not quite there yet with that kind of cold, I’ll have to keep that.
Then there’s my hats. Oh dearie me, I have so many hats. I have many berets, 4 fedoras, and 3 furry hats that are for the cold weather. And I have several big black hats that are bigger brimmed than my fedoras. I can’t bring myself to get rid of these as they’re lovely and really I should wear them more.
Then there’s this hat.
Look at the colour of it. Actually I have never worn it, as I thought it typical of a certain kind of hat that is worn by a lot of British women, which I’m sorry to say I thought boring, and also the wonderful deep violet colour clashed with my dyed hair. It seems different now my hair is mostly white.
I put it on this morning and wondered why on earth I hadn’t worn it before. But maybe you’ll understand when I tell you that I’ve had this hat for just under 20 years. This is my sister’s hat. My only sister Elizabeth Jane (known as Liz) died unexpectedly in 1999 and I was devastated. We were very different and over the years were quite distant from each other, but caring for my mother brought us closer together. How glad I am that we came to understand and love each other, far more than when we were children, because 3 years after my mother died Liz died, at the age of only 50.
I didn’t have much to remember her. She knitted at lot and I took two of her jumpers as keepsakes, but they went years ago, probably to a charity shop. But the hat, ‘no’, I said to myself,’ I don’t like it but I’ll keep it’. And here we are nearly 20 years later and I love it.
Thank goodness I kept it. So you see, I do understand the keeping of things.
And just look at that necklace. That’s a recent buy at only £4.99 from Oxfam in Brighton – I pounced when I saw it!
That’s all for now, but do you have an item that you haven’t worn but simply cannot throw out? Do tell!
With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper