Staying firmly in the closet

I would not call myself a hoarder per se, but my wardrobe might disagree. It is home to a wonderful array of things.  Once I reached adult size, Mum’s argument of ‘When will you get chance to wear that?’ ceased to be a pertinent one, because I could answer, ‘at some point in my life, I will wear this, and it will fit and not be a pointless purchase’. I wouldn’t be growing out of it unless something changed pretty drastically.

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Unfortunately, I still spend the majority of my days in uniform, neglecting the majority of my wardrobe. This is not my fault. This is work. What is my fault is the fact that my wardrobe is still expanding. Kind of exponentially… This is because I am terrible at throwing things away (to charity or the ragbag which is where many would argue many things belong). I have an uncanny ability to remember where and when all items of clothing derived.

Let me introduce you to my favourite jacket- ever. She (sorry- ‘it’)is (was) navy blue with gold buttons on the shoulders and chest and two on the back in vaguely military style (some missing), slightly (extremely) frayed on the cuffs (and armpits) but still looking just as fine and dandy as the day she was bought, but with a slightly (blindingly) grungy edge. I do recall an ex-boyfriend exclaiming- ‘You’re not still wearing that jacket, are you?!’ about 8 years ago. I bought it when I was 16. I am now 26. I think we’re both acquiring a nice vintage feel together.

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I have t-shirts from the same era, dresses that can be traced back to particular festivals, occasions or sales shopping with specific people in memorable locations. I could tell you the website and rough price I paid for the knitted stripy bag I bought when still at school, which friends were with me when I bought my flared jeans at Uni, and I could go on (but I can see you’re getting worried for my mental wellbeing).

Worse still, I collect other people’s oddments. My friend regularly donates half of her wardrobe to my salvage yard, while she compresses her already capsule wardrobe down into a tiny stylish amoeba. How does she do it?? My boyfriend wears his favourite items out or ‘accidentally tears’ his least favourite, and since I am not one to waste a useable item (ok so I’m a hoarder. Fine), it will become something else in my wardrobe. The fact that he keeps his clothes in 2 drawers of a 3 drawer bedside table, whilst mine helps itself to a whole wardrobe, a sizeable chest of drawers and then splays itself over a neighbouring chair is by the by. My mannequin Diana is constantly sporting a clothing rescue project- currently my boyfriend’s torn shirt which is undergoing a total overhaul into a darted, sleeveless, peplum blouse. I like to think she enjoys it.

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My point is that I don’t count myself as a materialistic person; nor do I frequently buy new things for myself. But what I cannot do is get rid of something that I still like. I know people think I wouldn’t notice if a couple of things vanished every now and then, but believe me, I would. Just because I’m wearing this ridiculous uniform day in day out, that does not mean I don’t care about the rest of my wardrobe and dream of a day when we’ll be together. It’s like I’m building up the perfect exhibition of masterpieces. One day this exhibition will play. And those things that people think should be in the ragbag by now? How very dare you. We’re all staying firmly in the closet.

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