they came home with me
Columbia Flower Market, London, 2011
A quarter of the year is almost over, and I thought it was a good time to sum up life on the shopping front this year so far.
Partly because I’m determined to set aside more money for other purposes, not shopping is noticeably easier this year. I suppose it’s much easier to resist spending on something when you have a concrete, alternative goal to work towards.
It also feels like my interest in adding on to my wardrobe has waned. I often look at things and think, “Nice, but I don’t really need that, it reminds me of my XXX.” Or “Hmm nice, but it’s just a novelty.” I got pretty excited about the Massimo Dutti spring collection, full of great, practical pieces that aren’t too expensive, but after letting the idea of buying a few pieces marinate in my mind, I moved on.
Only a weakness for a particular navy linen-blend blazer remains, and there’s always the sales for that. More often than not, everything I fall for goes on sale - which factors heavily into my budgeting.
I did buy things – that shirt in January, a navy bikini this month. One is a luxury, the other, a luxurious necessity – anyone who’s ever had to shop for a well-made swimsuit that makes you feel like a goddess should know the importance of not letting it pass when you see it (more on this in a separate post).
I also bought a scarf from the Orla Kiely + Uniqlo collection – it is my office wrap, a wonderful bit of cheer to my standard-issue grey desk and black chair. I would upholster a chair in it, if I had enough fabric.
See how “not much shopping” still works out to one item a month anyway?
But I take heart in a few things:
1) A dear friend announced her wedding in December in New Zealand, a dreamy summer wedding to be held by a lake. I immediately felt excited about a couple of dresses I have that I can bring out for an airing. I want to feel this excited about my clothes, always.
2) A friend is selling clothes at a flea market this weekend and asked if I had anything I wanted to let go of. After a 30-minute survey of my wardrobe, I was happy to find that 80 per cent of my clothes are worn regularly. For instance, I have ten shirts, and I've worn all of them in the two months, most of them more than once. I have nine pairs of jeans and I've worn all of them regularly for the few years (easy when you wear them five days out of seven). I have three striped tops and wear them all at least once a month. Two pairs of shorts - they take turns to get worn almost every weekend. All my 10 pairs of shoes are well-worn and have their place. I do have clothes I haven't wear much of course, but I'm just waiting for their moment in the sun again.
It's not a small wardrobe but it's one I get a lot of use out of. Knowing my wardrobe is working for me makes me less inclined to want more.
3) I haven't had a "I don't have anything to wear" moment in a year at least. Sometime last year, I realised I could sleep in more - because I spend very little time getting dressed.
I don't mean all this in self-congratulatory way (only slightly); the point of writing these three points down is a reminder to myself: if I am this happy with my things, surely I don't need to acquire a new thing every month?
Here's to going from one new item of clothing every month to none.