The other day, my wonderful Mum came to the rescue and restored some order to my life.
This included a mammoth sort through of my wardrobe, a rifle through two full chests of drawers and a rummage through four vacuum storage bags in the loft. My clothes you see were literally consuming me. Like The Blob, they poured out of drawers, creeped out of under-bed storage and stubbornly bunched together in my wardrobe to prevent any new friends joining the gang.
An epic cull took place. Remember that scene in the good Sex and The City film, where Carrie is trying on clothes to determine which will survive the move to her plush new pad, and the girls score with a ‘Toss’ or a ‘Take’? Mum was basically Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte combined, sadly without an abundant champagne flow. As I popped shirts over my head, slipped into dresses and squeezed into tiny tops, the nays soon totted up.
It made me realise I’d been obstinately hoarding unworn clothes from nearly a decade ago, not just because I genuinely loved them but because a memory was firmly attached to each piece. They represented a younger me, from a different life phase.
Each time my Mum said (gently) ‘That’s a no from me Nic…’, I’d protest weakly and say ‘Nooo, I can’t let go of that top, I bought it in a little beach shop in Byron Bay in 2007!’ or ‘Ah, that’s from a vintage shop in Surry Hills, I DEFINITELY can’t bin that one’. Or recount a festival from 2010 where in a drunken haze I bought the floaty jackety-thing in my hand, à la Moss, and get all misty eyed and nostalgic for the good ol’ days.
Thankfully, my Mum persisted. Sure, an embellished lilac halterneck dress is perfect for post-yoga chilling or imbibing beers on the beach on Fraser Island when you’re a tanned 20-something – but that was then and this is now. They were terrific, heady times for sure, but my life has changed and so have my tastes and I’ve only just realised I’m totally on board with that.
I need a functional, stylish wardrobe to carry me from work to nursery pick up to evening blog assignment. I favour a muted palette, silk shirts, tailored jackets and sweatshirts and trainers rather than a floaty wisp of a thing that most certainly will flash my bum on the Victoria Line or make me stand out like a sore thumb at a sweaty London gig. Plus, there’s no denying I’m hurtling towards the big 4-0 and will look a pillock in a fringed crop top no matter how vintage it may be or where it was purchased in Peru.
I negotiated with Mum though, and some pieces survived the cull. Items I can’t let go of just yet. The memories are just too strong, weaved into the fabric and immediately brought to life in technicolour with just one glance. The dress I wore to meet a boy called Alex at Kingsford Smith Airport in 2008 when I was living in Sydney and he was just a visitor from London (that boy is now my husband. I love that dress). Some floaty trousers purchased from travels in Chile. A Marcel Fenez for Roland Klein cream chiffon gown with gold trim which can only be worn if I hold my breath. Besides, some clothes are still wearable and what with the trend for era-renaissance (hello again, ’90s!) it seemed astute to hang on to them.
Being truthful to myself, the sift through was cathartic and satisfying and my head and house are decidedly more roomy. I’m excited about the future and slowly curating a new collection of clothes – that I can associate with other notable times in my life when, in ten years time, I’m sorting through them again.
For now, a little more room is proving to be very useful. I’ve seen the most gorgeous dress from Kitri…