How many of us have something we haven’t worn in years? This has been my mum’s mantra for years, despite my attempts to encourage her to have a good sort out.
It could be pieces that at one point in time (when you were younger and thinner) you loved to wear or items that were very expensive, in some cases too much so. Perhaps you are going to slim into it, or are keeping it in case you need it in the future.
Sometimes we keep things that can be passed onto to a younger generation. As a design student, I had some beautiful Italian shoes ( Prada of their day) from my grandmothers friend, which started my love of good shoes. I wore my grandfather’s classic Crombie overcoat every day for ages and which I wish I still had.
There’s something very special about items that can be passed on. Having something of good quality, when its properly looked after, will stay with you for a long time. I don’t ever regret these purchases, but the items I bought for the wrong reasons like sale items or items that weren’t totally right.
Jack Fordham, manager of vintage store the Vault, sees his wardrobe as a collection, much like a collection of books and sees the real value of a garment.
“If I don’t wear it now, I might wear it in 10 years’ time. Holding on to clothes is both sentimental and economical for me”. Jack Fordham
Whilst, I understand this and agree to a certain extent. I always remember a very stylish and fashionable friend telling me, if you wore a look the first time around or even the second time round, be careful not to just look as if you are in a time warp. As, what looks great at 20 or 30 may not start to look quite the same at 40 or 50. Its totally possible to look fashionable at all ages but trying to dress the same as someone 20 years younger doesn’t always work. The ever-youthful Kyle has given away her gold hot pants! I guess knowing what to keep and what to give away to a new home is the key to a great wardrobe, which doesn’t require its own room or spill over into several rooms.
Objects hold memories, items of clothing in particular are like portals to distinct moments of our life’s, they remind us of great nights outs, happy events and holidays. So, don’t hold one to items that have negative memories.
Anna Chiu, from sustainable american label Kamperett values clothes that have a sense of history. In her own design process, she often draws on items inherited from her grandmother. I have added an image.
“I love that her pieces are so timeless in design and are still in such great shape that they are able to be used well, in multiple lifetimes. Anna Chiu
As we try to become more sustainable in all our practices, clothing been a key area, myself included, this is where our resolve does tend to weaken and garments are held onto often for emotional reasons. I guess the best way to deal with this is to buy what you need and use it now, not for the future or because the price was good. I have been guilty of this myself on numerous occasions but buying something in several different colours never works. I always seem to just wear the first item. As a child when we got new clothes particularly shoes, we always wanted to put them on straight away. I would say that as adults we need to feel the same about what we buy. If your new purchase hangs unworn for a couple of weeks return it, sell it on or give away.
I leave the final words to fashion designer Jason Hewitt.
“I don’t believe in disposable anything, it’s wasteful and places an unnecessary burden on the environment. There are costs in terms of energy and water consumption, shipping, human labour. All these small things add up and go into every garment. So, when you buy something, it needs to outlive the cost of its impact.”