OK, let’s get real. The fact is that you only wear 5% of your wardrobe. Isn’t that the figure? Maybe it’s less, maybe it’s 0.1%. Sometimes I feel like I only wear 0.5% and the other 99.5% looks at me kind of sadly/accusingly when I pick out those shorts and that shirt, again.
“Why did you buy me if you aren’t going to wear me?” says that weird check blazer I convinced myself would go with everything. “Why do you string me along?” says the impulse-purchase ‘folk’ dress. “If you don’t love me, set me free.”
My friend Sebastian has the right attitude. He spends an hour every 2 January putting a little yellow sticker on all his clothes. The following year, any time he wears something he takes the sticker off. Anything that still has a yellow sticker on it come the next 2 January has to go.
This would cause me huge anxiety because it would really hold up to the light how little of my wardrobe I actually wear, and it would mean I would have to get rid of armfuls and armfuls of clothes that I want to keep because... why?
It’s a good question. Why do I keep things that I simply do not and will not wear? I’m worried that the answer might be that they make me feel secure – that if I opened my cupboards and saw only what I really wear (two T-shirts, one linen shirt, three pairs of jeans, one dress and a navy sweater), I would feel untethered to the Earth. I might literally float away and never be seen again.
But perhaps something else would happen. Perhaps it would be… freeing?
This summer, I made a point of taking very little away with me. Rotten Instagram has turned what ought to be a relaxing holiday into a fashion show-slash-photoshoot so I decided to reject it. I took one pair of shorts, one shirt, one sleeveless T-shirt, swimsuits and one dress. No high heels. A bag of clothes pegs so I could wash things and then hang them up somewhere to dry.
It felt a little weird, I must confess, but I had all my favourite things with me.
Styling: Chloe Forde / Make-up: Karina Constantine / Hair: Ben Cook / Nails: Charly Avenell