Of the (admittedly slightly excessive) number of clothes I own, there are a frightening amount that rarely move from the rails. They chill, waiting to be chosen, getting an occasional outing on a Friday night only to return and be forgotten about once again. Bad that, isn’t it? Fair enough fancy schmancy evening gowns might be a one time wear, but it’s just silly to wear the same basic jeans over and over again when there are a batch of items all sad and neglected. (Yes I personify objects way too much – what of it?) They’re essentially the equivalent of the posh cutlery set that is ‘saved for best’ and only makes it out of the cupboard on Christmas day.
This skirt was one that I fell in love with straight away when I spotted it in H&M last summer – the oh so flattering shape (that inspired this blog post – in defence of flattering dressing – if you fancy a read) and the tie-knot-paperbag-waist-thingy that well, I just really liked tbh. Midi skirts are very ‘me’ and grey goes with everything right? Oh and it fit me perfectly. H&M’s sizing can be rather hit and miss but on this occasion, the fit was definitely a hit. Was probably designed as workwear and if I remember rightly it was in that section of the shop (because of course I remember vital information like that. Of course) but as I’m somewhat lacking in the office job department I assumed I’d mainly wear it for evenings out. So I did, once or twice, and the skirt I thought was oh-so-fantastic barely made it off my rails since.
‘Saving things for best’ is perhaps a slight exaggeration in this case because I’d hardly call a grey pencil skirt an item for ‘best’ occasions (whatever they are), but it illustrates my point pretty well regardless. Items become a waste of money when you wear them for only one kind of occasion, meanwhile the cost per wear of your basic jeans and jumpers is whittled down to approximately 0.2 pence. Nothing wrong with wearing your trusty basics to death obviously – that’s what basics are for, after all – but sometimes it just isn’t the most inspiring. And makes buying other items seem kinda wasteful, to be honest, if they’re barely actually used.
The thing is though, for many of us life just doesn’t have that many smart or dressy occasions. We can’t all live a glamourous life, after all. Might as well just wear the clothes when we can right? I’m all for embracing the trend of mixing things up, anyway. There was underwear as outerwear, and now there’s evening wear as daywear. Again, a pencil skirt wasn’t the best choice of items to illustrate my point, but hopefully you know what I mean. What might have seemed ridiculous a decade ago we wouldn’t bat an eyelid at now – sequin skirts with sweatshirts, trainers with tulle – the kind of thing that would have probably seemed very jumble sale in years gone by but is now fairly run of the mill. Last week I wore a pair of trousers with a jumper, boots, leather jacket and no makeup face for work, that in the past I’d only worn for meals out or drinks and started chatting to the stylist about this very topic. She apparently wears sequins for the school run and just doesn’t care and I am all about that. I think it’s time to ditch the mentality that every day isn’t a special enough occasion to bring out clothes you really like, which should be saved for occasions you really like. Because at the end of the day, most of our lives are ‘everyday’ with a smattering of occasions thrown in there so… to hell with it. Always better to be overdressed than underdressed, right?
I never have been one for pushing the boat particularly far out, but in the spirit of mixing things up a *little* bit I’m trying to wear more of my ‘saved for best’ items on the daily. If that’s for a day of errands and life admin, then so be it. These photos were actually snapped in a hurry en route to dropping my brother off for his first day at uni, as I offered the bargainous deal that I’d give him a lift if he performed Blogger Brother duties on the way. Hardly the most exciting or glamourous of days, but there you go.
Clothes and crockery is perhaps an odd parallel to draw, but I’d like to treat my clothes like my Mum and dad’s wedding present crockery. A small percentage spends most of its life in the sideboard because y’know, a full teacups and saucers affair isn’t necessary daily and a good old mug does the job nicely for morning coffee. But many of the items are in use and still going strong 21 years on, but rather a lot has bitten the dust over the years too. Plates can be slippery little buggers when you take them out the dishwasher, can’t they? Anyway, remember my mum saying once that she’d rather have none left due to it all being loved and used than have it all pristine in the cupboard untouched when she’s 80. Not saying any of my clothes will come with me to my eighties (although with my sentimental track record I wouldn’t be surprised), but the principle is the same. What’s the point in saving for best, eh?
Lily Kate x