07 Nov How I curate my wardrobe
I left off on the last post, in a period of transition with how I dress myself. Vintage no longer felt relevant and comfort was key. Yet where did that leave my sense of self? So much of my identity was tied up with how I dressed, how could I find a new me? Especially after a friend saw me for the first time after having Gryffin and declared ‘You look like such a MUM!’. This shook me to my boots.
So I started thinking about how I wanted to look outside of vintage. I definitely wanted simpler lines and more of a modern feel. I saw women on instagram wafting around in linens and headscarves that I imagined would look like tents on me and surpass my clothing budget (which was about a tenner). I had a few misadventures with buying clothes from high street shops (we do not get along, never have, never will) where I bought unflattering jumpsuits and jeans that had me hating my body even more. I was completely lost.
And then… lockdown happened. And something shifted. The world wore pyjamas for a year on and off and it was like a revelation. I did not need to live in discomfort. I could choose clothes that FELT good. I could choose clothes with simple, striking lines but that also gave me freedom of movement. I could choose fabrics that feel soft against my skin and won’t shrink every time I wash them.
I broke my criteria down:
- What brands do I like? What is it I like about these particular brands in terms of shape and palette?
- What fabrics do I love/ What feels good?
- What colours are easy to wear and will combine well with each other?
- What clothes do I wear regularly and how can i find similar pieces, or ones that will easily combine?
- Can I run in it? Can I take photos in it? Can I eat in it? Can I nap comfortably in it?
- I try and buy second hand, and when I can’t, I try and buy from ethical and sustainable small clothing businesses (beware of greenwashing, looking at you H&M).
Our home is small and Jon and I share a wardrobe, so I have about half a meter of hanging space. I am constantly trying to minimise the clothes I have.
The pieces I wear the most are loose shirts, light cotton jackets with wide sleeves, elasticated cotton trousers, tunic style wool or cotton dresses, cotton dungarees and cashmere cardigans and shawls. Corduroy trousers and fine knits that I have owned for decades also feature heavily.
I have moved to a palette of soft blues and greys, ochre, off-white, rust with a wave of black in winter.
And I have one pair of trusty jeans, one pair of Blundstone boots, one pair of waterproof Superga trainers and one pair of clogs. And living in a soggy valley, wellies, of course.
Each piece feels like an old friend and a pleasure to wear, whether I am bloated or my body is tired or feeling energised. I don’t have ‘fat’ or ‘thin’ clothes anymore. I just have clothes that fit me as my body fluctuates and that don’t feel like cloaks of shame.
This is how I dress right now, as a mum of two, always in a rush, more often than not used as a dish rag for little hands wiping snot, food and vomit on.
It will probably change again, but for now it works.