Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Have Nothing To Wear is a lie and you know it

This evening I went over to Ali’s house and we stood on his balcony while he smoked and I mused on the fact that I’m starting to feel in a rut. I feel like I walk the same route from home to work, stopping at the same bars and coffee shops and going to the same cinema, where the people at the box office often recognize me but don’t know me (ah, the phenomenon of the regular, a cinema go-ers dream, but what for?) “February is when I get into my rut.” Said Ali. “Every February” And then I remembered just how bluesy I felt back in February and how comparatively un-bluesy I feel now and just thinking about what lies ahead, on the other side of Christmas almost made me feel bluesy again. “So I’m putting aside £50 each month until then." he said. "I’ll either go somewhere hot and inclusive and get slowly drunk by a pool, or just go somewhere different, it can be cold, just as long as it doesn’t rain.” 

Over the weekend I read an article about decluttering ones wardrobe; presumably because I wanted a vicarious taste of zen without having to make difficult decisions. I have lots of clothes and can’t remember the last time I applied some balance by letting some go. I zoomed through the ‘7 questions to ask’, resolutely not answering them. “Mm, yes, that is definitely a good question to ask.” I imagined a sizable pile of discarded wardrobe, of selling it and exchanging it for a brand new sizable pile. Then I got to work, rolled up my sleeves and dived into my drawers to survey the clothes I ‘meh’ at each morning. Watch me be resilient! I thought to myself, feeling not in the least bit resilient and instead sort of cooing over the piles of leopard skin, soothing colours and mini skirts. I let myself off the hook; if you really don’t want to let go of these clothes then you have to prove to yourself that you’ll wear them. (This is the self-directed internal monologue which has grown more sternly maternal since I started living along) No more spending hours cruising eBay and cultivating watch lists. No more starting the day with I Have Nothing to Wear because that is a lie and you know it.

I am often wooed by the excitement of new resolutions or schemes, often hatched at kitchen tables (or leaning on balconies with smokers.) The trick is following through with these plans. This week I am setting myself two resolutions: 1. Begin a holiday fund (saving at least £50 a month; a manageable starting point) and 2. Wear my wardrobe. Dig around and tease out the joys out of overlooked as if I was scavenging a friend’s. If you’re getting dressed and you’re faced with a dirty laundry basket and a drawer containing a sad, clean swimming suit then maybe maybe it is true that you have nothing to wear. Otherwise, dig, dig away. Equally, I’m going to have people over for beers instead of buying them out and be better at using my fresh ingredients before they go off. I can almost hear the first pulsing of feelgood montage music.

 In order to stay true to this resolution, I am publicly declaring my intentions, starting a ‘Take me somewhere with heat and Vitamin D’ money pot and I’ll update on the outfits I wear to work each day, just to prove that it’s possible. (Or if it isn’t) I’ll also make mark my calendar for the sake of progress-recording and maybe draw stars, because when it comes down to it, there is an inner child within us all who just wants a star chart again. God forbid, maybe I’ll create a hashtag. Something like #30daysofsteelyfrugality or #fortydaysandfortymothballs. I think I'm going to find this hard because there are plenty of things I have on my eternal mental shopping list. But I'm going to try to forge ahead. (*disclaimer; I bought a beautiful rollneck jumper earlier about an hour before I decided to kickstart a period of frugality. I've been thinking about it for a couple of weeks and bought it from the money I've made from my first, ever writing commission.) But I'll be wearing it with some golden oldies. Feel free to join this gang; it’s less awkward than the reality of a clothing swap, and sort of like a beckon onto the internet-dancefloor of cool women dancing in skirts they love again. *Pulsing feelgood montage music fades in*

Update: We are now an *actual* club (so far it's me, Camille of Unpretentious Bouquet of Parenthesis, and Fiona of Save Our Shoes) We're using the hashtag #oldootd and uploading what we're wearing each day onto Instagram. Come join our gang! It's inspiring to have fellow supporters/money savers/old clothes re-inventors to ride the wave with. 


Ally said...

I am totally feeling this too. Last month I wrote down everything I spend money on because I was so tired of getting to the end of the month and wondering where it had all gone. I realised life is expensive but there are lots of things I can do to be more frugal.

So for the past few weeks I've also made a conscious effort to wear things I never wear - or sell them.

I've also been using up everything in the fridge before I buy new groceries (no more sad vegetables in the bottom draw, yay!) and not worrying about buying lots of fancy ingredients for fancy meals everyday. I've found satisfaction in just having eggs and spinach for dinner, or putting all the sad old vegetables with some spices into a pot and making a soup. I still love a good cook up but just not everyday.

I am also avoiding using public transport as much as possible (it is pretty pricey here in Melbourne) and instead walking where I need to go. It might take 20 or 30 min longer but it leaves me with a clear mind and my body feels happier moving instead of hunched over my phone on the tram.

I've also been making coffees at home instead of buying them, and taking a thermos with me.

And one of the biggest things for me was I've also stopped doing pricey exercise classes at posh studios and now use Yoga Glo and do online classes at home and go running which is free! Exercise is such a priority for me but I had to realise while it is important in my life, that doesn't mean I need to spend all my money on it. I can find other ways to do it, it just takes more discipline.

This post was so inspiring to keep going and stick to these goals so thanks Stevie!

PFF said...

I totally love cleaning out my wardrobe! After literally YEARS of throwing stuff out, i've finally refined my wardrobe to the absolute essentials. Of course, i'm always trying to 'save' which goes out the window when i see something awesome.

The start of your post really struck a chord with me. The ' rut ' thing. I do the same route everyday for work and it just gets so fucking boring. Thank god i'm going to NY in 2 weeks, i need a breather!

Joy said...

Sounds fun but I only have a small (all relatively new) wardrobe with me in Vienna. Not sure how I can partake but I will follow the project with interest!

Anonymous said...


V said...

I'm so glad you've written a post regarding the struggles of being in a rut and where to go from there (especially when it comes to clothing and using up fresh food before it goes off!)

Since starting back at uni for my third year, I've been toying with the idea of selling all the clothes which (as inspired by something my flatmate said) 'don't make me feel the best version of myself'. Regardless of how cheesy that is, it really struck me and ever since, I've been trying to get as much wear out of my wardrobe as possible whilst also put things aside which deserve a better home...

Would it be possible to join the club and contribute sporadically? I can't help thinking the upcoming Winter months are going to be a fun challenge for testing out lots of unworn clothing in my cupboard!

Well done on the first paid commission by the way! I'm still holding out on having a commission at all, let alone the day where I'll get paid for it! Even so, ur an inspiration as per ;--D xxxxx

Unknown said...

your wardrobe is heaving - I'm jealous x