After Small Boy was born I couldn't fit into most of my clothes, so I bought a 'temporary' wardrobe, which I'm still wearing four months later: 6 skirts, 2 shorts, 9 tops. I haven't been bored with my selection, but I have been a little frustrated because it was mostly bought in a rush and just had to buy what would fit and not necessarily what I would ordinarily choose. I've lost all the baby weight, so I should try on some of my old clothes and see what fits again.
To be honest, I’m hesitant to start raiding my old wardrobe because I like having so few clothes.
I can’t quite believe that I’m actually saying that. Somewhere, somehow, the connection between my clothes and my identity has been detached and I didn’t even notice.
I remember the days when I would dream up outfits the day before. Clothes were an outlet for my creativity, but also a means of drawing attention to myself. An emotionally tough childhood saw me doing a lot of things as a teenager and young to get people to notice me and like me. Which is crazy, because, in reality, I’m an introverted person who likes to stay out of the spotlight. I have found people now who love me unconditionally: my husband and two sons. I don’t need a wardrobe full of clothes to impress them!
But more recently, my clothes were a symbol of who I was. I wanted people to know I was more than just a mum. Soon my shoe collection was expanding to include more heels and pretty shoes, and my clothes became more dressy than cargo pants and t-shirts. But, I know that I am more than just a mum: I’m a wife, a musician, a writer. I am an intelligent, educated woman. I thirst for knowledge and I read and analyse everything that comes in my path. Wearing jeans or a cocktail dress doesn’t change who I am.
Having less clothes hasn’t meant I am less creative in what I wear. Necklaces, scarves and earrings don’t take up much space and can change an outfit. Heels instead of flats can change an outfit, and I only need one of each. Less clothes doesn’t mean not choosing items that I love and that suit me best. I can still buy a piece of fabric and make my own skirt that I won’t find in the shops. I just don’t need ten of those skirts hanging in my wardrobe at once.
Less clothes means I can see easily what’s in my wardrobe. I don’t have a mountain of ironing that needs to be done. I wear shorts and skirts two days a row if I can (it’s too sweaty here to wear shirts twice!). In future, there won’t be things hanging in my wardrobe that I feel bad about buying and not wearing because I will have purposefully bought the item, not just grabbed it off a clearance rack because it was cheap and looked nice.
So what have I learnt from having such a tiny selection of clothes for the last four months? I don’t need as many clothes as I thought I did.