What’s your wardrobe age? * To work this out, cast an eye over all your
clothes and roughly work out how long ago you bought them. Or the
majority of them at least. My wardrobe sheds its skin like a snake
virtually every year. I wonder if this means I’m an ineffective
shopper or just an enthusiastic one.
When stylish women in magazines are asked about their wardrobe secrets,
they invariably talk about investment dressing. Especially if they are
French. Investment dressing is the art of buying something slowly and
carefully. It is the opposite of the impulse buy, the enemy of the
quick fashion fix. An investment piece (they’re always called ‘pieces’,
like furniture, possibly because they cost as much as a couch) should
be of good quality, very expensive and timeless. It should embed itself
purposefully in your wardrobe for many years. You should wear it often
and feel csmug and superior every time you do. Investment dressing is
my worst nightmare. The wardrobe age of an investment dresser would be
very old. High quality but old.
Me? I’m more of a quantity girl. I like new. I like now. I like saying
‘what’s next?’ and then going shopping for the second time in a week.
Partly because of my fashion ADHD and partly because I have become ruthless at culling, there aren’t many items in my wardrobe older than a toddler. One to two years is how long I hold onto my purchases before replacing them. Donald Trump takes a similar approach to wives.
A few exceptions? A twelve year old pair of Sergio Rossie metallic strappy wedges which are absolute staples and don’t seem to date. A seven year old orange leather jacket which inspires one friend to shriek “not that bloody orange jacket again!” each time I wear it. A six year old pair of lolly pink men-style Zimmerman pants which have come thisclose to being culled many times but have had second and third and fourth winds and continue to work. And a bright blue printed Plein Sud shirt that I bought 15 years ago for $200 and was, at that time, the most outrageously expensive item I’d ever owned. Everything else? Toddlers.
But that’s really quite mature compared to one friend who guestimates her wardrobe age in weeks not years. “My wardrobe sheds its skin every six weeks or so, when I enter a new phase of cheap, disposable fashion” she admits. “I’m a crap shopper and scour the shops forever and never seem to find anything. So when I do stumble upon something that fits / looks good / is affordable, I go a bit stupid and buy it in three or four different colours. Then I alternate the colours every second day for about a month – thinking no one will notice. One day I’ll wear something different and everyone asks me if it’s ‘new’. I suddenly realise that the whole office has noticed I’ve been wearing the same stuff on rotation for the previous six weeks and am then too embarrassed to wear any of it ever again. Then the cycle starts anew – I scour shops, eventually find something, buy it in three colours, wear em til people comment, feel like a fash loser crap crap crap.”