NG

Lifestyle . Fashion . Beauty . Culture

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Sentimentality of Fashion


I have a confession: I’m a hoarder. I hold onto everything from the perfume box a Christmas gift came in to my ‘homework club’ certificate I received when I was 9 (I was a cool kid). And don’t even get me started on makeup. The palette with hues so extreme it’s named ‘Acid’ and has only been used once when I spontaneously thought I could rock a hot pink eye (I couldn’t)? I definitely need to hang onto that just in case I need it someday. Basically, I’m crap at throwing things out.

I’ve always attached sentimentality to inanimate objects. There are just some things in life that we don’t want to bid farewell to because of the emotional connection they have to past memories. But then there are the more trivial relics that are just as hard to let go of; the tacky glitter globes I bought myself when I was 10 or the beautifully designed hat box that my younger, naïve self planned to store love letters in (I clearly didn’t predict the rise of technology/ just how awkward looking a teenager I would be).

My wardrobe’s the worst culprit and I’m not alone; it’s predicted that on average a woman only wears 20% of the clothes she owns on a regular basis. It’s a staggering estimate, especially when you consider the cost of the extra 80% left hanging.

And so, long overdue a clear out, I became inspired by Carrie Bradshaw and invited my three closest friends over, popped open the Moët and made them watch me parade around in every single piece I owned while they faked enthusiasm and held up ‘take’ or ‘toss’ cards. Only joking, I can’t think of anything more boring or self-involved to make my friends do (instead I’ll just write about it and make you all read it).

I'm with Miranda
I don’t know why I’m such a hoarder but I suspect in part it’s due to some subconscious romanticism of what things were in the past or could be in the future. Take, for example, the royal purple, silk dress that I just can’t throw out. It is literally too painful to wear, no thanks to the awkward placement of sequins that scratch your arms. For this reason I’ve only worn it once. I’ll never wear it again but I still can’t throw it away. Why? Because it’s too pretty to throw in a monotonous heap of unloved clothes, I bought it on my 16th birthday and, for me, it represents the person I want to be when I rarely leave the house after 10pm: fun, sparkly and joyous.

“Clothes are much more than just cloth. It’s giving the wearer something more than a garment. It’s transferring emotion,” fashion designer Jessica Ogden once said and it’s a sentiment I fully understand. There’s a reason why our tastes and preferred pieces change over the years; we change as people and this is reflected in our lifestyle choices, particularly what we choose to wear.

Some clothes are easy to throw out because of the memories they hold: that ‘night out only’ bodycon dress that I hung on to for a little too long despite it not fitting for the best part of four years? Gone. The try-hard plaid skirt I bought on a whim when I first became editor of my student magazine after another The Devil Wears Prada re-run? So long. But, despite my impressively ruthless clear out there are some clothes that will stay in my wardrobe indefinitely.

Fashion is simultaneously obsessed with the past and the future. Every season we see a version of a ‘classic reinvented’ or the trend pages of magazines refer specifically to a decade’s archetypal style. That’s what’s so wonderful about fashion: it’s constantly innovative, challenges conventions but is also significantly influenced by the past. It looks back and moves forward: something that I believe is reflected in our own collection of clothes too.


I will never stop pining over minimalist Scandi-style interior design on Pinterest, nor will I ever stop admiring the meticulously organised wardrobe spaces in Elle’s 'Closet Confidential' pages. But sometimes the most eclectic wardrobes featured were the most fascinating to read about because of the dazzling stories behind the pieces. By contrast, I can’t claim that I wore my purple, sparkly dress to the MET gala, or that it gifted to me from my dear friend Karl Lagerfeld, but it makes me happy, and isn’t that what personal style is about after all?

NG <3

Photo Credit: Emily May via Flickr.


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1 comment

  1. Unless I'm in a job where I have to wear uniform (like right now), I wear most of my wardrobe all the time. I like the aesthetic of minimalist but not too much as I know it's not me. I like colours and patterns far too much. But I also know it's so easy to hoard and I'm trying to cure myself of that. Clothes are such beautiful dangerous things

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