I have had a few emails about what to wear for Spring and, do you know? I genuinely don’t know if it’s really that different from Springwear last year.
I had a kind of epiphany at the end of last year about clothes: I have too many and I keep buying things that I won’t wear, like dresses. I feel like I’m in drag in dresses and always have done. But I look at other people wearing dresses and think “I ought to be wearing a dress.”
So I bought two or three dresses but every time I look in my wardrobe I thought “not today”, just because the actual calls for dress-wearing in my life are basically zero. During the day I wear jeans and a sweater. At night I wear black jeans and a sweater. On the rare occasions I have to actually go and interview someone in person for work, I wear my black trouser suit from John Lewis.
I don’t count myself, or you, as particularly being the mega baddies in the fashion-waste crisis – it’s those fucking hellholes like BooHoo, Pretty Little Thing, Peacocks and Primark or whatever, from where people buy dresses for £9 and then literally throw them in the bin. And although, no, I don’t subscribe to the notion that people have to be saved from making bad decisions by the state, I do think the outlets are to blame.
But I’m not absolving us, either. It’s a lesson that we all need to learn that you need to buy new clothes with your eyes open, if that makes sense. Yes, absolutely, you need a good wardrobe of clothes that fit and are appropriate to your lifestyle – but “It” shoes or sweaters or dresses are not going to make you thinner or change your life.
With that thought, I am only buying clothes from now and forevermore that I will actually wear all the time, or refresh staples that I know I will reach for regularly if the current incarnation is tatty. White t-shirts. A black blazer. At the moment I’m on the lookout for a white peasant blouse. I have had my Stan Smiths for 4 years now and I think I might swap them out for a pair of these white platform Converse. I will not buy clothes to wear in some fantasy life that I don’t live.
The most expensive thing I bought last year was a pair of Gucci track trousers in a charity sale. There are very few days of the year I won’t or can’t wear them and have worn them about a hundred times already.
My most recent purchase was a particular pair of jeans, which I have been looking for for about a year. If there is one thing in your wardrobe that you do need to update every now and again, (if looking modern is important to you), it’s your jean shape.
And the new jean shape has a higher waist. I have high-waisted jeans that are flattering but monstrously uncomfortable, which I tear off in a tetchy state at the end of the day, and high-waisted jeans that are super comfortable but make my husband’s face crumple with unspoken distress at how they make me look.
The hunt was for a pair that were high-waisted, a light wash and reasonably flattering to my legs, (which are not my best feature). I must have tried on 30 pairs until I found the Mile High Cropped Flare from Levis. I then had to go to three different stores before I found a pair in a 28, which is my size. They are soft and light and ridiculously comfortable without being bum-saggy boyfriend monstrosities.
I’m never taking them off. Which is how it should be! Which is how it always used to be, do you remember? We always used to only have one pair of jeans. Maybe two. Not 25.