I had a depressing wardrobe clear-out the other day. I can’t bear wardrobe clear-outs. I can’t bear to witness the extent of my wrong-headed and stupid impulse purchases, to witness my profligacy and dim-witted splurging of money on shitty clothes I don’t need or wear.
It’s awful also how much I love wardrobe clear-outs – the scrabbling towards that blissful idea of opening my cupboard and only ever seeing the clothes I actually wear (jeans, merino wool sweaters) rather than all those things I feel like I should be wearing but don’t. Or things that fitted me two years ago after an illness left me a size 8 but now ride up over my middle. Ugh. BE GONE. I hate also the knowledge that charity shops probably don’t want my clothes, that giving them away is not helpful in any regard. That they will probably – oh my god – end up in landfill and I will go to eco hell.
I was about 5% gratified to see that the things I was getting rid of were clothes that I have had for many years, many were pre-children – or knitwear that is now irreparably damaged by snagging on things or by moths. Only a few things were plain old bad purchases.
The things I am buying this Autumn are modest and few. Two fresh merino wool sweaters from Uniqlo – one in black and one in navy in a size L. I always size up my crewnecks for drapeyness and comfort. They have just restocked. These are wonderfully bland, all-purpose sweaters and as I have said a billion times – there is nowhere you can’t go in a good pair of jeans, clean white trainers, a navy sweater and gold hoops. Still. And I started saying that about five years ago.
The other two things are
1 this dress from See by Chloe
I only have two long, printed dresses – one was a hand me down and the other one I got on sale and its doesn’t really suit me. But I have never bought another, despite it being some kind of uniform these days, because I have stubbornly thought “No, I’ve got two long printed dresses, I don’t need one more.” And then I caved when I saw this one because it is really, really, really nice; it is vaguely empire line, which either suits you or it doesn’t – it suits me and makes me feel thin and you know how powerful that feeling is. It was also very expensive, which I hope means that it was not made by (or possibly from) small children
I am also very into minidresses with long sleeves and a high neck that I can wear in winter in the evening with opaque tights and black boots. This might be your absolute worst possible aesthetic that will make you look like a bowling ball and for that I apologise – I am no stylist, I can only tell you what I’m doing. So I bought…
2 this one from Sezane and I know it’s not made from small children because Sezane is very hot on provenance transparency.
If you, too, like the high neck/long sleeve minidress idea and like to make a case for how much hotter H&M are on their ethics since the factory collapse PR disaster, H&M are simply bursting at the seams with very good examples of this.
This “embroidered dress”
or this “wide dress”
or this “scallop-trimmed dress”
Just generally I am still cleaving to a 70s aesthetic this year so flares and clogs and huge cardigans and pimp sunglasses, raglan tops, the aforementioned long floral dresses and a-line minidresses with high necks and long sleeves. I am also still devoted to Hummel hi-tops. I am considering a pair in white leather to see me through the winter as my canvas ones suffered a bit. But in the end I predict I will feel too guilty.
Emily K says
I have arrived at that time of year when – having lived in boyfriend jeans for months – I suddenly haven’t a clue which cut of jeans I should be wearing. I am also having my annual, utterly predictable, fanny about trying to locate some decent black ankle boots that don’t look like buckets and aren’t too biker-ish, but also aren’t chelsea boots. Every year I dither about and then it’s spring again and I’ve bought nothing. This year will be different maybe. Anyway, thank you for the reminder about the uniqlo sweaters – the moths ate my last two so I need to restock.
Esther please, please find us these boots.
I’ve just ordered these from Topshop to try, and also the Margot boot which looks the same but with a slightly higher heel. Not sure if they fit the bill? They are quite plain and inoffensive
Emily, if you find them in brown calf can you let me know please??? I have just started the annual fruitless winter boot search …
I was just looking at the Uniqlo jumpers today! I usually get the men’s ones in size M as they seem to be exactly the same but more frequently in the sale.
Esther, I know you are devoted to the Hummel trainers. But if you were me and branching out into a Big Trainer for the first time, not hi tops but those clumpy ones, which ones would you get? Are there, like, white ones that will go with everything, or is that not cool? I’m scared of looking like a dick.
Why wouldn’t charity shops take your clothes? I should imagine they would snatch them from your hand! I’ve just had a noodle around the H&M website. Although it’s probably not ethical I do like some of their high necked, short dresses and their biker boots.
Dunno I think they just get mountains and mountains of stuff… I DO give it to charity though – Breast Cancer Care do a kerbside pickup every few months and I save it all up for them x
I bought a navy merino v necked cardigan from Uniqlo in the spring, to deal with the summer boiling-freezing rollercoaster (sunshine/supermarket/aircon/cloud/hot car/sunshine) and it was just perfect – and folded up so small it fitted neatly into my bag when not needed. Definitely require a jumper thoughI need to try vv hard not to buy one in each colour. As I have a navy merino from somewhere else it might be charcoal – next most useful colour as it goes with black or navy. thank you for reminding me!
I have just bought a deep purple 40s cut dress from Joe Browns for my sister’s wedding and it’s so gorgeous that I am reduced to making noises to try and convey how gloriously AUTUMN it is
that sounds like a really GOOD dress
Dex you are going to BRING Autumn to that wedding xxx
Zoe Deleuil says
That Chloe dress is beautiful and thanks for Sezane tip – they have such good bags along with the clothes. I have been dreaming of the Chloe Marcie bag but just can’t justify it on any level plus I would be nervous of getting mugged for it/spilling ink inside, and they have one that’s sort of similar and half the price.