I’m experiencing a tug of love, a sentimental internal battle where ultimately logic will prevail but in the short term, my heart strings have been pulled so hard it hurts. I’m selling my clothes on eBay. Ok, this may seem trivial and mundane but I assure you it’s a weighty issue. I love clothes, I love fashion, I love outfits and accessories; I love it all like a shopaholic loves her credit card.
I have been brutal. Not worn it for six months? Gone. Not really in fashion anymore? See ya. Highly unlikely to ever go anywhere I can wear it again? So long, farewell. Some items have been destined for the dumping pile for a while, and I’m actually rubbing my hands in glee that I even made 99p on them. But other things, within their patterns and fabric, hold memories, and a sense of possibility.
Eighteen months ago I stood in Topshop ‘umming’ and ‘aahing’ over the perfect pair of heels. The pink toned nude colour would go with anything & everything, the extra high heel elongated my legs creating a gentle and feminine curve in my short little calves, and the rounded peeptoe finished them off to perfection, minus the infamous red sole, they were many price tags away from Louboutins but with all the class and style. I couldn’t afford them but after blagging some student discount and pulling out my little plastic friend, they were mine all mine. Those shoes did not come off my feet for the whole of my hen weekend in Marbella. They danced with me until 5am, they broke into our apartment with me when we lost our keys and they went away wistfully into my luggage when it was time to go home. Then I never wore them again. It was a whirlwind romance, fleeting but no less fulfilling in its brevity.
So when I boxed them up and sent them on the way to someone in Dorset, it was with a heavy heart. The finality as I stuck on the recorded delivery sticker was almost too much to bear, but I have to believe they are now new and exciting for someone else, and they will be back on the dance floor instead of decaying in my wardrobe.
Maybe I am over sentimental in my attachment to things that merely amount to cotton, polyester or, if I’m lucky, silk but I can’t help wonder if I will one day wear them again and marvel at my powers of resurrection. Take the H&M playsuit I’ve just parted company with. A geometric flurry of bright red and blue lines, cascading frills draping down the front and a neatly cinched in waist. It was daring Riviera Chic, and I couldn’t help imaging myself one day visiting the bars of St Tropez in this flirty ensemble paired with my more recent bronze-gold t-bar stilettos. Then I realised the closest I’m getting to the South of France is when Manchester re-opens the Yacht Club in Spinningfields, and who am I kidding? If I were to go to St Tropez, I’d want a whole new wardrobe.
And therein lies the problem; though I do share fond memories and nostalgic ideas with these garments and their coordinating shoes and bags, they just don’t make me tingle like they used to. It’s the fashionable girls failing, brief and fickle relationships with the latest trend, a craving for the hit that something new brings and the eventual sad goodbye when sending our once favoured items into the arms of someone new. It’s enough to make a personal shopper sob.
So far I have made a decent sum on eBay, at least enough to cover the cost of my brand new spaghetti strap, high-waisted jumpsuit from Topshop Boutique. I’m wearing it for a girl’s trip to London and it’s perfect for the occasion. I’m certain it’s a timeless classic, one of those rare finds that I actually think I may keep forever and still feel fabulous in it when it’s been on more than its share of Facebook pictures. I know I sound like a fool in love all over again, seduced by the charms of a new sartorial fling, but such long-lasting partnerships do exist. There are just some garments that inspire loyalty, like the slate grey leopard print fifties bodycon dress that’s more than a little bit Brigitte Bardot, or my black floral skirt that fits and flows so perfectly it’s my go-to number when nothing else looks right. These little beauties, along with a couple of others, will never find themselves in an eBay listing or packaged up in parcel tape. They are treasured possessions and when you come across such gems you should grab them and never let them go, because as with most things, but especially for a woman and her clothes, falling in love is easy, it’s the staying in love that’s the hard part.