In the face of the impending move from our house in the sticks, where we've been for the past thirteen years, I decided to sort out my clothes and recycle as much as I could bear. Before the Big Move we're going to have builders in, and need to relocate to a temporary home in the sauna cottage. All furniture, clothes, bedding etc, etc. is going to be moved out so that the upstairs can be rearranged and decorated. To say I'm not looking forward to the upheaval is an understatement. But I digress.
My first aim with the clothes reorganisation was just to put away the remains of the summer wardrobe, paying particular attention to items that were never worn this past season. This has been my motto for some years now. If it goes unworn for 12 months, it's out. That's the theory, the reality is rather different. Particularly as this summer was such a poor one in the UK (again) and we didn't have our usual break abroad in the sun, due to the Daughter's operation. So even a halter neck sun dress which I bought for a special occasion didn't get a wear this year.
While I went through my clothes rail and drawers with the critical eye of Gok, he the God of all wardrobes, I tried, as well as to decide what to keep and what to throw away, also to colour co-ordinate and place items in piles of similar pieces of clothing. (Can you tell I was supposed to be actually writing an actual manuscript today?)
And what did I find?
Fifteen - yes 1 5 - pairs of jeans.
This did not include cut-offs for gardening, jeans skirts, jeans jackets, or jeans shorts. Five pairs were by my favourite make, 7 For All Mankind, three of which looked more of less identical. Feeling brave (and shocked), I threw away five of the 15, not, however, being able to give up any of the 7's.
I always knew I had a black dress problem. I didn't even bother to count how many of those I have. But jeans? I had no idea I was this obsessed with them too. When I found this out, I became so deranged that I told husband not to let me buy any blue jeans or black dresses ever again.
Now I'm really regretting that remark. He has the memory of an elephant when it comes to my clothes shopping. What if, which is highly likely, I find a beautiful pair of 7's in - say - the January sales? At 30, 40 or even 50% off? They do, as I have found, last for a long time, fit my bum like a glove (not an easy task I can tell you) and remain forever in fashion (I hope!).
Or, even more likely, I find a perfect black number for the Christmas party season?
Feeling somewhat jaded, I turned to my shoe cupboard. Now here, I cannot use the same 12 month principle. It just isn't possible. I love shoes. Even more than I love jeans. I'm aware that I have a fondness for one particular style and colour (I bet you can guess), but I can live with this. Did I mention I love shoes? Just because I never wear most of the them does not, I repeat DOES NOT, mean that any should be thrown out. OK, I did manage to give up a pair of Dune sling backs and Scholl canary yellow clogs that I haven't worn for three years. As for the rest, they're coming with me, however small the clothing arrangements in the cottage. If necessary, I'll sleep next to them. And place my jeans carefully under the mattress....