WE all have a different relationship with the clothes we wear and even at that our own relationship with clothes ebbs and changes over the years.
I absolutely adore fashion (not that you’d know it by me if you saw me at the school gate!), I started collecting Vogue magazines when I was in college and lugged them with me through every house move until bottles and buggies began gaining priority over space.
Over the last ten years, I have been through many iterations of style, between pregnancy, breastfeeding and the ups and downs that go with both. I don’t know was it my body or my lifestyle that had changed, or had I spent so long staring at clothes that didn’t fit, I resented them by the time they did!
I love wearing dresses and converse, but in reality that is just not the life I live. I walk the dog everyday, I run and race, I cook food and I clean so a pair of pumps and a midi dress just isn’t going to cut it on the muddy mountain bikes tracks where I bring our lively red setter every morning. Perhaps it is just a phase, I’m in the trenches with small kids and it won’t always be this hectic.
Nine times out of ten these days, I reach for jeans and a jumper or work-out leggings and a jumper. They’re nice, probably predictable, but I’m comfortable and presentable so isn’t that all that matters?
I came close to burning my baggy tracksuit pants that became my lockdown uniform but I haven’t drift too far from the comfort they afforded me since.
They say you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time and during Covid being stuck at home looking at clothes I’d probably never wear again really made me rethink my attitude to shopping.
Online shopping has changed my habits for the better. I rarely make it to the shops which I know is probably not ideal in terms of maintaining the structure and heart of our towns and cities but the fact of the matter is I don’t have the time. My days are dominated by the children’s needs and the weekends, funnily enough, are also dominated by the children and their social and sporting lives.
Now I literally only shop online if I need something which is rare enough. Unsurprisingly that is a good thing for your bank balance, we all know how a quick trip into Penney’s for underwear will almost always result in you leaving the store with a paper bag on the verge of ripping it has so much stuff in it.
I give far more consideration to my purchases now, it is easier to put something in your virtual shopping basket and walk away for a few days to give it some thought as to whether you really need it. I suspect they would think you odd if you tried to employ the same methods of contemplation in an actual store.
I buy less but I but better; I invested in a good rain jacket from Berghaus during the winter and when you spend money on something you look after it so much more, I suppose because you want to get value for your hard-earned money. I am confident it will last me many years unlike the many other fashionable jackets I have bought throughout the years that did little to stave off the wind and rain on the school run.
There are certain things that have lasted through the four girls, the less worn items like dresses and or the sturdier items like coats but you give me a pair of leggings that will last through two children never mind four and I will be bowled over. I have tried it all, expensive thick ones, lighter cheap ones and fundamentally they are all the same; if a child falls, which happens will alarming regularity, the ground doesn’t decipher between expensive and cheap it rips them all the same. And expensive clothes are no more resistant to stains than any of the rest of them. It is so hard to find a balance for children between price point, clothing that comes from a decent source and trying to make it last so that it doesn’t end up with tomato stains or rips and wind- up in the ever growing mountain of wasted clothing.