I have a bad habit of shopping for my imaginary life: you know, the one in which I’m some kind of glamorous party-girl, rarely without a red-carpet to walk upon?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this, either. My problem, you see, is that I love clothes – and, more to the point, I love a certain type of clothes. Fifties-inspired prom dresses. Very high heels. Outfits that wouldn’t look out of place at a cocktail party – but which are VERY out of place in my home office, on a Tuesday afternoon.
Unfortunately for me, the life of a full-time fashion blogger doesn’t give me many excuses to dress up. Oh, I could if I really wanted to, I suppose: there’s no shortage of event invitation in my inbox and on my desk. The problem is, though, that, in addition to living in a small village in the exact middle of nowhere, UK, I’m also something of a homebody, so the thought of travelling to wherever those events are being held rarely appeals to me. Not when there are books to be read, blog posts to be written, and an ever-growing Netflix queue, anyway.
The result of all of this is that I’ve ended up with a closet full of party dresses, but nothing to wear to lunch with friends, or a Saturday afternoon’s shopping. I never need to buy something special for a party, and if I was invited to a wedding tomorrow, I’d be able to reach into my closet and pull out something appropriately. Anything even remotely causal, however, leaves me absolutely stumped, and I’ll invariably end up feeling horribly uncomfortable in whatever appropriately “dressed down” outfit I managed to cobble together from the very back of the closet.
Presented with the choice between an impractical-but-stunning dress, say, and a practical-but-dull sweater, I’ll go for the dress every time – then I’ll head out to that casual get-together in a shabby old pair of jeans, while the dress hangs in the closet, unworn.
I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember, but lately I’ve been trying hard to change. For the past year, I’ve been doing my best to resist the pretty party dresses, and invest in more “sensible” options, realising at last that “sensible” doesn’t have to mean “boring”. I’ve been clearing out my closet, getting rid of the things I know I’ll never wear (but was holding onto “just in case”…), and slowly but surely attempting to replace them with things I’ll get lots of use out of. It’s been slow-going, and I haven’t always been successful – sometimes those dresses and skirts are just TOO irresistible! – but I’ve been making progress, and will be ending 2014 with my wardrobe in much better shape than it started.
Next year, my aim is to continue the good work, and to keep refining my closet, selectively adding to it and, above all, shopping for the life I ACTUALLY have, rather than the one I just WISH I had. I don’t think I’ll ever have a true capsule wardrobe – I enjoy clothes far too much for that! – but hopefully I can make the wardrobe I DO have a much more effective one!
Anyone else trying to break the habit of shopping for their imaginary lives?