Volunteering in a charity shop has been oddly cathartic. Being surrounded by clothes, good or bad quality, has made me appreciate the variety of clothes in my own wardrobe, and when it comes to my addiction to sales and special offers, realising that I can always pick up something similar for even less within four or five charity shops has stopped that feeling of missing out when I walk past a sale without looking in.
Seeing the kinds of things people donate also reminds me of how ridiculous my consumerist desires could become. Trends barely a month old are recognisable among the recent donations, as more harem pants and floor length skirts than we can sell fill the rails. Sometimes these cast offs match the styles (but never the quality) of the vintage rail, and you can be damn sure it'll be in fashion again one day. A member of my family has this sussed, and deliberately puts clothes into storage, to discover them a few years later when they're next in fashion. Do you ever watch those Gok Wan TV shows where he visits the wardrobes of women with sales addictions, and they have cupboards and drawers bursting with clothes? We buy into the next trend, but where does really that get us? As I was wondering this, I looked through my wardrobe, and noted that since I stopped trying to keep up with trends, my clothes (now around 50% from charity shops) have started to become a cohesive collection of mix and match pieces (how often I would have to buy a new top to match a new skirt!), which offers the potential for longer term style. I may not look on trend, but the money I might be able to save and put towards a life experience (hello holiday) is, for me, worth infinitely more.
So here's the ONE new piece of clothing I bought in June, from Bethany Christian Trust on Hamilton Place. It's a gem, and I consider it underpriced at £5.
Black wool Banana Republic kilt, £5.
(Antoni & Alison pink silk shirt, satin bow from the sewing kit, Dune pumps)
It's very, very heavy, so not really practical for summer. Oh, actually wait, I live in Scotland, it's probably completely appropriate for July (there were flash floods in Edinburgh, people lost their cars! In July!).