I like clothes and clothes usually like me. I like to make up excuses to purchase new items. ‘I’m using one of my many <insert emotion here>’, ‘It’s on sale and now it only costs a ridiculous amount instead of a super ridiculous amount’ or ‘Even though it’s a wee bit hideous, I’ll still buy it because I’ll never get a designer label at this price again’. There’s always a reason to add to the wardrobe or the chest of drawers that need to be pushed shut with all your might because they are spewing fabric.
Exercising the right to use your credit card aside, I find that I have a more sentimental connection with clothing. I own and still use pairs of socks that have exhausted their toe covering capabilities, because they remind me of my time in South Korea (not the holes, but the socks).
I have a pair of pants that used to be ‘skin-tight’ on me which I could only possibly wear now if it was fashionable to shimmy around with two legs in one pant and a side tail. They remind me of how far I’ve come from my days as a Sumo wannabe.
I even have my first top that I had stitched together with my grandmother, packed away somewhere. It’s small and has shapes carefully attached in a way that only a 5 and 70 year old could put together. From memory, I don’t think I quite got the measurements right and may have hulked out of it a bit.
I cannot and will not throw out anything that provokes some kind of memory. And I’m glad I didn’t because now I have a collection of my late husband’s clothes that now mean more than the world to me. From ‘favourite’ tees to stuff he was banned from wearing around me.
Yesterday I carefully rummaged through my husband’s storage clothes box. I’d made a special trip, for a special shirt – A vintage DB Bitter sponsored Warriors Super League jersey. As the Warriors were playing in the Grand Final, I figured that at least wearing my husband’s supporter top would help the cause. I was wrong. We lost, but I won by getting to wear his Warriors rugby league jersey.
Next time there will be no excuse for adding to the collection or no guilt for storing things. For I know the pleasure that comes from rediscovering old gems and the love that pours out of those clothes.