As I mentioned in my first blog post I am a little sentimental when it comes to my clothes (for sentimental read hoarder)
I am trying to source my vintage clothing in smarter and thriftier ways than I have in the past for the sake of my wardrobe, purse and sanity. This means I am having a big clear out very soon. This post is almost a kind of therapy, admittance of the problem is the first step...
Where I Went Wrong
"But I love it"
Like I said before I didn't always wear my vintage and as a result it didn't matter at the time if it actually fitted me or even suited me, I would buy things because they were beautiful. This is fine if you are a lottery winner with millions in the bank and a 16 bedroom house to keep all this stuff in. But if you are a single girl in a three bed flat in Essex trying to cram a lifetime of hoarding into one room and maintain a relationship with your increasingly despairing mother, it is very far from fine.
I would also buy things in disrepair because...well because I felt sorry for them. Yep you read that right, I felt sorry for clothes... I'm just going to let that sink in.
"But it's so Cheap!"
As the saying goes you can have something done cheap or something done right, and the same applied to my vintage wardrobe, the only problem was that I went for cheap. I went through a phase of rummaging though the local charity shops and buying anything for less that £5 that could pass for vintage in a dimly lit room if you squinted at it, when what I really wanted was a beautiful true vintage circle skirt.
It's a bit like wanting a freshly squeezed organic apple juice but buying a tango instead because it's cheaper, it's just not going to ever compare to what you wanted and you won't ever be fooled that one is anything like the other.
It's a false economy that you will save money this way, I dread to think how many "but it's only £2" items I have bought and then re-donated or sold on at a loss because I simply wasn't wearing them. I didn't know enough at the time about true vintage quality clothing, the limit of my knowledge was that old meant vintage and vintage was what I liked.
"But I got drunk and went on Ebay"
Buying online is also a bit of a problem for me, the culture of online shopping means there is no cooling off period, you can click and buy, click and buy, and don't we just? Ebay (what a clever idea that was!) creates a competitive aspect to shopping which only previously existed in the queues outside Next on boxing day. Online shopping also gives me a temporary frontal lobotomy on the finance front. Is paypal even real money? I'm still not sure.
"But I just can't wait"
Another phrase which springs to mind is the one about wanting it all and wanting it now, it seems to be another generational thing that we have no patience in our lives. I tried to build my vintage wardrobe overnight but am learning more and more that Rome, or more specifically 1940's London, wasn't built in a day.
I now savour a decent vintage market as a day out and if I come away with nothing that is fine by me, it's almost like a learning experience rather than a shopping trip, I always come away with some titbit of information from a seller and a few business cards for future reference. Markets and events are great places to people watch, meet new faces and socialise, it's one of the main things I enjoy about them these days.
"I saw this and thought of you"
The final factor which lead to the successful procurement of the mess that is now my wardrobe is friends and family. With the best will in the world they will pick up items at bootsales and charity shops that they think I will like, I am about to sound very ungrateful but this has added to the issue considerably and I don't like them wasting their money. Clothing is so personal and I need to find a way of telling them that they should save their pennies because I don't have a single spare coat hanger, despite recently having bought 100 of them!
So what am I going to do?!
Each item in my wardrobe will shortly be subject to one of three fates - Keep, Sell or Donate. Since this isn't Sex and the City I won't be doing this with three friends and a bottle of Verve. I'll probably be crying in a pair of jogging bottoms. However since it's hopeful that I will move to London in the coming months I won't have room for these things anymore, unless I move into a big yellow storage facility and bunk down there.
The things that are for sale will go up for one month max and if they don't sell they will be donated. I'm going to sell things at bargain prices, one thing I need to stop doing is beating myself up about money spent, I'm not going to make that back now but the clothes are not making anything sitting in my wardrobe.
Operation clean out starts this weekend and is likely to be a long a painful process so I'll keep you posted.
Wish me luck vintagers!