The Wardrobe Challenge – Making My Wardrobe Work for Its Money

10 May

Doing the  Big Spring Wardrobe Audit last week I realised I’ve got a ton of stuff I don’t wear any more. So far, so normal. But I also realised, rather alarmingly, that I also have a ton of stuff that I HAVE NEVER WORN. New stuff. Some of it bought at full price. This, coming from a Skint girl, is bad news. You know, I’m supposed to be all thrift-is-king and style-on-a-shoestring and then I look in my wardrobe and find brand new clothes with tags on. Not good.

So, in the interests of walking the walk, I am setting myself a challenge, right here, right now. The Wardrobe Challenge, will see me take the unworn, brand new items in the wardrobe and wear each of them within the next seven days.  And if I don’t?  They’ve got to go. On ebay. I’m showing no mercy.

I think the problem with these unworn items is that I buy clothes for the life I think I ought to have, rather than the one I actually lead. In my head you see I’m partying every night, or sometimes swanning around the Left Bank from one adventure to the next.  That’s why five inch patent heels with an ankle strap scream ‘buy me’ when I see them in the shop. They don’t perform so well on the rat race. So, over the next week, I’m going to hold my dreams up to the light. Here are the items that have to earn their keep over the next seven days:  

Silver and gold Coast blouse: This is the one and only item of clothing that I’ve bought after seeing it on someone else. Normally, if I see someone else wearing a garment I steer totally clear, but when I spotted a girl wearing this blouse with jeans and boots I basically wanted the look for myself. That was before Christmas. The blouse hasn’t yet made it onto my back. The trouble is, this blouse is trying to be two very different things at once. To me, the pussy bow says sexy secretary, whilst the gold dots say let’s-go-clubbing. The two don’t tally and that’s why I’ve never been sure where to wear it. It’s too bling for the office and too prim for a night out.

Black four inch heels: I got these a couple of months ago during the legendary dress agency Prada boots bonanza afternoon. Teamed with a pair of hot pants on a Vegas stage, or perhaps sashaying through the meatpacking district with Samantha and the girls they’d work. Not with my lifestyle. At least, not till now. But, this week, they shall go to the office! And the chemists! Maybe even the library! Oh lucky, lucky shoes.


Biba shorts: Biba. The name alone made me buy them. One of those brands that promises a lifestyle. A Kings Road lifestyle though. From fifty years ago. I’m sensing a theme amongst my unworn clothes. I’m sensing that I’m an ad firm’s dream. 

Gold wedges: Not sure why I don’t love these. They’re a beautiful rose gold shade and wedges are my all-time favourite heel shape, being both glamorous and easy to walk in. But there’s something about these that’s not quite right and I can’t put my finger on it. I’ve decided to wear these babies for two or three days straight in a bid to figure out why they’re not doing it for me.

Art deco pendant: I have had this for FIVE years. And it cost a bomb. It’s vintage dahling, you see. Proper vintage, with a wee certificate and everything. I know its provenance. I know its grading. And I know that when I wear it I look like Miss Jean Brodie crossed with a set square. This one has me foxed. I am dreading wearing it and I don’t know how to get rid of it, except at a huge loss.  

Eagle belt: I actually like this. It looks great with jeans and a simple top,  those eagle wings stretched across my stomach. Those silver, rock hard, jaggy-as-anything eagle wings. Ouch. It’s like voluntarily strapping on a cattle prod. Note to self – wear this on a day when nothing strenuous is required. Wear it for lying across the couch watching telly – nothing more.   

Sequinned bag: Like the pussy bow blouse above, this is another item that combines two clashing trends, badly. The wicker handle says let’s-go-picknicking, whilst the sequins and lurex say Studio 54. Any suggestions on how to use this bag will be gratefully received – it’s got me stumped.

So, that’s it. Seven items, seven days. At the end of the week I should have sorted them into keepers and sellers. I’ll let you know where I wear them and how they do. Fancy joining me in the challenge? What items do you have that are languishing in your wardrobe, still with tags? You can respond in the comment box!


2 Responses to “The Wardrobe Challenge – Making My Wardrobe Work for Its Money”

  1. Ellie May 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Dear Skint in the City
    Ok – you have inspired me. I too wil give this a shot.
    TWO years ago I bought what I thought was a beautiful customised cardi – blue, red & white stripes with cold buttons and a cold bow – takes some seeing to believe it – is it Ok to wear it just around the house?

    • skintinthecity May 16, 2011 at 10:57 am #

      Dear Ellie,
      I feel your pain. Two years – ouch! This cardi doesn’t sound cheap either: wearing it around the house is not a viable financial solution – unless there is someone at home who you want to impress very much! Otherwise, I’m afraid you need to either give it an airing outdoors – or flog it. If the thought of wearing it outdoors makes you cringe (putting a parka on top doesn’t count by the way!) then you’ve got to sell or swap. Nautical is in this spring – I’m sure you’d find an eBay taker.
      I’m wondering though if the problem is that the cardi is a bit too customised – sounds like there’s a lot going on there! Could you take the gold bow off and swap the gold buttons for some red or blue ones? You could then use the bow pinned to the neckline of a plain top. Let me know how you go . . .

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