Wardrobe Malfunctions

With clothing prices set to increase by between 5 and 8 per cent next year, it looks as if the age of ‘throwaway’ fashion is at an end. We’re all going to have to be a bit more frugal about our buying - although you don’t need to be Gok Wan to look at my shrunken T-shirts and tired jumpers to realise that I’ve never had enough disposable income to bin anything for being ‘last year’. Nevertheless there are some items lurking in the back of my wardrobe that, even in west Wales, will never see the light of day...

For many years I wanted to be a Rock Chick when I grew up. Even when I was grown up. Little did I know, as I strutted around in these leather bad boys channelling the spirit of Jim Morrison, that my daughters were cringing behind my back and suffering excruciating embarrassment every time I left the house in them. I tried them on this morning, wondering what the fuss was about, then looked in the mirror and found a short woman in waders looking back at me. Please accept my profound apologies, Rose and Lily.

Well, look at this. My investment coat, wool and cashmere, purchased after months of careful saving. Very this season, don’t you think? Strange mousey colour, military references. Lovely. It’s also like a berludy tent on me! How I ever convinced myself it fitted, I don’t know! I can only think that, costing as much as it did, I thought I’d get as much fabric as possible for my

How about these then? I know! What was I thinking of? These things happen. It was my lunch hour, I was fed up, they were in a sale and the next thing I knew they were accompanying me back to the office. I can’t even walk in them – that four inch heel is a killer.

I suppose the lesson of this morning’s rummage in my wardrobe is that there are some items that should be thrown away... but in the meantime I’ll just put them back where I found them. I’m not sure about the practical value of those boots, but if clothes prices go up that much, a pair of leather trousers and a huge military style overcoat might just come in handy!


Kath said…
Now you see, to me, those three items look fab and as if they'd all co-ordinate into one lovely outfit... one reason why I'll not be doing a similar Crimes against the Wardrobe blog post anytime soon.

Your post made me chuckle and reminded me of those of my friends who shop on a regular basis and have a summer wardrobe and a winter one, and set times for changing them round, with the out of season one being boxed up and put in the attic or storage. I have one wardrobe, I've had it for years, I just like to vary the number of layers it has as we segue from one season to the next!

Fun post, Chris.
Pauline Barclay said…
Smiled and giggled at your post. I'm a terrible horder, and I have some things that defry any fashion sense....why did I buy them? Living here is wonderful, shorts and t/shirts and despite being past one of those 0 numbers, I live in them all the time, fashion, what fashion?. Thanks for making us smile. x
Fennie said…
Yes, great post, because of its universal applicability, though I tend to find that clothes now look small on me (rather than large) and I keep them in a futile attempt to convince myself that I shall be slim enough to wear them again very soon. I'm sentimental about clothes and also waste-not-want-nottish, a combination that makes it hard to get rid of anything. But still, Chris, there's always eBay! And I'm sure you could give the clothes a provenance. Here are the boots that Harry wore to the restaurant opening and that's the coat that belonged to her mother. Can't guess where the trousers cam from but I love that 'waders' image. Gosh, you've got a brand already.
Jane Lovering said…
Tell you what - cut the leather trousers down into shorts and tell the kids you only did it because they complained so much about the trousers. Then wear the shorts. Everywhere. It might get a bit chilly, but persist. Eventually the kids will club together to buy you new clothes, although these may come from M&S 'Middle Age' range.

Embarassing your kids - it never fails!
Milla said…
I'm so bad at buying clothes that if I find anything that's even half way ok I wear it into the ground - and what's this about "last year" - my new coat is still the one I bought in 1995. Years of life left in that one!
Debs said…
So funny. I have clothes like that in my wardrobe and desperately need more space, but still don't seem to be able to muster up the determination to get rid of the offending items.
Preseli Mags said…
I love the boots, but then I love all boots, and the coat looks lovely and warm (if a little mousey). The leather trousers though... erm...
just stick it all on and go to Aberystwyth - nobody would raise an eyebrow!
I thought you might even have moved by now - no we haven't either
Frances said…
Chris, it was great fun to read this post, as it took me rapidly down wardrobe memory lane.

I have a trunk, bought to carry my personal possessions when I went away to university in 1963. That trunk and I have traveled many miles since then.

In the late 1960's I painted the outside of this trunk with my version of psychedelic art, and began to fill it with various bits and pieces from various fashion eras that I really thought were good examples of those eras.

It's a bit like my time machine. If I had ever had a daughter, I would have loved to show those clothes to her.

Oh yes, there are some amazing shoes in there, too.

Thank you for sending me back in time, Chris. xo
Posie said…
Loved the idea of a pair of 'waders' looking back at you in the mirror. My mum used to wear a hat that was just soooo embarrassing to me when I had to go about with her as a child. Now I too get 'those looks' from my daughters. I thought the boots look fabby, but the heels would stick in the mud here...
mountainear said…
Surely it's a mother's right to embarrass her children?

I'm sure we've all got hidden horrors at the back of the wardrobe which all seemed like good ideas at the time.
Teresa said…
Giggling my way through the post, Chris.
I read a while ago an article, in a newspaper, that said that the average woman kept jeans for 30 years even if they didn't fit (or ever will). So needless to say that we're all "been there, done that" ahahahah. As a non-fashionista I've always been that safe/boring looking girl/lady so I cracked with your Jim Morrison impersonation. Go Chris Go!
Here we're facing another wardrobe problem, with weather temperatures getting higher year after year I wonder if we should keep the long winter coats...
liz fenwick said…
Confronted by those items I think I might flog the boots (if they hurt that much) and trousers (if you weren't lying) on ebay and then with the money from selling the other two take the coat to a tailor and have it cut down to fit :-)

liz fenwick said…
Confronted by those items I think I might flog the boots (if they hurt that much) and trousers (if you weren't lying) on ebay and then with the money from selling the other two take the coat to a tailor and have it cut down to fit :-)

Pondside said…
I don't know, Chris - isn't there a fashion School of Thought that says accessories will update anything? Big scarf? Large hat?....I've got some of all and would gladly make up a box and send it on over (and it would assuage my guilty conscience as I clear out my closet).
Flowerpot said…
You could always sell them on ebay Chris! Like you, my wardrobe is full of stuff that I bought years ago. It still fits, it's comfortable so I wear it. Why not? but then I've never had a thing about shopping!!
elizabethm said…
I have a pair of boots like that except mine are butterscotch leather. I loved them madly when I bought them but never wore them in the city so certainly won't up here!
Cottage Garden said…
Ooh I've missed a lot since your absence note Chris!

I love the boots but then again I am a boot fanatic. I have worse offerings from my wardrobe I can tell you!

Fun post and I loved reading all the comments.

Chris Stovell said…
Kath - they lose something in translation when I put them on!

Pauline - shorts and t shirts, bliss!

Fennie, ebay eludes me... or maybe I'm afraid to get started!

Jane, leather shorts, now there's an idea... a completely berludy mad one, but an idea!

Milla, true - you and me both, that coat's one I bought when I first started work!

Debs, phew! Glad it's not just me!

Mags, they seemed like a good idea at the time!

SBS, helloooo! - don't be silly, of course we haven't moved... that would mean we needed buyers and they've all disappeared! But clearly they're not up in your direction either!

Frances, I think you owe it to your readers to show us what's inside that trunk!

Posie, laughing at the thought of your mum's hat!!

Mountainear - not you, you are so elegant!

Hi Teresa, thank you! The only thing that stops me ditching any of it is that it's getting colder and colder here!

Liz, what a brilliant idea... a tailor won't be able to change the colour of that coat though, will he/she?! Maybe I should try ebay!
Chris Stovell said…
Pondside, show us the hats! No, can't really do hats... berets, but not hats!

Elizabethm, your boots sound lovely - but why do we do it? Buy boots we love but can't wear?

Jeanne, I really think we should have a 'fess up blog where everyone reveals their wardrobe shame! (Bet yours aren't at all shameful!)

Fp,yes, most of my clothing falls into the 'it fits so I'll wear it' category... even so, these have been lurking unworn for some time now!

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