My Clothes and Me

I have a problem and I know I’m not alone.  Yes war, malaria, recession and unwanted facial hair are problems.  But ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

I have a wardrobe full of clothes. Yet I have nothing to wear. 

How??  I don’t understand.  I have clothes.  They are spilling out of my cupboard like an algal bloom set on world domination.  Every morning I open my wardrobe doors and see the rails of sad, unloved and misunderstood clothes blinking at me, like deer in headlights. “Maybe she’ll pick me!”  I then just select a variation of what I wore the day before.  This is easy when many of your clothes are nearly exactly the same.  I own these and I’m sick of them:

– 3 white tops, all with 3/4 sleeves
– three black long-sleeve tops: two v-necks and one in shiny nylon (oooh, sweaty!)
– a selection of 3/4 sleeved tops with horizontal stripes in the following colours:
Grey with white stripes (I don’t suit grey)
Grey with navy stripes (I still don’t suit grey)
Navy with white stripes
White with navy stripes (have I been to the French Riviera? Non.)
– jeans, without which I would be half dressed, cold and subjecting the world to my knees.  Not nice.

It turns out that – surprise! – a Sydney wardrobe doesn’t work in London.   So I have a stack of sundresses having a sabbatical in my cupboard.  I know people do wear them here but I am a wuss, so anything under 20 degrees is cold.  Hence I refuse to go north of London during winter for fear of imminent death.  I’m impressed that people live in Scotland and, you know, live.

Dressing for a warm climate can be as easy as just selecting a dress.  But if you’re not used to real winter dressing, this can be tricky.  When you fly to the UK, the flight attendants should hand out little “how to dress” cards with the immigration forms. You might think that layering for warmth is instinctive, well for this little antipodean it is not.  I did get a proper winter coat in October, that was an exciting moment for me.  It’s essentially a doona / duvet with sleeves and a fluffy hood. While I’ll always be grateful to it for keeping me alive, I’m looking forward to the day when I can leave the house without it.

A favourite Sydney dress…
…and my only London coat.

My wardrobe’s other issue is that it has a “too tight” section.  There are two reasons for this: there’s the Heathrow injection (you bastard!) and there is bad shopping. We’ve all bought things that are too small, haven’t we, with the belief that we’ll shrink to fit?  Just like text in an Excel spreadsheet?  Back in the day of disposable income, I did that many times. “It’s half price!  It’s size 8.  Never mind, it’s half price!”  I’ve then transported these items to the other side of the world in case I somehow whittle my body to half its size.  Rest assured I have no intention of even entertaining such a thing.

An example of this over-excited approach to bargain shopping is the dress pictured below.

This is actually one colour, but looks funny in the photo.
Not funny “ha ha” obviously.

I love it.  I love the fact that I own it, so I can look at it whenever I like.  Sadly, what you cannot tell from the picture is that it is completely unforgiving.  Although this dress is my size, an inch of chub on your hips and it will announce to the world that there are, in fact, two of you in there.  So it might look very pretty but it’s a bastard too.  I’m not happy about admitting this but I have never worn it, despite it being bought in 2003.  But don’t you love how whenever we’ve moved house, this dress comes too?  Because, well, you just never know!

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