During a conversation with my mum a few days ago, I admitted that her lifestyle is one I envy – she lives on a canal boat near Stratford upon Avon, with her soulmate and more recently, a ginger cat who I know very well. (My childhood mog, Parsley the lion. If you were wondering…)
She asked me if we ever would go for it and swap sea life for river life, and honestly – if I had the boat ready to go, I’d get rid of everything and hop on.
Except for one thing.
I fucking really love clothes.
I love knowing what I’m going to wear to any possible ‘event’. Be it ‘Walking round Aldi’ to ‘Best pals wedding‘ if I know in advance its happening, I know exactly what I’m wearing. I even know what pants I’ll have on. (99% of the time =Ryans pants. Mens pants are just comfy AF ok?)
The trouble is, clothes take up space. Wallet, and otherwise.
My Mum also loves clothes. If she had her way there would be a boat for living and a boat for her clothes. A Boat-drobe. And I’m the exact same.
So while Ryan is a two shirt and three jeans guy, which would fold nicely into boat storage, the canal living dream remains a boatdrobe away…
So Mum and I love clothes and we also share the penchant for never ever paying full price for anything, if we don’t have to. And its just as well, because we could never fund our fashion habits if we did.
Mum showed me how to buy thriftily young (and Dad taught us that ‘labels’ were evil. No really, that’s true. See also – Mcdonalds, and Microwaves. Neither of which I had until I was in double digits!) So some of my earliest memories are of musty jumble sales in the 90s, and charity shop hauls after school. At 9 years old I stood in a clothes shop browsing and said ‘Ow much?!’ when I saw real world prices.
As an adult now, I eschew the latest trends with a firm hand – it doesn’t interest me at all having throwaway season-at-a-time fashion. A £40 jumpsuit that everyone else is wearing, worthless after one wear? Fuck offfffff.
What does interest me however, is recyclable fashion.
With apps like eBay, depop et al – you don’t even have to trudge round mothball second hand shops anymore, you can find a bargain whilst sat in your boyfriends pants and have it delivered to you. Excellent!
Someone gets some more closet space, the landfill stays empty for a moment longer, and you get something new to play with!
I do like to charity shop still, because charity an all that – plus you can find some real gems in there. But generally, I’ll look to Pinterest for some inspiration and then emulate anything that catches my eye on the cheap.
Weddings especially have so much pressure to have something new, fashionable and expensive looking on, to which I say – bollocks to that, just get creative! You can still enjoy the feeling of ‘throwaway fashion’ – you needn’t wear the same outfit twice…
And you don’t have to subscribe to the expensive outfit Olympics. It was cheap, cheerful, and you’ve got money for the bar. Winner winner, chicken dippers for dinner.
But look after it, sell it on to someone else, for dirt cheap also – let’s not get greedy about it! (I’m looking at you Depop users, no one is paying £10 less than you paid new for the honour of sharing your pit sweat…) You may as well see it as a rent a dress, except you are then renting it to someone else. Let someone else enjoy a bargain, because the good karma will find you again…
Everything I’m ‘finished with’, I take care to wash, and iron, then pop it on eBay for someone else to snap up!
Thou shalt receive the bargs, and thou shalt return the favour…
Happy thrifting my lovelies.