A love story to renew
Let’s take a break from talking about love. At least the kind of love that you can feel in the pit of your stomach. The kind that makes you want to sing out loud or leaves you with a perpetual funny smile on your face.
It’s time to address a more urgent love. The one between us and what we wear, because this relationship has been notoriously unreliable for decades. Some purchases are at best a one-night stand and disposed off the next day, while others go on for decades, even blossoming over time.
There is some data to indicate that the average life of clothes is about two to three years, if subject to normal wear and tear. But that’s when you actually wear what you buy! Other surveys tell us that people wear a new item a maximum of 7 times, if at all. A lot of factors determine how often we wear our clothes – fashion fads or trend, the biggest of them all.
So how do we repair this troubled relationship and give it another shot? How do we renew our love story with our garments? In some ways, it’s a bit like traditional love, and begins with what we pick. The key to holding on preciously to our clothes is to start by choosing smart. When we choose garments that are better made and higher in quality, they will last longer. Avoid flimsy garments where the stitching is obviously bad and the material poor. A cheaper garment is less likely to stand the test of time.
Go back to some of your most worn items and ask yourself why are they your favourite? You will be surprise to find that those items are the ones that were practical, foundational pieces that complete your look. Personal stylist Celine Rohrer recently visited our studio and we got talking about capsule wardrobes. She’s recently pared her wardrobe down to 34 items that complete her look. “I find that it has taught me to explore new ways to style some items from the past. When you have better quality garments, you can use them longer and they still look as good a new.”
But time and wear are likely to take a toll on even your most prized garments. Which is where caring and repairing comes in. Carefully store your garments, especially the more delicate ones, in dust bags and mend the pieces that can be fixed to extend their lifecycle. Wash garments only when needed and spot fix when you can.
There’s a lot one can do to love our clothes, but let’s first try with getting to know them better. Find out where it was made, the materials used to create it and check – maybe it’s a small batch production which makes it more valuable. Or maybe it’s one of thousands. Either way, before you decide it’s THE one for you, get ready to commit to loving it for a long, long time.