Remember in school when your best friend decided on a whim that he or she did not want to be best buddies with you just because? And after that decision, you never spoke to each other again.
Or perhaps, remember when your best friend just became your friend and then both of you drifted apart? Relationships are complex - upon meeting for the first time, there is a moment of excitement and novelty. You spend ages on the phone catching up on the latest gossip, or bond over mutual interests. But after awhile, that initial buzz is lost and you have one of two choices
1. Move onto someone who will give you a new level of exhilaration; or
2. Nurture the friendship, give the friendship (not the person) attention, and every time you deposit something the bond between two people grows stronger.
Which path would you take?
Our Relationship with Clothes is Like Friendships Gone Bad
Most of us treat clothes like friendships gone wrong. Occasionally we have one-night stands - that's the buy (and perhaps wear once) and throw. Sometimes, we wear them less than 30 times and then it gets discarded. But the worst is the impulse buy which gets relegated, tag still on (!) to the bottom of our wardrobe, and sometimes comes back to haunt us.
We Only Wear 20% of Our Wardrobe.
In fact, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal, most of us have a closet full of regrets. And even if they are not full of regrets, I think we fell out with the garments that were once our favourites and, unfortunately, never saw them again (lurking in the corner of our wardrobe?). We only wear 20% of our wardrobe. That may be the unofficial figure, but I think this statistic can be more or less validated in any developed country.
Let's Reconnect with Them
Any kind of bond you have with a garment can be reignited. I do that through upcycling and repair. All it takes is to clean out your closet and separate them into various piles:
1. Items that you always wear (that's your 20%!)
2. Items you don't wear because they are just worn out.
3. Items you think you can rekindle the relationship with! Do they just need some repairing?
4. Items that look lovely but you honestly can't mix and match with anything in your 20%.
What about items with sentimental value? Well, if you do wear it then keep it, but sometimes you just have to let it go and pass it on to someone who will love it just as much as you do, and form their own story with it as time goes by. If it's just sitting in your wardrobe, then it's not fashion, it's just wasted!
What's Your 80%?
So, have you figured out what the 80% of your wardrobe is? If you've never worn it in the past year....I think we can safely say it falls within that portion of the pie!
You might be tempted to throw the 80% out, but there are many options to take.
1. Let someone form a connection with them - pass it on, give it to a thrift store / vintage store, share it at a swap.
2. Rekindle that bond - upcycle it into something more wearable, or something else (jeans to bag, anyone?)
3. Last of all, the final option would be to pop it into the recycling bin!
So do you think our relationship with clothes is like our friendships?
What's your 80%?
- If you're keen on rekindling the relationship with your old clothes, sign up to my newsletter and I will update you on my next workshop. I promise there won't be any spam!
- We're also having a clothes swap on 18th September and it's your chance to pass on your 80% Details in the image below.
- Thrift stores in Singapore? My favourites are NEW2U (96 Waterloo Street), which is open Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 2.30pm, and every last Sunday, and the MINDS which runs 5 thrift stores (see link for locations)