Righto. I'm back. It's taken awhile to get myself sorted with the whole new house thing, and I've spent the last few weekends and available evenings doing wholesome, practical things like buying furniture, phoning gas suppliers and making lists. Now that practically everything is stored, shelved and in its new home, I feel like I can get things back on track. But it has been this mess and memory of two Transit vans of things that will be fuelling my next phase of blogging. Coupled with my credit crunch challenge idea, I'm gradually coming around to the notion that I have enough clothes and accessories for every possible situation (and many impossible & improbable ones). So my challenge for the next few seasons (I can't quite bring myself to say a whole year yet) will be bold and twofold:
First, to limit my spending on clothes/accessories to £100 per month. This may sound like a lot, but if you tot up the essentials, a couple of t-shirts and something perhaps quite extravagant, it's not that much. Luckily I have all the big purchases, but my frivolity will be carefully monitored, and any money left over from this at the end of a given month can be added to the next month's budget. No spending in advance, no 'borrowing' from a future time, fewer impulse purchases, a more planned approach to the shops. This will hopefully mean less wastage. Any money left over (I'm hoping there will be plenty) will be put into the bicycle fund, so that when Spring comes, I can treat myself to a beautiful Dutch-style upright bicycle. Who knows, maybe even a Pashley...
Second, to recycle, reuse and rediscover the things from the back of the wardrobe, those purchases I've made that have never quite made it into regular circulation, the things that aren't safe (I sit here in a grey Sisley cotton jumper, comfy cuffed Levi 501s and a red Burro/CBGB tshirt (with uberwarm red walking socks!) and the things that have been relegated to the 'archive' - AKA the big bag at the back of my wardrobe, or the bottom of the pile of jumpers. Over the next few months, I'm going to attempt to wear every item in my wardrobe at least once, those deemed unsuccessful or past their best will be going; there will be a gradual thinning-out until a big spring-clean and visit to Notting Hill Exchange and/or a charity shop. This might all sound quite radical, but if you'd seen the quantity of stuff that I have, and the proportion of clothes that I have which I don't ever wear, or haven't in the last 2 years, you'd be doing the same. I'm a horder; it's a compulsion. I always thing that something might come in useful. In fact, as I typed that, I heard a little voice say 'But it might!'. This includes getting old bags mended, and sewing buttons back onto coats and trousers which have been unworn since they broke.
In terms of new items, I am hoping to make statement purchases; one-offs or good-quality accessories which will update any old items I have. The only exceptions to this new regime will be specific summery items (basically, 3 pairs of shorts). That's it. Everything else is up on trial. I know my friend Martin, who is currently enjoying several old cast-offs (and if you're reading Martin, can I please have my Pucci tie back?) will be pleased about this. But anyone else reading this will surely have some stuff at the back of their wardrobe, or in a rarely-opened drawer that could do with getting rid of. The time has come for deciding what the Staples of my wardrobe really are. And that time starts now (well, at the beginning of November).
A new regime for Autumn/Winter
Argos' simple, attractive and inexpensive shelving
Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes
A fresh batch of AW08 magazines
Friendly Fires' eponymous debut album
British Style Genius on BBC2