x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Fashion notes: There is power in avoiding wishful thinking

When it comes to maintaining a new, tightly structured and efficient wardrobe, try to save your cash for the sales.

The phrase “out with the old and in with the new” doesn’t go down so well here. The problem is, the majority of us living here have set up a temporary home too many times in far too many places. We have packed up and unpacked our possessions more than the average soul, moving around like a snail with our kit on our backs – a mix of storage boxes stuffed to the brim with clothes in no particular order or system, scattered across the world in various attic spaces.

Because of that, often we end up with a lot of tat – and not quite knowing what is where. A shirt without the right sleeve length doesn’t work in a more modest dress culture; the dress that could work perfectly is too heavy a wool for the temperature; and the jumper that would finish the outfit off perfectly suddenly feels somewhat out of context.

What we need to remember is that clutter chips away at us slowly, and stunts our ability to accept and embrace the new. I don’t need to tell you when you are squandering on frivolous, unnecessary stuff simply out of boredom. You see, there is nothing wrong with investing in a new wardrobe, as long as we are not consuming for consuming sake.

When it comes to maintaining a new, tightly structured and efficient wardrobe, try to save your cash for the sales. Firstly, make a list of the things you really want or need. And be honest. Do you really need a floor-length red dress with a missing belt (even if it is from Ralph Lauren), or is it only because you’d get one up on the pushy sod next to you with one in every size?

When it comes to what to look for, go for items that are the signature pieces for a designer brand. Anything in leather from Helmut Lang to red from Valentino to a classic suit or bag from Chanel. As well as the classics, it is a good time to stock up on the basics: T-shirts, white shirts and jeans.

Buy classic and smart-investment pieces, the type that won’t go out of trend quickly. Leather is always a good buy and will last many seasons, as is cashmere in that it provides an opportunity to upgrade the quality of your wardrobe.

If the thought of a battle on the shop floor induces an almighty shudder, online is a smart way to go, and an option where it is much easier to resist the competitive impulse purchases. Online shops such as Net-a-Porter, Browns, Matches, and stylebop are worth keeping an eye on.

Lastly, try your best to keep on top of things despite the transitional way of life. Pack clothes away at the end of each season; there is no need to store our winter wardrobe among our spring/summer wear, it only takes up much needed space and makes getting dressed in the morning a lot more difficult. Have them vacuum-packed professionally and keep them in plastic flat storage boxes under the bed until they are needed, or if you have enough space fold them flat and keep them out of reach.

Lastly, try not to fall into the common trap of buying things you don’t need: the emotional buys, the ones that don’t quite fit now but may later or the ones that realistically speaking simply don’t translate well in the UAE.

For these, my dear readers – the pompous little price tags slashed in half that you buy just because you feel you should – are the items that will be forever smirking from your credit card bill come February.

ktrotter@thenational.ae

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