Clothes addicts anonymous: how I beat my fashion addiction

wardrobe chaosHi, I’m Rinna, an ex clothes addict. Just a couple of years back I couldn’t stuff all my clothes in my wardrobes (note the plural) if I tried. Even though I had an excessive amount of clothes, I was used to futile searches for something I needed or that was appropriate to where I was going. I had an amazing amount of wonderful clothes, but the cardigan that’d go with the lovely dress wouldn’t go with my shoes, and once I changed the shoes the handbag wouldn’t go, and then the scarf, and in the end I’d have to change into another dress after all. Then I’d already be half an hour late, having left my keys would be left in the original choice of handbag.

twilightzone

I had dozens of dresses for a picnic in a field, but I’d always have to improvise something random for meetings. (And how many times did I promise myself that I would never again leave the search for a neat shirt or unbroken tights to the very morning I needed them?) In relation to the affection I had for my clothes they caused me a disproportional amount of hassle and strangely little satisfaction – at least when they were serving their primary purpose, i.e. I was wearing them.

I am prone to getting emotionally attached to my clothes and assigning them personalities. When I still had my overflowing wardrobe, I regularly felt guilty that I didn’t have the chance to wear some of my clothes as often as they deserved. Ok, I know clothes don’t suffer, even if I left them in the closet until the end of time, or cut them up with scissors. But still, those tiny pangs of guilt would be there every morning as I was choosing what to wear. That poor skirt hasn’t had a single outing in months! Those shoes would surely want me to pick them today. Argh! And what did I do to make things better? I bought more clothes…

scared

I like clothes, but the same rule applies to clothes and chocolate: after a certain point, having one more will definitely not heighten the pleasure, but make you feel sick instead. Even if that extra one you have is equally good and equally high quality as the first one. While one beautiful dress that fits you perfectly makes getting dressed – and living life – easy and fun, a hundred dresses will make getting dressed difficult. This observation seems somewhat contrary to common sense, but buying more clothes will really add to the pain of choosing what to wear. The new item of clothing you buy to have a nicer life will just complicate things even further. When you’re purchasing a dress, the feeling you’re after is one you might get if you owned no more than a few dresses – not ten, or (scary yet possible) hundreds of them.

It’s hard to accept the fact that less clothes is better than more clothes, but it’s true. With a small amount of clothes, you’ll be better dressed, and you’ll get on with your wardrobe better. On an emotional level, telling this to a clothes lover like me is like trying to convince them that bricks dropped from a skyscraper will float upwards. And still, to discover that this is actually the case, all you need is try. What you’ll notice is that it was always you who got gravity wrong, and the brick you dropped only looked like it was going up, because you were standing on your head. Your perspective has been warped, so of course you’ll feel a little disoriented for a while, but things will get better. Just stand up on your feet, give it time and you’ll see.