Red shoes, No knickers

Monthly Archive: November 2018

Tuesday

13

November 2018

0

COMMENTS

What to do with all our stuff

Last weekend I went to Somerset to help my parents oldest friends clear out ninety three years worth of someone’s precious belongings.

Attached to the side of Terry & Judy’s beautiful cottage, in a hamlet near Yeovil, is an annexe where Terry’s mum Joy lived. She recently passed away and I was heading down to firstly play with the dogs and secondly to help decide what should be done with a lifetimes worth of stuff.

And Boy was there some stuff. Joy had lived and travelled in the far East for a large portion of her life so there were ornaments and artefacts from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand. There was a whole flat full of furniture, so much crockery, cutlery, glassware. Photo albums, books, clothing, accessories, jewellery, paintings….The list went on and the clear out felt endless.

My job was in the bedroom where my wardrobe detoxing eye went straight into work mode. I immediately put aside what I knew would sell on Ebay. The tartan trousers, the houndstooth skirt, the mink coat, the Burberry Mac. The rest I suggested be sold at a car boot. Yes, I know it’s a hassle and things tend to sell for just 50p at the end of the day but something’s better than nothing, right? Waste not want not and all that? One persons trash is anothers treasure?

Terry and Judy had been sorting and distributing and organising for the past few weeks and were starting to feel the fatigue. They wanted the stuff gone. They wanted the flat clear so they could rent it out and they wanted to move on. Sifting through a family members belongings and revisiting old memories is hard and it’s sad and it can be exhausting. They didn’t have the time or the inclination to stand at a car boot and haggle over whether Joy’s Peacock mixed polyester blouse should be sold for £2 or £2.50.

Once family and friends have taken what they want. When they’ve left with what they deem to be useful or memorable what happens to the rest of the stuff? Where do we put it all? Stacey Dooley’s recent BBC programme ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’ revealed that in the UK alone we dump 300, 000 tons of clothing in landfill every year. Charity shops see a sharp increase of donations in January when we offload 73 000 tons worth of clothing. And that’s just clothing. That doesn’t include the rest of our stuff.

Oh God, STUFF! What are we doing with all this stuff? Why do we need it? If last weekend showed me anything it showed that we’re holding onto things so that someone else can be exasperated by having to wade through it all once we’re gone. Don’t get me wrong. I have stuff. I have boxes of photo albums, no doubt far too many clothes, old letters that I’ve read, books that I haven’t. I have a suitcase full of my teenage stuff still in my parents attic that, much to my Father’s dismay, I am choosing to ignore for the time being. The amount of stuff I alone have is overwhelming. And I’m just about to obtain more stuff this Christmas. A list has gone out to my siblings of things I want. More things I, of course, don’t need but do think I would benefit from because YES, a spoon rest for when I’m cooking is important in my kitchen at the moment. {See Middle Class Mockery}

I’m not immune to the allure of surrounding ourselves with items that bring us joy, are aesthetically pleasing or that comfort us. I’m also not disillusioned into thinking I’ll never buy anything new ever again. None of us are and it would be silly to suggest otherwise. But there are ways we can do it without contributing to more landfill and collating more stuff for others to deal with when we’re gone.

Tried and tested tactics include ~ One in one out. Bought a new coat/dress/pair of shoes? Lose something from your current wardrobe. Your wardrobe stays manageable and you start to become more aware of what you’re purchasing.

EbayEtsy, second hand shops, auction houses are where plenty of previously owned bargains can be found. Don’t like the idea of ‘vintage or antique’? That’s fine. New items or only lightly used items can still be found on the net. It takes time to find them but I know you can do it.

Freecycle! What a beautiful idea. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighbourhoods. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.

Resell, recycle, regift ~ Have you exhausted every possibility of all that stuff you no longer want? Would a friend benefit from it? Can you rework it and make it into something else? Can you sell it and make money from it? YES! Just think about that. Cold hard cash in the palm of your bank account to spend on…..well, probably more stuff but you get my point!

Landfill is full. Charity shops can only sell so much. Recycling is happening but not as fast as we’re consuming. Your children/sibling/cousin/a stranger does not really want to wade through your wares so let’s start to rethink shall we? Let’s start to reduce, reuse, recycle, resell, regift….

I’m off to trawl through Ebay.

Posted in Chazzer Shazzer chic, Tricks of the trade, Wardrobe work

Saturday

3

November 2018

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They’re back y’all!

  

{Pandora SykesYours TrulyImani Randolph}

When I heard the whispers back in February I couldn’t quite believe it.

No way could they be making a comeback? Surely they can’t be cool again?

Oh how wrong I was. When the Autumn/Winter ’18 fashions started rolling in I saw them everywhere. Yes folks. They’re back. The cowboy boot has returned to our trotters and has been pounding the streets as if she’s never been away.

I say boot, I, of course, mean boots. The trend that has been hibernating for the best part of fourteen years didn’t return as simply one boot on one foot and an Adidas shell top on the other. I still can’t quite believe it. I never thought they’d recover from 2004.

Having always been a staple ~ with actual cowboys ~ in Southern America they entered our sartorial consciousness in the late 80’s & early 90’s. Princess Diana wore them to a polo match and everyone complained. Standard. Then Thelma & Louise arrived & these beautiful, kick ass women wore them with high waisted jeans, sleeveless t-shirts and Brad Pitt as an accessory.

The boots dipped in and out of fashion but took off again at the turn of the century. On a trip to see my Nashville family, in 2002, I purchased my very own pair. Oh Boy, was I chuffed. At the time they were the most expensive thing I had ever bought. They were made from the softest pigs leather & I went for a slouchy, pirate boot style. Along with every other twenty year old who loved to jump on a trend I couldn’t wait to show them off. We wore them with denim mini skirts, low slung enormously wide, incredibly unnecessary, leather belts. We paired them with low rise boot cut jeans, halter tops and A line skirts. I think I even wore them once with a felt cowboy hat that I owned. They were comfy. They were cool and I loved them.

Towards the mid noughties though they began to resemble a costume. They were hi-jacked by the Southern women of pop who glue gunned them to death with rhinestones and butterflies and wore them in garish colours. Britney Spears single handed managed to start the decline of the cowboy boot.DAMN IT! What’s a girl to do? I loved my boots so much and having spent a fortune on them was reluctant to give them away. I couldn’t imagine they would ever make a comeback but they were such a sturdy boot. I have now had them for sixteen years and have never once had them resoled. The leather got even softer and they can be worn all day without the faintest whiff of a blister. They reluctantly went into storage and have only made one brief appearance in Nashville for Thanksgiving circa 2011. Of course no one there battered an eyelid. I was wearing their state uniform.

Fast forward to 2016 and the whispers had started, turn the corner into Fall fashion 2018 and BOOM! Would you Adam & Eve it? The cowboy boot is BACK! Danish brand Ganni & Raf Simmons at Calvin Klein have managed to breathe new life into this seemingly dead &, let’s face it, tacky trend.

But do we actually like the return of this trend? Or are we just jumping on the fash band wag?

If you are thinking of heading back in for Cowboy Boot revival 2.0 you have to stick to the rules. They’re there for a reason and were written after Jessica Simpson shoved the boot so far down our throats we gagged. 

  1. Do not wear them with short denim shorts. Guys, I’m sorry but you just can’t. Simpson ruined it for all of us.
  2. No Little house of the Praire//Old school Laura Ashley style dresses. Too literal.
  3. While jeans can be tucked in they can’t be skinny jeans. A straight leg is as tight as we’ll allow. And by we, I mean me.
  4. Rack your brains for the complete opposite of Western and wear them with that ~ T~shirts, cotton workwear, blazers, sweaters, sportswear, ball gowns.
  5. White cowboy boots look the bomb.
  6. Never pair with check//plaid//tartan. We’re not in Texas.

And there you have it. How to wear your cowboy boots and not look like you’ve made any effort at all when really you’ve had to think about it loads so you don’t look like you’re off to the rodeo.

As for me I don’t really know what I think yet. All I know is my boots are out of storage and we’re off to Brixton market. Who’s coming with me?

…..Not you Britney. You’re not invited this time.

Posted in Beautiful shoes, Inspiration

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