Thursday, 5 January 2012

Wind swept

Strong winds blew in today.

They tore my wardrobe doors open
and a whirlwind plucked at the hangers
and strew my clothes across the floor.
Holey jumpers, ill-advised buys,
shrunken and marked garments,
bad bargains,
the faded, torn and aged
the unworn and the forlorn,
all in a storm
bundled and crammed into
waiting charity bags,
and before there was any chance of
rescuing them,
swept out of the house
never to be seen again.

A few things escaped the maelstrom
and as the winds died down,
looked, even, slightly refreshed;
ready for their moment in the sun.

A gale forced decision was made,
as I once again struggled to find anything to wear
in a wardrobe full of clothes.
I am a reluctant shopper,
with a hard-to-dress lifestyle
in a hard-to-place age group.
This morning I recognised the truth 
of the well meant advice:
that if you haven't worn it for a year
(or in my case more likely ten years)
you aren't going to wear it today or any other day.
It masquerades as a real outfit,
freighted with unhelpful reasons for a reprieve,
such as Wasteful, Will fit one day,
Worn once, Well loved but worn out.

My wardrobe is purged
but there is another cupboard that holds tightly
things I know full well I will never wear again:
my wedding dress, my back to work jacket size 8,
my vintage dresses, my Liberty rose shirt,
my Chinese silk jacket from Art College,
an Indian sari coat,
a velvet evening cloak,
my school Panama hat.

 It would take a hurricane to empty that
and no hurricanes have been forecast.


  1. I loved this. I have a collection of clothes that hold so many memories. Ones that never make it to the Charity Shop even if they will never be worn again. I`m glad I am not the only one who hoards memories in the back of the wardrobe!

  2. Don't encourage me ... I also possess a size 8 ballgown; a Chinese silk jacket, never worn as I never could be trusted in primrose-coloured silk; an antique Indian sari jacket (have we been on the same holidays, Lucille?), likewise never worn because it made me look like something off the Sergeant Pepper album.
    But why on earth would you preserve your school hat!

  3. I think some items are keepers and you are right to retain those beautiful memories.

    Do you suppose de-cluttering is a fad and shortly there will be a buying frenzy again?


  4. Superb! This post is on a par with the "kitchen drawer" drawer one. How I recognise myself in it.... I love the sound of your Chinese silk jacket and the Indian sari coat and am glad they remain.

  5. I have glanced at many a wardrobe decluttering post, but none so beautifully written.

  6. Despite having many, many weaknesses, sentimental hoarding is not among them.
    But I salute your writing: truly beautiful, Lucille!

  7. I'd like those strong winds to blow through my wardrobe now! Except for the red silk jacket that I had made for me in India; that one I just can't part with, although I won't ever wear it again.....

  8. Cold winds blow and we shall have snow, and what will poor wardrobe do then? Loved your poem, Lucille.
    "The unworn and the forlorn"- Great line.
    I sure wish I'd kept my vintage dresses...they were fantastic and my daughter could wear them now...because I certainly couldn't!

  9. Love this post, Lucille! It's so wonderfully written and was a pleasure to read three times (and I'm sure I'll read it again!

  10. What a lovely post. Feels good to clear out doesn't it. Lucky you are to have those precious items. Hold on to them as long as you need.
    Also feels good to be able to wear an item that has waited in the wardrobe a year or two, wondering whether it was a mistake.