Sartorial spring clean

Last updated: 07/05/2015 12:16 by SheenaLambert to SheenaLambert's Blog
Filed under: MummyBloggers
Back before I had kids, I used to do a fairly regular stock-take of my wardrobe. Around this time of year, for example, I would pack away my winter boots and heavy jumpers and jackets, leaving them wrapped, cleaned and ready for the next autumn.
 
Anything that hadn't been worn all season, I would donate to the fight against breast cancer. I had the time back then to check for items that needed a little attention, to sew on a button, to drop stilettos in to the nice little man on the main street for heeling. I had lavender-scented lining paper in my lingerie drawer back then. I had lingerie back then.
 
Ten years later, it struck me that I hadn’t done a spring clean of my wardrobe in some time. Possibly ten years. The catalyst was finding what I thought was a tampon in my knicker drawer, only to realise that it was a pair of disposable, hospital issue pants given to me at the birth of my first child. Terrified at the idea of what else might be in there, I decided to tackle it head-on, bin bag in one hand, Save the Children sack in the other.
 
The process was cathartic, if a little depressing. From an average sized wardrobe, I extracted approximately one large drawer of clothes I actually wear. The rest was comprised of faded t-shirts that my mother wouldn’t deign to use as dusters, eight pairs of over the knee socks (?), a small drawer’s worth of ten-year-old flesh-coloured tights, bras that I owned pre-children (too small), bras that I owned while pregnant (too big), bras that I owned while breast-feeding (dear God what are they still doing in there) and matching knickers for all said bras.
 
But I also found that close to fifty percent of my wardrobe is occupied by beautiful garments – my dressing-up stuff from back when I used to have stuff to dress up for – and I couldn’t cull any of it. Each precious piece had such memories wrapped up inside the dry-cleaners plastic cover, of weddings, christenings, balls – each item a joy to gaze at, like little pieces of art hanging in my room for my pleasure.
 
Who knows, maybe I will wear them again someday. I like the idea of the kids coming home to Mammy making dinner in a full-length ball gown and heels. Something to tell their shrinks.
 
Sheena Lambert is the mum of two boys from Dublin. Her second novel The Lake is now available from HarperCollins Killer Reads.
 
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