The Women’s Room at Portobello Market

Anyone with nothing much to do on Friday and Saturday this week (16th and 17th June) should come find TWR at Portobello Market, where I’ll be sharing a stall to sell all my redundant clothes. I am both terrified and thrilled to be participating in one of my favourite markets in the world, let alone London.

Part of No New has found me constantly re evaluating what I own in terms of clothes. Regular readers will remember I have a lot of clothes, acquired over a lifetime of shopping. Not buying new clothes at all is weird. I went to a very smart event last week with a dress code of ‘business cocktail’. Normally, I’d have taken the opportunity to buy something new, as my Business Cocktail wardrobe section is not extensive, and any excuse to buy…

Instead I wore my fabulous Winser wide leg trousers under a Mint Velvet black lace dress. But the lace dress was tucked away in a suitcase and once I was in the suitcase digging around, I found a number of stashed clothes I’ve worn and loved, but will never fit into again. Why am I keeping them?

Much like looking at old photos (once MAD and I find a box of old photos we are lost for at least an hour), raking through a box of clothes brings back memories and dreams of a life lived. A hot summer where I lived in a Dries Van Noten ribboned skirt, a favourite pair of Marithe et Francois Girbaud quirky jodhpurs that went with everything, a brilliant useful Uniqlo lace trimmed vest that practically became my best friend I spent so much time close to it. All saved because I am attached to memories of when and how I wore them, they are like old mates.

And then there’s the clutch of clothes that I’m ever-optimistic I’ll magically shed a stone for. Someday.

But then would I want to wear them even if I did? They’re from another time.

Back in the real world, I have a “Peak Stuff’ wardrobe mindset these days. I am keen to clear out the excess accumulated over decades of buying. Five months of not purchasing has been very liberating, I can very clearly see I have too much of everything. I still look OK and no one noticed I wasn’t wearing the latest trend in jeans/statement sleeved shirts/millennial pink anything. Now I want a clean slate and to exist on less. Or at least try to.

One of the biggest issues to overcome for me has been boredom with what I have. I love to play with clothes and like experimenting with new ideas and looks. I am acutely aware this is a very first world issue, but shopping is like a drug, it gives you a shot of excitement and newness just when you need it. What I really need is a way of rotating my wardrobe, I don’t need new things, just different ones to keep me interested.

I’ve sold a few things eBay this year and discovered I can get almost the same shot of excitement from selling. Nothing rids me of my attachment-syndrome like a good Buy Now offer. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens at Portobello, I hope some of my old favourites, such as my vintage Hardy Amies tea dress, go to homes where they can carry on having new adventures and keep on being loved by new owners. My 60s silver lurex shift dress (above) needs someone new to party til dawn with.

So if you fancy raking around my old clothes, or just want to chat, head down to Portobello on Friday 16th or Saturday 17th and seek me out. I’ll be posting on Insta where we are (stalls are allocated on the day). Any money I make is going into a New Clothes fund for next year, which should give me plenty of time to figure out what I really want to wear.

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5 Comments

  • Jan says:

    Good luck with the sale, I bet you’ll have a fab time.

  • Malika says:

    You should ask the buyers to post Insta pics of them wearing your old clothes, so you can see them in a new light! Perhaps attach a little label to each garment with a hashtag on it? I love it when clothes have a provenance or a virtual passport! Good luck!

  • Amanda says:

    Malika! What a fabulous idea! I will def do that! Doing my price labels now so I’m adding that on! Thanks for the tip! And thanks Jan, I will certainly try to have fun! And of course, it’ll make a fun blog post Ax

  • Monix says:

    what a great idea – I’ll come and find you and bring you a Negroni! X

  • Amanda says:

    Mon, I will certainly need one around lunchtime. Be fab to see you! Ax

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