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Memories & Experiences

Reminiscing With Some Old Outfits

This weekend was my sixth monthly wardrobe sort out. It’s a task I hate doing but it was getting to the point where I was having to force things in there, so what with the warmer weather coming in this week, I thought it was a good time to get cracking. My usual thing is to throw away anything I’ve not worn since last year, and a lot of it will be stuff I’ve not worn full stop. I go through phases of buying outfits that I see in magazines and on people’s Insta feeds, with the sole intention of reinventing how I look. But often, with me any attempt to wear the latest ‘trends’ if you will, will result in me looking like an eccentric posh child. Nine times out of ten, said outfit will stay hanging in that wardrobe for the rest of the year until this time rolls around.

Having said that, there are several things that I’ve held on to, purely for what I’m putting down as sentimental reasons. I’m talking things I’ve literally worn once in the last five or six years. This weekend, I made the executive decision to get rid of them. What a cold hearted bitch. Maybe it’s not sentimental reasons after all. Anyway, the thing that had stopped me getting rid of them these past few years was the memories attached to them – they were outfits I’d bought for various special occasions and of course, those occasions had some good memories attached to them. There had been times where I’d tried to wear them again, but of course we all know there’s nothing better than buying a new outfit if you’ve got a big event coming up!

So, I thought I’d write a little bit today about some of these particular dresses and the events I wore them to, I guess as a sort of farewell to them before I took them down to the clothes recycling at TK Maxx.

Reminiscing With Some Old Outfits Pinterest Graphic

The “End of an Era” Dress

Bought for £20 in one of those dodgy pop up clothing shops, I wore this dress for our Sixth Form “prom” as such, back in 2010. I say “prom” – it was literally a buffet and some milling about in the garden of a hotel. It was much more casual than our actual prom two years earlier, but it officially marked the end of an era. This was the year where we actually left for good rather than sticking around for another two years but with more relaxed rules on being able to listen to your iPod while doing your coursework (remember carrying around your phone AND your iPod? #Nostalgia).

Me & Liam Before the Sixth Form Leavers Party - June 2010


Admittedly, this is not a dress I only wore once. I loved it so much, I wanted to make sure I got more than one use out of it. I bought this for Christmas back in 2012 because, well, sequins. I remember wearing it on a few occasions over the festive period, and I wore it again for a Christmas party a few years later – which I thought I’d gotten away with until someone said “I bought that dress a few years ago.” Not that it matters, but even so, it’s not exactly a compliment is it? But anyway, that’s not the memory I’m focusing on. My favourite memory of this dress is my hen party. Obviously being the bride to be, I wanted sparkles, so I paired it with some silver sparkly shoes and my penis veil, and off I went. I had the best night with some of my best friends, drinking cocktails and dancing to 80s and 90s cheese. I genuinely was a bit sad to throw this one away, but I have plenty of pictures of me looking smoking in it, and these days, there’s always more sequin dresses to be had.

Me at My Hen Party - I'm wearing a blue sequin dress along with a tiara and veil decorated with willies, along with a homemade sash that says "Amy Bride to Be" - September 2015

The “Valentine’s Date” Dress

The final outfit is this little number. Back in early 2009, a couple of my friends threw a Valentine’s Ball to raise money for the biology trip to South Africa. It was in the school hall, but it was going to be an actual ball as opposed to your average school disco, with a 3 course meal, a band, a raffle, the whole shebang. And of course, this was the ultimate excuse to dress up. I remember rifling through my Mum’s catalogues to find the perfect outfit and it was between this particular one and a tight, black corset type thing that was absolutely hideous (it looked amazing on the model – just not on the bespectacled 17 year old who had recently had their first brace fitted). Thankfully, I decided not to go with the latter option. While it was quite plain, it was comfy, light, and it still looked pretty. You can never go wrong with the good old LBD. “But what makes it so special?” I hear you ask. Well, quite simply, this was the night that my date for the evening, asked me to be his girlfriend. He is now my husband. Nyaww.

Me Getting Ready for the Valentine's Ball - I'm wearing a black dress and have my hair in curls but I'm frowning - largely due to the fact I had a mouth full of braces and didn't want to smile!
Just FYI, I did not smile back in those days. Mouth full of metal and all that. How I gained a boyfriend that night is beyond me.

Okay, so especially with that last one I do feel a bit cold hearted in throwing these away. But I had my practical head on when cleaning out my wardrobe the other day, and my argument was that realistically, I’m not going to wear these again. I’ve tried, and it hasn’t worked, so they may as well go to a new home. Again, if I have a big event coming up – which is rare these days anyway – I’ll buy something new, so there’s not much point in keeping hold of older outfits that I’ve already decided not to wear again. As for the sentimental side of it, throwing them away doesn’t take away the fact that I have some lovely memories from the occasions that I’d worn them to. I have plenty of pictures of them, and I think in years to come, I don’t think the first thing I’ll remember will be the outfit I wore. I feel better for clearing some space in my seriously overcrowded wardrobe, and I also threw away two huge bags of clothes too, meaning the clothes bank got a hefty donation too. Win win. Despite all of this however, I will not be getting rid of my wedding dress anytime soon…

Featured image by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

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