FASHION Own it? Wear it


FOR GOODNESS SAKE There’s no such thing as clothes that are too good to wear.

Maggie Gibbons

I caught up with a friend recently and she was telling me about the fabulous dress she bought a few weeks earlier. “Have you worn it?” I asked. “No,” she said, adding (with some embarrassment), “the tags are still on it.”
This, mind you, was the dress she couldn’t leave behind, the dress that would bring her anywhere! I’m guilty of doing this same thing constantly. I have a wardrobe full of ‘stuff’, orphans with nowhere to go. We both suffer from a compulsive shopping habit, and we’re not alone.
I’m forever trying to analyse why some friends can walk away from something that looks gorgeous on them, while I’m like Pavlov’s dogs, salivating at the black dress, that just-what-my-wardrobe-is-missing dress (destined to end up in the wardrobe with the other ten black dresses I couldn’t live without). Walking out of a shop laden down with bags gives me a buzz like no other … often followed rapidly by enormous guilt pangs.
Why do we do it? Do I think it will change my life, and will it make me any happier? Of course not! I’m well aware that material possessions provide only instant gratification, but I can live with that. A new outfit’s the surest way to release endorphins. Thankfully, most of us happily live within our means and don’t spend when we don’t have it. (An emotional dependence on clothes shopping is another matter, and it can unfortunately spiral out of control. This of course needs to be addressed.)
Are you guilty of buying that tightly fitting dress, gazing longingly in the mirror while promising to lose a few pounds? If I could offer one piece of advice ladies, it’s to buy for the body you have, not the one you want, otherwise the clothes will lie there unworn, driving you mad every time you see them. One of my closest friends has a great saying: ‘I’m really a size 10, but I wear a 20 for comfort!’. I love it.
Are you buying for the life you have now? We tend to gravitate towards clothes we love, things that are visually appealing, clothes that look great in magazines or on someone else. Don’t go there. Trust me. You’ll end up with that common problem shared by women everywhere of having nothing to wear. Figure out what you need clothes for, and buy accordingly.
Are you guilty of leaving clothes hanging in your wardrobe because they’re ‘too good’? Well, life is too short to wait for the next ‘good’ event. Instead of saving clothes for something that may or may not happen, get them out, bring them to be altered if necessary, but for goodness sake wear them.
Every day we get up feeling well is a good day, so enjoy wearing your best clothes. In fact, wear them until they’re worn out, then you can say without lying ‘it owes me nothing’!

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at