Lee has just installed our new walk-in wardrobe (just typing that makes me feel like such a fancy lady). In the process of moving my clothes from the homemade pipe-fitting-turned-hanging-rail, I've been thinking about what to keep, what to get rid of, and what to store on the uppermost shelves, away from grubby hands and daily use.
I've read a lot of articles recently about curated closets, minimalist fashion, capsule wardrobes. Crafting a personal style, a lookbook, a pinterest board of ideas. But all this comes back to one questions: who am I today?
For me, clothes have always been about more than just clothes. When I was younger, I wanted to be a fashion designer and spent hours playing with fabric and sketching costumes. I had special notebook where I would plan my outfits to upcoming Blue Light Discos (I was 11 years old and discos run by the police where a big deal, okay?), and spend hours poring over the fashion pages of my mum's Women's Weekly mags. As a teenager, I made my own clothes, bedazzled tank tops with rhinestones and handpainted stars onto Doc Martens.
When I first started working, I went to town with corporate wear and was all about heels, pencil skirts and a blowdry. And now, as someone who splits her time between digging in the garden, chasing kids and sitting at a computer, I'm all about dresses and stripes and jeans.
When Bill Clinton was being impeached over the Monica Lewinsky case, Hillary was asked how she managed to look so put together. 'The worse how feel, the more effort I put into how I look,' she replied. I totally get that. And while I am not the First Lady dealing with a philandering husband, God knows I wake up grumpy and tired and not wanting to spend an hour commuting to work.
But once I pull on a colourful dress and a slick of pink lipstick, run a brush through my hair and stack on a pile of rings, I can feel myself become more like who I want to be. I stand a little straighter, stop worrying about my thighs and tummy, and ease into the day.
In the dark days of early motherhood, I made a rule for myself: at least a shirt. This sounds ridiculous but when the days and nights were a blur of feeding and burping and napping, of Lanolin spread on nipples and parched lips, it is easy to flop around the house in a dressing gown and milk-soaked PJs. Somehow, by wearing at least a shirt - even just a shirt on top and pyjamas on the bottom - I felt more ready, more myself.
So by all means, go crazy with minimising your wardrobe into a sleek, simple and chic capsule. But leave enough pieces in there that allow you to project the version of yourself that matches who you feel like inside.