Iris - Part 2

I thoroughly enjoy Iris Apfel’s refusal to fade away, as sadly so many women past a certain age do.

Those who read my last blog post, Iris - Part 1, will know this. It was reinforced when I recently saw ‘Iris‘ – the documentary by the late Albert Maysles.

She succeeds in making a confident and colourful statement because she is not concerned with being ‘pretty’ or obsessed with trying to appear young, which often results in looking sad and dissatisfied with life.

Instead, she wears what she loves – whether it be colour, cut, fabric, culture – and embodies a zest for fun as well as for style. I truly admire Iris Apfel for this and encourage other women to have fun with their clothing.

However, the documentary also has a more sobering undercurrent. It reveals the true excess of what Iris Apfel owns – she has a large New York apartment, another in Palm Beach plus commercial storage, and all these are full to the brim of ‘stuff’. Personally, I was disturbed by this. To keep collecting more clothes, jewellery and art than a person can possibly use says a lot about a person’s values.

Having recently felt that I, too, was at risk of collecting too many things (on a much smaller scale!) I rebuilt and reordered my wardrobe so I can see what I have much more easily. My aims are not to forget what’s there and to feel pleasure from seeing a practical and artful arrangement of fabrics and colours I truly love.

I now feel rich in my range and I don’t forget to wear and appreciate all the things I have. When we forget all the wonderful clothes we’ve already collected we can be tempted to buy more than we need. But being satisfied with our wardrobe is not about building quantity. It’s about identifying what we want to express, acknowledging what we love, buying only what we love, loving what we have and wearing what we love.

Don’t save your ‘best’ for ‘special’ occasions as these may never come. See every day as special. If you wait too long, your most beloved clothes may not fit you or make you feel awkward and so you’ll never wear them. Wear them now. Reorder, reorganise, cull. Display what you love. Purge and enjoy. Celebrate you!

My wardrobe