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In Defence Of Being Obsessed With Clothes

As Yves Saint Laurent once said, ‘fashions fade, style is eternal’. There’s no doubt that fashion plays a huge role in each of our lives, whether we realise it or not. Of course, we aren’t all going to be the next Vivienne Westwood or Alexander McQueen, but to me that’s the most amazing thing about fashion, it means something different to everyone. Some people are obsessed with clothes, me for example, and their life revolves around them, guilty as charged. But for others clothes are just part of their daily routine, nothing more, nothing less.

However different we all may be, we all have at least one thing in common, we all wear clothes. Whether you’re a hippie or a goth or a “sporty spice”, we all get up in the morning and dress ourselves. As cliché as it may sound, I like to think of it as putting on my armour against the world. My clothes are ‘me’, my clothes say where I’ve been, where I’ve come from and even sometimes where I’m going.

There’s no doubt about it, I am unapologetically and undeniably obsessed with clothes. I’m not ashamed of it and you shouldn’t be either. I don’t see it as shallow or materialistic because I see my clothes as more than just pieces of fabric. They hold a lot of memories for me. Sometimes I find it strange that I can recall an event by what I was wearing more than the actual event itself, but hey, brains work in weird and wonderful ways.

Last year I went to see my favourite band, “The 1975” play in Dublin. As I was waiting outside the venue, it never even crossed my mind that my life was about to change because of a flannel shirt. “I like your dress”, the petite blonde girl in front of me turned and said. “Thank you! But it’s not a dress, it’s just a shirt”, I awkwardly replied, revealing the outfit I had on underneath. I understood why she thought it was a dress though, it was (literally) six sizes too big for me. One thing led to the next and before I know it we’re in the middle of the pit together, singing (you could say screaming) along to our favourite band. Flash forward to now, over a year on, and we still speak every day. That’s just one example of the many like-minded people I’ve met because of the clothes I wear. Honestly, I think that shirt is some sort of magical talisman. Every time I see it hanging in my wardrobe I’m reminded of one of the happiest days of my life. The fact that a simple shirt can hold so much energy and life is one of the major reasons why I adore clothes so much.

You know how some people turn to exercise or alcohol or even drugs when they’re stressed or anxious? Well, I turn to clothes. Now, you might say I would be better off to get my runners on and pound the pavement because a shopping habit isn’t exactly the cheapest of stress relief methods but, I think I could be doing worse. Last week I was feeling down and unmotivated but then I went and bought a new bag online and instantly I felt better. I started thinking of all the outfits I could wear the bag with and where I could wear these outfits. I got over my slump and now I have a nice new bag too! Like I said, there are much more destructive coping mechanisms I could be exploiting, so I think I’m doing pretty well!

I may not know where I’m going in life but I know my clothes will accompany me wherever I go, ready to absorb new memories and meet new people. So, go ahead, be obsessed with clothes, be obsessed with shoes. You never know where it may take you.