Fashion on Friday: A First World Problem

Here is my dilemma, and it’s a first world problem of such proportion that you may need to take a seat… I have too many clothes for my wardrobe. As I explain myself further, let me acknowledge at the outset that I am fully aware of how lucky I am. Believe me, I know.

Upon moving to beautiful Bedford nearly three years ago, I skillfully annexed the smallest bedroom in our home. I asked Chris at the very early stages of planning which room would be ours, which for guests, which for our office etc, and if he wanted the smallest room for anything. He paused for the briefest of moments and considered before deciding that it would probably be best utilised as a dressing room for me. You see, I had sacrificed my dressing room in our old house for office space when I started working from home. I sold my large vintage French-style dressing table, replacing it with a smaller and more sensible style which would fit in our bedroom.

This is clearly a tale of great sacrifice.

I happily accepted Chris’ genius suggestion that the box room should become my dressing room.

My dressing room at present. Not tarted up for this photo. Yes, the hairdryer does kind of live on the floor.

Then I helped myself to the large fitted wardrobe in the guest bedroom. Chris has the one in our room but I’d be lying if I told you that I hadn’t filled the top section of his with my hatboxes – of which there are around a dozen with between 2-3 hats in each.

My main wardrobe. Again, not tidied in honour of this post and doesn’t it show?

You should be grasping some extent of the problem here. I have filled my own large wardrobe AND have chests of drawers in my dressing room AND a separate free-standing wardrobe for winter coats and faux furs BUT it still is not enough. My shoes clutter the top and bottom of my own wardrobe and I have very little concept of what I own.

Two beautiful Vivien of Holloway dresses that I found tucked away in a trunk. I had genuinely forgotten that I had them, having put them away when a few pounds heavier.

The dressing room – being entirely frivolous and, yes, I am aware that I sound like the most pampered person in the world right now – is the the one room in the house that has escaped my touch in nearly three years. Every room has been painstakingly wallpapered, painted, and tweaked to reflect our various styles. Our living room is inspired by the mock-Victorian townhouse feel of the exterior of this 10yr old house, with a faux chimney-breast housing a ‘1970s does Victorian’ fireplace which we fill with church candles; the kitchen is a nod to the 1950s with its cream gloss units and sparkling red quartz worksurfaces; our office is grey and hung with pictures that inspire us over the desk where we work side by side. It is time for the dressing room to catch up.

My side of the office. Note Adore Delano and Bettie Page prints by Jason Kahl, Moomintroll calendar, and Liberace Cooks book that I need to return to it’s rightful owner, Kevin Geddes!

In January, we invited a designer from a well-known bedroom fitter round to measure up and give us a quote to turn the dressing room into one large walk in wardrobe. Deciding that this would be an interesting place to begin our investigations, we thought we would see how much it would cost us to have the whole thing done and fitted, taking into account the benefit of the New Year discounts.

We showed the designer the space and left him to work his magic. Alarm bells first rang when the initial sketch featured no drawers. I am not sure about you but the first thing I put on when I get dressed is a pair of knickers and I do not fancy having to hang these all on a rail! At first I thought I had been daft for not being more specific but then I decided that he was very unlikely to hang up his boxers at home so…

I also laughed when, upon showing him my current wardrobe situation, the designer helpfully suggested that an elegant solution would be to rotate Summer and Winter modes. This IS the Winter rotation! The Summer stuff is packed away. Bless him, he had no idea of the extent of the problem he was being asked to deal with.

Once the design was rejigged to include a few drawers for my knickers and other sundries that make up my complicated arrangement of underwear, it was all starting to look rather promising. Then I was told that the units were no longer available in white as the company felt that white wordwork “looks cheap.” Oh dear, if he thought that was cheap I’m only glad that I didn’t show him the leopard print scented liners I already have for the drawers he nearly left out!

These drawer liners are as classy as I am.

Needless to say, regardless of the cost that was admittedly more than we wanted to pay, we did not book to have this wardrobe built in it’s more classy shade of pale greyish brown or brownish grey. There is nothing glamorous in a colour called ‘stone’.

Jean Harlow and the look I’m going for!

The hunt continues for the perfect way to create a haven for my many, many clothes, something after the dressing rooms of the great Hollywood actresses of bygone eras. Taking Jean Harlow as my muse and an Art Deco feel in a palette of pearls and golds, I have big hopes for high glamour.

Here’s hoping that Ikea can help us!

Stay gorgeous!