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Sunday, 9 May 2010

Dress up on the cheap

As well as washing the bedding in the machine, I'm also doing a bit of hand washing in the bowl today. From the age of thirteen I always washed my own clothes in the sink, firstly when we didn't have a washing machine, and then when mum got a twin tub, I still did my own. I didn't like the way the machine bashed the clothes about, and I certainly didn't want my frocks to go in the same wash as my brothers socks and underpants :o(

I was very particular and took care of my clothes, with money being tight I knew they had to last. So a gentle hand wash and drip dry, hanging them out on the line on a sunny day, was my routine. Of course this meant I couldn't dress up to go out on a whim, it had to be planned. It often took a week to wash, dry, and iron something, so I had to make sure clothes were washed the moment they became grubby, and not leave them in the linen basket because I was too lazy.

I found that my clothes never really wore out, they just went out of fashion. When that happened I adjusted them slightly with a few snips and a needle and thread.

Looking through my wardrobe I have clothes that are so old, I can't remember when or where I got them from, so here are a few guesses.

This colourful top was a dress with a black skirt. I don't like skirts so I cut it off, and now wear it with trousers. It is silky fabric, loose fitting and comfortable to wear. It's possibly about 20 years old. I wore this to my nephews wedding last year.

Another top about the same age. It has an elasticated waist and drawstrings across the shoulders.

Now this one has got to be 30 years old, I love this top. It's a light jersey material with threequarter length sleeves. I wear this one often.

My posh frock, bought in 1988 to wear at the Women of the Year awards at the Savoy Hotel. If I go anywhere posh now, I always get this out first, it makes me feel special.

I can't remember when I last bought something new to wear, I get all my clothes from charity shops now. Just rememberd, my waterproof jacket, it was new but only because I couldn't find one second hand, so I think I am allowed that.
There really is no need for me to buy any more clothes, with everything lasting as long as it does. By carefully looking after your clothes you can save yourself a fortune.


  1. You certainly have had some brilliant taste when you first bought those items. They are a bit timeless, and can still be worn now without looking out of place. Well done.

  2. I too have clothes 20 years old, but I don't think I have anything older, mostly because my size changed. :(

  3. I do a hand wash on the weeks I have a bath, I've also got clothes that I've had for years - I'm wearing eight year old sandals and they're still going strong. You're right about hand washing, it saves clothes from the wear and tear of a washer


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