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July 28, 2015

Keep It Simple, Silly

Text by Nisha Jhangiani. Illustration by Farzana Cooper

Do women really want, need or use the surplus of absolutely everything that invades their closet and lifestyle space? The daily dilemma is mind-boggling

I’m on Mission GROJ316 (aka getting rid of junk for the 316th time). When you’re moving home as I am, anything unworn but kept aside for that one fine day since 1997 has to go.

Clearing out can be so cathartic in some sense. I find life greatly simplified after just knocking out six gold eyeshadows in variations of glitter, gel, light gold, bronze-gold, powder and stick, as well as four versions of coral blush, all cream-based and, to the naked eye, all the exact same shade. But I’m hanging on to the 10 nude glosses.

Then come the jeans, that intrinsic staple in any wardrobe. I veto acid washes as well as a sizeable pile of skinnies and jeggings…only indigo boot-cuts will do moving forward. Not that I wear those either; I’m into palazzos and silk trousers nowadays, but one never knows when one will have a moment where only the jeans-and-white-shirt combo will cut it.

Which brings me to the latter and this lot is non-negotiable. Off-shoulder, button-down, asymmetrical, camisole-style; stark white, eggshell, ivory, white with a hint of grey, white with a hint of lemon — anything that I can categorise as a white shirt or blouson must be draped on a satin hanger and delicately placed centre stage on the rack in the walk-in closet.

And so the cycle goes. Pumps out, loafers in. Clutches a no-no, sling cross-body bags, a resounding yes. Business-like blazers — yuck, custom-made gold gota jacket — now this should be classified as an all-time must-have. All belts to go. All Pashminas and jewels to stay. I feel like Mistress of the Fashion Universe.

My mother is usually the beneficiary of most items whose exit strategy has been planned from my cupboards — I sometimes wonder whether things are ever actually thrown out or if, like in some divine vicious cycle, they just totter between daughter and parent. Today, Mummy is being presented with a fine selection of eyewear; round, square and aviator shades in dazzling reflector hues — that we both know she will not wear but will hold on to — just in case.

And then, this woman who defined so much of my thought process, opens her own Pandora’s box. Eight dinner sets, pristine, untouched. Porcelain, silver, white metal — I can take my pick of the litter. I’m blown away by the realisation that my obsession to accumulate is hereditary; I was born into this habit, hence I cannot take sole responsibility for the aftermath of excess it generates every two years.

I head back to my abode, having convinced Mum and myself that only a freshly bought collection of dinner plates will suffice for me. Somehow, the idea of buying something new has created incredible clarity on what more ‘old’ I can get rid of. What goes around comes around. If I hoard, I must dispose. Then, I must stock up again. Balance is key. And I’m totally committed to the cause.

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