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The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - LIFE AND TIMES -

Man­ag­ing your wardrobe

Let’s talk about the Chair. the Chair in your bed­room. the drap­ing, dump­ing, hold­ing chair where clothes sit in limbo: too dirty for the cup­board, too clean for the laun­dry.

but, hang on a sec­ond, why can they not slot vir­tu­ously back on to a shelf or into a drawer? are we wor­ried that they may in­fect the imag­ined steril­ity of the wardrobe? that they are too sul­lied by life to con­sort with the ir­re­proach­able pu­rity of the Put away items. We do. it’s mad, but we do. our dis­gust is re­flected back at us ev­ery time we catch sight of the Chair whose very ex­is­tence seems to mir­ror t he chaos in our heads. its crimes are var­i­ous.


there are al­ways jeans. Jeans too grubby to as­so­ciate with the right­eous pairs in t he Land of Put away. Chair jeans are firstly a vis­ual prompt to­wards the nag­ging re­al­i­sa­tion that there are some thin­ner jeans in the cup­board: a pair worn only once–pos­si­bly af­ter a vi­cious bout of norovir us–that were a tri­umph on that one day and have been a cruel tal­is­man of fail­ure since.

the jeans on the Chair a re also a nose-wrin­kling re­minder that we wash jeans per­haps 10 times less of­ten than every­thing else. Partly be­cause the dirt doesn’ t regis­ter un­til things have be­come prop­erly chronic and partly be­cause post-wash jeans are rub­bish.

if clean­li­ness is next to god­li­ness then jeans re­mind us that we are he athens, heretics, the fallen. Jeans rep­re­sent the hu­man con­di­tion and the Chair is their nat­u­ral home.


Jumpers get a lit­tle less love­able ev­ery t i me t hey a re laun­dered. they lose their lus­tre. and so – even though they smell a bit de­odor­ant-y – we leave them, dab at them, pick up a dark-coloured jumper from its park­ing space on the Chair and worry away at a stain as though it were a scab. this is a se­cret shame. We tell our­selves that the Chair will ‘air’ them. it won’t.

Oh hello, dry-clean-only pile

how do we hate you? Let us count the ways. First, who can af­ford dry- clean­ing? sec­ond of all, who is ac­tu­ally or­gan­ised enough to take it to the dr y-clean­ers and also pick it up, and thirdly, are dry-clean­ers even trust­wor­thy? Will they lose it? Will they turn it a funny colour? Maybe we should risk it and put it on a cold wash? soon we shall de­cide. un­til then we’ll leave it on the Chair as a re­minder. it’s only been six months.

prob­a­bly best we don’t talk about the re­pair moun­tain

the dress with the rip in the side seam from… not sure. We were drunk. the cash­mere that needs darn­ing. First of all, what is darn­ing? se­condly, the bas­tard moths are bound to get it again just as they are gnaw­ing through every­thing in the house.Za ra is sell­ing those sweaters wit h ready-made ‘derelict ’ holes in them. We tried some on re­cently and they made us look both des­ti­tute and un­hinged. any­way, no need to pay for ho­ley, wrecked jumpers when here they sit. on. the. Chair.

make peace with the chair

the Chair feels like a sneer­ing man­i­fes­ta­tion of our fail­ures. it’s the mon­key on our back, the al­ba­tross around our neck, the spar­row of dis­ap­point­ment t wit ter i ng i n ou r ea r s . s ome days. other days it’s just the Chair in the corner; the one that shows us that per­fec­tion is for other peo­ple. the one that gives us a lit­tle wrig­gle room be­tween the laun­dry and the cup­board.

Zara is sell­ing those sweaters with ready­made ‘derelict’ holes in them. We tried some on re­cently and they made us look both des­ti­tute and un­hinged

The Tele­graph Mag­a­zine | 29 April 2017

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