Clothing mistakes and how to fix them: Part 3

Learning from my sartorial mishaps

The older I get, the less I want to think about clothes. I don’t mean I no longer enjoy fashion, and using it as a means to express myself. Rather I mean I want to fill my wardrobe with clothes that are easy to wear, and I don’t have to ‘try’ to get use out of. Standing in the way of this are some simple mistakes that are easy to fall into. As I move ahead on my wardrobe ‘journey’ I’m trying to fix and preempt these problems, and ultimately build a wardrobe that is a pleasure to wear. In this series, we’ll take a look at some of the top errors I’m trying to banish from my clothing existence.

In this post, I’m facing a somewhat embarrassing problem.

Accidentally buying see-through clothes

Line of white shirts hung on a clothing rail.
Photo by Ryoji Hayasaka on Unsplash

I wish I were cool enough to pull-off the visible/contrasting bra look, but I am not. This isn’t something I feel comfortable with even on my most confident of days. And yet, there are many shirts, tops and dresses that have passed through my wardrobe that have about the same opacity as a piece of tracing paper. This is partly due to my penchant for online shopping – I rarely fall for see-through clothes when shopping in person. Sometimes it’s because the fabrics are cheap and thin, other times it’s just the nature of the material – lovely though linen is, it doesn’t always hide much.

In the COVID/lockdown era when we’re hardly ever shopping in bricks and mortar stores, this is an easy to make but hard to fix mistake. I’ve decided I just need to be a lot more ruthless – both pre- and post-purchase. Make the most of free returns if something isn’t right, and leap on the slightest hint of transparency in product photos. They’re good at obscuring the reality of the situation in these product pics, but sometimes you can spot clues. Some websites now even add a note in the description long the lines of ‘may appear transparent in light’ – an immediate no-no. It could mean held up to a spotlight, but why bother risking it?

Sometimes I will wear a vest underneath a see-through item I otherwise love, but this isn’t a principle to build a wardrobe around, especially in a warm country like Australia. So going forward, any hint of transparency puts a piece of clothing straight out of the running. This is just one way I’m trying to not only get better use out of my clothes, but also be more honest about what I want from them. Have you ever bought something only for it to turn out to be awkwardly sheer? And how did you deal with it? I’d love to hear your tips!

I think these mistakes are so easy to make, but once you start thinking about why you’re making them, they’re also pretty easy to fix. I’d love to hear what mistakes and solutions you’ve made in the past – what are your tired and trusted wardrobe rules? Please do share them in a comment below!

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