The Midult's guide to... how to (not) manage 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 the chaos in our heads. Its crimes are various.


There are always jeans. Jeans too grubby to associate with the righteous pairs in the 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 norovirus – that  were a triumph on that one day and have been a cruel talisman of failure since.

The jeans on The Chair are 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 heathens, heretics, the fallen. Jeans represent the human condition and The Chair is their natural home.


Jumpers get a little less loveable every time they are 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  dry-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. Zara is selling those sweaters with 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 twittering in our ears. Some 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.