Saving for best?

When I was little I spent a lot of time with my Nan and one of my favourite games was playing dress up with her clothes. Not that she ever knew about it though. I would wait for her to nod off on the sofa, which she always did, then I would creep upstairs to play.

She had two wardrobes. One for her everyday clothes and one for best. A whole wardrobe full of amazing clothes that she never used to wear. I could never understand why she would want to wear the same old clothes day in, day out when she had this wardrobe full of high heels, fur coats, sequins, lace and satin? I never got the whole saving for best thing.

I used to hobble around in her high heels and I can still see them in my mind now in all their vintage gorgeousness. Amazing clip-cloppy heels and T-bars. Patent leathers and the tiniest of delicate buckles. Her dancing shoes she used to call them. Nan used to say that her dancing days were over so the poor shoes were now hidden away at the bottom of the wardrobe. But I always felt so sorry for those poor shoes. And the beautiful clothes. Even the slightly scary fox fur stole with its black beads for eyes and long bushy tail. Why have so many beautiful things if you couldn’t enjoy them?

I wear my best jewellery every single day. I spray on my favourite and most expensive perfumes, even to bed. I put on my favourite dress even if I know that I won’t be going any further than outside to the bin that day. And it’s not just when it comes to clothes that I take this stance. I don’t save my best teacups in case the Queen pops in for afternoon tea either and I take great pleasure in lighting those ridiculously expensive candles. Where is the fun in saving things for best? How do you define the whole best thing anyway? I choose to take pleasure from all of these small things e v e r y  s i n g l e  d a y.

I loved my Nan to bits. I really really did. And I still miss her lots every single day. But I can’t help but wonder what she would think of me as a fully fledged grown up. On one hand, I don’t think she would approve of the way that I never save anything for best. Because I don’t. I am the complete opposite of her in that respect. In fact I can hear her tutting at me and see her shaking her neat grey curls as I type these very words. She would think that I was frivolous. Maybe I am. But is that such a bad thing? On the other hand, I can’t help but think that the girl she once was, the one who wore fur coats and went out dancing every night, would secretly smile at my giddy ways.

Wearing my favourite clothes. Smelling my favourite perfume. Wearing my sparkliest diamonds. Drinking Earl Grey in my most treasured cup and saucer. All of these small things make me feel very lucky to have the life that I have. I am enjoying the life that I have. And I take great pleasure in all of these small extravagances.

The truth is, I never have understood the whole saving things for best thing, not even as a child. But I think losing her made me think that even more. Life is so very precious. And sometimes all too short. She taught me that. And in fact teaches me that every day when she is no longer here to tut at me. So thank you Nan for making me see that everyday can be the best. Because it can be, you know. And it is.

53 thoughts on “Saving for best?

  1. LadyGuru says:

    Haha! I love this! I often fall in to the trap of “saving things for best” and sometimes best never comes around, so what’s the point! Made me giggle, I remember my mum having a wardrobe of amazing clothes that she never wore. They’d be worth a fortune now, she had a kid skin suit with snake skin trim (all real)! Maybe our little girls will be in our wardrobes wondering when mummy/granny used to wear such items! 😉

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  2. Jayne Sunley says:

    I used to save for best. I used to never light my precious Jo Malone candles.
    All that changed when I was diagnosed with cancer and came face to face with how fragile and finite life is.
    Now everyday is best.

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  3. Honest Mum says:

    What a beautiful post. Your nan sounds fabulous and I’m sure she’d be utterly proud of you. I’m like you and never save for best-it’s all about enjoying the now and yes we’re very lucky we can do that! Thanks for this. Made my day x

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  4. Jennifer says:

    A lovely post! I’m trying to be more like you and not save for best. We recently bought some nice new cutlery and my husband wanted to keep it for entertaining – which we do about once a year! I put it in the kitchen drawer and now we eat with it and enjoy it every day.

    I have trouble with craft materials though, I don’t want to use anything up in case I need it in the future, and then of course it ends up never getting used!

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    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      Good for you with the cutlery! I must admit that I do sort of understand the craft thing. It’s not quite the same but I have a bit of a notebook habit and I never write on the very first page because i don’t want to spoil the new crispness 😉

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  5. Zing Zing Tree says:

    I’m the same. I treat my expensive and inexpensive things the same way. Well apart form a few ball gowns. I haven’t worn them on a school run yet 😉 Most people wouldn’t know the difference.

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  6. Susan Mann says:

    Aww what a lovely post and very true. I never really thought about it that way. I never bother with the saving the best items as such, but I do keep my best perfume and outfits for when I go out. Which let’s face it isn’t often enough. I’m taking a leaf out of your book. Thanks twinny x

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  7. itsamumsworld says:

    Aw what a lovely upbeat post to cheer your readers up on a Monday! You carry doing what makes you feel good. Your Nan sounds like she was a wonderful lady, and you’ve even made me wonder if I was a bit harsh not letting my daughter wear her bridesmaids dress for her Auntie’s wedding in May to the park yesterday! 😉

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  8. trickycustomer says:

    My Nanna was just like your Nan (ironically I wrote about my Nanna recently too http://tinyurl.com/88qxth4). When we were kids and staying with her if we were treated to a new outfit, we wer allowed to try it on when we got back to her house so Grandad could take a photo and then we HAD to get changed back to our other clothes! She had her wardrobes sectioned off – even for Sunday best! She had the china which she kept for best, but i don’t think I ever actually used it!

    As I don’t work now and don’t have a social life to speak of I’ve got some nice clothes that never really get worn. But I’ve decided to make more of an effort with myself & wear the nicer stuff even if I’m just going for a walk with the buggy around the village.

    Great post (great blog). x

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  9. PhotoPuddle says:

    That explains why you always look so fabulous in your “what I wore posts”. I am trying to be more like you but I am so guilty of saving things for best. I’m not even sure I know what best is. I do it with toiletries too. Especially little gift sets. More often than not they end up sitting at the back of the cupboard for years not being used which is a bit sad really.

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  10. Midlifes Singlemum says:

    I go between saving things for best and thinking like you. I think your way is by far the ideal way to live but I can’t help falling back in to that ‘saving it for best’ attitude. I’m working on it.

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  11. @mistysrsly says:

    My Grandma was exactly the same as your Nan and I used to do the exact same as you. Dress up in her clothes, shoes and jewellery. To be fair she did wear quite a bit of it (especially heels, even at the age of 50!) but she never ‘dressed up’ so to speak. I try and not save for best but I can’t help it. I even save my favourite sweets till last just so I can enjoy them that little bit more. Think I’ll be taking a leaf out of your book from now on, every day should be best! Fab post xx

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  12. farfromhomemama says:

    I completely agree with you. I have nothing I save for best. It’s nice to treat each day as being special. I think women are particularly bad at this – it’s quite common to save things for best, put all your hopes on focus on having a best day or a best night here and there, and then being massively disappointed where it doesn’t live up to expectations. I want to wear fancy pants every day of the week 😉

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  13. MargotBarbara says:

    Love, love, love this post! Could not agree more. Every day should be a ‘best’ day – we never know what will come in the future so we should enjoy every day as it arrives. I happily wear out my most beautiful, expensive perfumes, clothes, accessories. We only get one life, so we should really LIVE it, not wait for some day in the future that may or may not arrive.

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  14. mother.wife.me says:

    Yowzers, that’s the best post I’ve read in a long time. You’ve put the message across so beautifully, I think it extends beyond stuff we own as well. Treasure each day and make it the best day you can have. I don’t live by that rule all the time, but whenever I think about it, the day seems to have a bit more sparkle to it. Reading this post has added a bit of sparkle to my day today, so thank you!

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  15. alysonsblog says:

    I so agree but I didnt always – I spend half my week at uni and its often laughingly reported that Im way better dressed than the tutors – but my reasoning is simple – I spent 20 years feeling fat, ashamed and miserable, and so now Im making up for lost time, packing as many fabulous outfits into as many days, I dont care if Im overdressed, I wore an incredible flapper dress to a night out in no more than a posh pub, when its easily black tie fodder, but I spent all night taking compliment from WOMEN who said they wished they had the balls to dress for themselves like that – good on you I say – fabulousness only works if you work it, not have it hiding in dark drawers and cupboards

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  16. TheMadHouse says:

    Fantastic post and I am so with you on this one. Life is not about the destination, but the journey and I would would rather travel by rolls royce than nissan any day. My experiences just go to show you can never tell when it will be your last journey, so make the most of everyday. Do not keep things for best.

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  17. Chris Mosler says:

    This has me grinning from ear to ear. I am not a save it for best person but I have fallen into the habit of just pulling on the first thing which comes to hand and some of my lovely dresses haven’t seen the light of day for some considerable time. You have inspired me to free them from the confines of the wardrobe and strut my stuff every day (unless it’s chilly, in which case I shall stick to my jeans and enormous jumper!)…life is a journey and there’s no point waiting to enjoy it.

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  18. Dawn Carter says:

    Love this post! I’m converted from save for best to live for today! Illness within my family made me realize life is too short! So now, I wear my gorgeous Gucci watch to work everyday, aswell as my favourite Angel or Daisy perfume! Live for today!!

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  19. Jenny says:

    I LOVE this, I don’t save anything for “best” i know all to well that you need to live your life & enjoy it every single day! So thats what i do, i like nice clothes, handbags, jewellery etc but whats the point in having them if they sit in a cupboard. Lets raise a glass to living life to the full *chink*

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  20. KARA says:

    This is a beautiful post. I used to do the same with my Nana’s clothes and she still has 2 wardrobes. I occasionally save things for best and hate it. I hate that it has been drummed into me. I am inspired and going to try and change that about me x

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  21. Multilayermummy says:

    I absolutely agree too but how do you keep the bleach/baby mitts/other stuff off your lovely clothes?? Everytime I’ve not changed as soon as I enter the house I’ve managed to bleach a stripe onto a top or got a tomato based stain from feeding mini-me! BUT you are right of course & like another poster I had a reason not to save for best but its hard to put into practice, I do use the best perfumes though, never have, never will stint on those or keep for best. My dad bought me my first perfume when I was 12, I still have the bottle – Lanvin Arpege. I keep all the empties, heaven knows why! Fab post.

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  22. Godders45 says:

    Reading this has really inspired me to stop saving things for best. My parents often did the same thing which I think was part of a rationing/War mentality when you just had to (my father would have been 98 now to put it in perspective). I remember even our dining table was only used when we had people to dinner, otherwise we sat around the kitchen table. It even went so far as that we had certain meals only when my parents were entertaining (curry with sultanas immediatelysprings to mind!). I am going to dig out all my nice earrings, clothes and shoes and darn well wear them. Thanks hun. This was a nice kick up the butt to enjoy life and live it to the full! 🙂

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