Wednesday 24 April 2019

No more saving things for 'Sunday best' - I'm writing this in my fancy clothes and make-up

Actress Penelope Cruz on the red carpet Picture: Getty
Actress Penelope Cruz on the red carpet Picture: Getty
Sinead Moriarty

Sinead Moriarty

A few months ago, my house was robbed and all of my jewellery was stolen. As I tidied up my ransacked bedroom and shed tears over my lost jewellery, I bemoaned the fact that I'd barely ever worn it. I was always saving my good jewellery for special occasions - and now it was gone.

Now that I knew I'd never see my jewellery again, I deeply regretted not wearing it and enjoying it more. What is it about so many of us that we save everything for 'best'?

My daughter recently wanted to wear her new white runners to the park. I persuaded her not to. "They'll get all muddy and be ruined," I said. She was disappointed; she was excited about them and wanted to wear them.

Why did I stop her? What was I saving them for? I should have let her enjoy them. It's a mindset, and a particularly Irish one, to 'save for Sunday best'.

When I buy something new, I hang it carefully in my wardrobe and save it.

For what? I now realise that I have lots of things hanging in my wardrobe that I have still never worn because they're too 'good' to wear on just any old day.

So they hang limply, unworn, unused and unseen.

When a good friend of mine buys something new, she puts it on immediately and wears it until it falls apart. She always looks great and enjoys every single wear. She's not waiting for the right moment. For her, the right time is now.

How many of us have saved scented candles, posh boxes of chocolates or expensive hand creams for a 'special occasion', only to find them buried in the back of a cupboard a year later - the chocolate out of date, the cream gone off and the candle smelling less like ocean tide and more like an overflowing black bin?

I recently bought a lovely red dress. I came home from the shop and dutifully hung it up. Shortly after buying it, I went out for dinner with friends on a Saturday night, but I didn't want to wear my new dress because it wasn't a really big night.

It wasn't a fancy party or anything. I couldn't 'waste' it on a normal Saturday night, it had to be saved for a special event.

But the reality is, I don't go to fancy parties or red carpet events on a weekly, monthly or even bi-annual basis, so why not wear the dress to dinner with friends?

Who am I saving it for? What am I saving it for? At this rate, I'll be buried in it.

And it's the same with special bath oils and expensive creams. Many of us leave them sitting in their beautiful packages, going off. Why do we do that? What are we waiting for? Why can't we smell nice now? When is a good time to have soft, fragrant skin? How about today?

We need to stop saying, "I'll wait for a special occasion" and start saying "What's wrong with today?"

Why not get the pleasure of bathing in scented oils now? Why not wear that new dress to dinner with friends, the very people who will notice it and compliment you?

Why not use your wedding plates when you have family around for dinner? If you leave them hidden much longer, the pattern will probably fade.

What will happen if we use our 'good' things now? Will the roof cave in? Will the world end? No, we'll just get pleasure from using the lovely things we own.

The next time you come home tired and stressed from work, or after a long day looking after the kids, why not pour yourself a bubble bath?

Lie back and breathe in the scent of wild fig and cassis gently wafting from an expensive candle and then lather yourself in luxurious body lotion.

What I realise now, is that by not using our 'good' stuff we're actually telling ourselves that today isn't a good enough day. Why not? Every day is important. Every day should be lived to the full.

So here I am, at my computer, dressed in a cashmere jumper that I bought two years ago, smelling of the Jo Malone perfume I was given six months ago and wearing Tom Ford lipstick that I previously only wore to fancy parties.

Do I feel good? Do I feel better? Do I feel worthy? Is today a good enough day? Hell, yes!

Irish Independent

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