Since I decided to downsize my life to the things that really matter to me, call it 'becoming a minimalist,' I realised I was missing a cashmere jumper. How contradictory, I know!
After looking at my baskets of collected crap, I couldn't identify one item of clothing which represented the woman I had become. Now this isn't the part of the blog where I talk about how accomplished I am or rave about my life. It's the part where I talk about this woman I had hoped I would be by 31 years old.
This woman was high powered, rich and fancy. As I reflect on what went wrong, I'm grateful that my ideal woman has changed except for the fancy part. Fancy might not be the right word, 'put-together' is a closer match. I stopped admiring the 'ball busting' trait when I decided not to pursue a career in law despite having accrued £26,000 in student debt.
It's taken me time, space and a handbag business to realise my happiness lies in the ashes of the woman I idolised. I love nice things but now rather then just lusting after things or impulse purchasing, I find the BEST version of that item.
I've created a list of the staple wardrobe pieces I want. A cashmere jumper is on my list so I started reading blogs about what cashmere is and how to buy the right one.
Did you know cashmere is a pure white, fine, soft wool, originally from the Kashmir goat?
Cashmere jumpers are expensive, you're looking at £190 plus for a fashionable one. Cheaper versions aren't 100% cashmere - always check the label on the inside to be sure. Stick to pastel shades - baby pink, light blue or beige tones, as they've gone through the mildest dyeing process.
Look for a tight knit as they are better quality and won't create pills. Pills are much like bobbles that age the jumper. You can remove pills with a fine tooth comb.
You can hand wash a cashmere jumper at home but I know I'll ruin it and then cry so I'd take it to the dry cleaners. I could get approx four wears before dry cleaning it because I tend to have sweaty armpits no matter how much deodorant I use, so it will need regular maintenance.
Always store a cashmere jumper on an airy shelf or in a drawer. I've never considered how I store my clothes before, have you? I've spent thousands of pounds on clothes and I've never considered how to care for them. Side note to self, be active and present in all your daily decisions.
So which cashmere sweater did I decide to buy? Drum-roll please...
I haven't found it yet! I wanted a pink oversized crew neck with long sleeves and this one for £820 from The Row at Matches Fashion is perfect but it's 65% wool and 35% cashmere... jeez!
Now even if I vetoed my entire blog post by buying a non 100% cashmere jumper, I'd have to save up for this sweater until 2020! That's one way to become a minimalist - want expensive things you can't afford immediately and hope they sell out before you save up!
Background research & product selection by Shannon Nightingale @shannon_nightingale_sn