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My daughter has a favourite dress. It’s purple and frilly and great for wearing to parties, weddings etc. But she wants to wear it all the time. She’ll go to the playarea in it, or poke around the garden, and of course wear it to school. In fact she’d wear it everyday if she could. (I couldn’t find a photo of her wearing it that I was happy to put on my blog, so you get a cheery sunflower instead!)

And I’m trying to loosen up to let her. Why shouldn’t she wear her best dress to go to school? She’s still at an age where clothes only fit her for a year, so she may as well get her wear out of it. Next year she’ll have another dress to wear to any party she may get invited to. Or to wear to school, or whenever she wants to wear it. She’s lucky that living in the Netherlands she doesn’t have school uniform and can wear what she likes to school.

Which makes me question the clothes I wear. I have a wardrobe full of clothes I used to wear to work, but as I no longer need to look smart I don’t really wear them. Most days I wear jeans or three quarter length trousers and a top, with a jumper when it’s colder. All my skirts, dresses, and jackets are hiding away. OK, it makes it easier in the mornings, as I have less decisions to make, but it does mean that most of my clothes rarely get worn. So why am I keeping them?

I listened recently to a short story about the queen coming to dinner, which questions why many people hide away their best crockery and things for an event that’s unlikely to happen. Shouldn’t we all be using our best things to celebrate us? And wearing our best clothes (and jewellery) to celebrate being alive?

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