I feel so inadequate when people say they put their out-of-season clothes into storage. I don’t, which means my clothes are so squashed together I have to arm-wrestle jackets out of a spaghetti junction of sleeves.
I have tried. Last month, after an hour, my pile for the loft was a bag of bikinis and a kaftan. Other than that, I don’t have many proper summer clothes; I live in Britain, and I’m really not a hot pants person. I wear the same clothes all year in different combinations. So I was staring at my three denim shirts – which I wear in summer as sort-of jackets, in winter under jumpers, and as buttoned-up shirts in autumn and spring – failing to pluck up the courage to put one in the loft. I couldn’t decide. The bag of bikinis didn’t seem worth the faff of the dusty loft ladder, so I just shoved it in the back of the wardrobe.
It’s not just seasons. I’m rubbish at dividing my clothes into useful categories, too. I tried separating daywear from evening wear once, but gave up when I remembered I quite often get dressed smartly at 7am, but by 8pm I have changed into running leggings or (more probably) pyjamas.
The only category that makes sense to me is sensible versus fun clothes. It’s a long time since I wore school uniform, but that mental divide still prevails, and I seem to have invested more heavily in the fun section. I blame fashion, which has come up with fun alternatives for pieces that were once purely functional.
I’m talking about coats, especially. I’ve got loads, but most aren’t very warm and hardly any are waterproof. This isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds, because there are lots of scenarios – if you are in and out of shops and cars, for instance – when you must balance the need to be warm outside with the need not to suffocate inside. I like the weekend formula of a basic outfit with a fancy coat, because you look snazzy but loll around in jeans and a jumper for most of the day. The silly coat – seen here in a riot of fluff and fuzz, but also anything sleeveless, collarless, buttonless or in a bright colour – is a surprisingly sensible buy.
Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain. Other than that, we’re sorted.
• Jess wears faux-fur coat, £59, dorothyperkins.com. Jumper, £120, by Alexa Chung for AG, and trousers, £195, by Piazza Sempione, both from liberty.co.uk. Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Hair and makeup: Laurence Close at Carol Hayes Management.