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I’ve always wanted to feel like one of those women who have their shit together. You know, those women who navigate their busy lives with poise, sophistication and nary a hair out of place, the women who manage to survive the baby years without eye bags or sick stains on their clothes. The Holly Willoughbys, the Gwyneth Paltrows, the Beyoncés of the world. The women who, I truly believe, have their clothes hanging on black velvet hangers.
Spoiler: in the past this woman has not been me. I am the woman who has a slightly bleach-stained hoody that she continues to wear because she enjoys the worn-in feeling, I am the woman who can’t get that slight baked bean stain out of the white shirt she bought from the GAP sale while on maternity leave, just because she saw a photo of Gwyneth Paltrow looking effortless in one. I am the woman who dries her washing on the radiator because she quite often can’t be bothered to make her way outside to the rotary line, the woman who always has one slightly chipped nail.
I am not the woman with the black velvet hangers. I am not Holly Willoughby, Gwyneth Paltrow or Beyoncé.
Until I was.
The Black Velvet Hangers
The transition to having my shit together happened quite effortlessly.
There I was one evening, spending dead time on YouTube watching a stranger talk through her wardrobe makeover in minute detail (incidentally another thing the women who have their shit together probably don’t do with their evenings), and I suddenly cottoned on to the fact this stranger had nothing but white velvet hangers in their wardrobe.
And, not only did this woman seem infinitely pleased with her marble-topped unit in her new walk-in wardrobe, but she just looked like she had life sorted. Her necklaces weren’t tangled, her makeup was on, her hair was perfectly coiffed. I wanted a slice of this perfection pie, I decided.
So in lieu of being able to stick a marble-topped unit in my own wardrobe, I logged on to Amazon.
Keeping in mind the fact that I am that women that stains every single white thing she owns (SO not Beyoncé) I switched the YouTuber’s tactic slightly and searched for black velvet hangers, which looked as gloriously sophisticated as the white with the difference of being immune to the staining properties of tomato-based sauces. I ordered a hundred (though actually needed around 270 to hang everything) and went to bed that evening knowing I would soon have my life together.
They arrived the next day and I got cracking. It was more of an arduous process than I expected – I decided to do a clothing purge at the same time as the hanger switch which was something I regretted by the time I was past the point of no return – but by god was it fun. There was something so wonderful about examining every item of clothing I own to a) decide I definitely wanted to keep them and b) switch from rando plastic hangers to black velvet hangers.
It felt so good, so cleansing, so cathartic.
Since my black velvet hanger-based cleanse I now have a wardrobe for coats, a wardrobe for dresses, a wardrobe for jumpers and tops. I even hang up my gym kit, for christ’s sake: I bet Gwyneth hangs up her (Lulu Lemon, obvs) gym kit.
My boots are stored near my jeans so I can look at them when I’m deciding what outfit to wear, my court shoes and sandals are tucked neatly away for special occasions (like next summer…), my trainers are within grabbing distance for the school run. Every bit of hand-wash only cashmere that was languishing in the washing bin has been washed and hung on their own black velvet hangers, my socks are suddenly and magically all in pairs and each wardrobe is sorted by colour.
Even my handbags are with their corresponding dust collectors and my necklaces are untangled. I almost – I can’t believe I’m about to say this – feel like I have my shit together.
OK, so I still don’t empty my bathroom bin as often as I should (those nail varnish-soaked cotton buds STACK UP) but I can’t even begin to tell you how satisfying it is to get to my wardrobe every morning and see my clothes all hanging beautifully on their black velvet hangers. I’d spend quite a lot of time in my wardrobe as it was before – there’s only so much hiding from your kids you can do in the bathroom pretending to do a poo – but now I’m in here even more, just flicking through my lovely clothes.
The black velvet hangers have had their practical uses, too: where once my clothes would be squished together, some on those massive chunky wooden hangers that took up more room than was sensical, they now all lie beautifully flat taking up no more room than they need to. It’s a small thing that’s had a huge effect on my mind.
And it feels GOOOOOD.
You can get your own piece of mind and beautiful wardrobe from Amazon: the hangers might not come with a marble-topped unit to house your Cartier collection, but who needs fancy jewellery when you’ve got black velvet hangers?