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What is in clothes cupboards reveals something about the owners of the contents. How these contents are arranged, is equally revealing.

Bear in mind that humans are unique animals – we wear clothes. To date, I am yet to see our rabbits, the cat or tortoises wear clothes. Ivy does have a few utilitarian outfits (e.g. rain jacket and pullover) but not by choice. Humans first wore clothes for protection and this evolved for many purposes: magic, decoration, prestige, cult followings and rituals.

If I take Husband, his use for clothing is practical.  Looking inside his cupboard (singular), he has empty spaces and what is hung-up, hangs half on and half off. Clothes are bundled and stored. Folding is a luxury. The puppy loves climbing into the supposed shoe area to fish-out socks to chew.

My clothes cupboards (plural) have clothing arranged according to season, then colour and then type of garment (e.g. shirts and pants). As a working woman, I have no time at 05h00 to search for something to wear. It is now or never. But my weakness is slippers. I have many varieties and many more have been lost to the puppy. My attitude to clothing ranges from practical to decorative.

A trip to Zambia and the sizes of our suitcases hinted at our attitudes to clothing. Starting with my bag, I had few clothes and lots of gifts, party goodies and snacks. Husband’s bag was next and it showed slim pickings but he had more clothes than me (the jury could be out on this; but trust me….I am a lawyer). My dad had to live with whatever my mom had packed for him in his small well-worn bag because he is apparently no longer competent to pack his own bag. On a couple of occasions, he would arrive after my mom at the hotel’s reception or the dining room. This would be because he was told to get dressed again but in line with my mom’s unilateral recommendations and her wardrobe plan for the trip.

Then there was my mom. She had the biggest and heaviest bag. Never did she repeat an outfit or theme. On the last day she did lament that she had not worn all her animal print outfits because she ran out of time to change between all our activities. When we went on a full day land and water safari in Botswana, she was in her “casual” wear. For a woman who was turning 70 on the day she was bobbing up and down in a dusty open vehicle and who sat on a boat cruise with crocodiles close by, she looked like a movie star. The look was polished by wearing a gold crown and a black sash as the birthday girl. By that time, I was wearing the same shorts I had worn since arrival, the same shoes and had the same hairdo.

My mom covers the whole spectrum of the role of clothing (and there are not enough emojis to reflect this): a touch of magic, a large dose of decoration, definite calendar ritual and events focus, sometimes practical but always elegant. (Another time I can elaborate on the bra collection that was packed daily for fishing trips, just in case, when I was still at school….)

As a mad last dash, at the airport, my mom had to buy an outfit revealing the events commemoration focus of clothing. With one never being enough, she bought 2 of the same dresses but in different colours. No doubt she will borrow my pink dress and I will borrow the purple one. These dresses will drive Husband and my dad batty: part of a ritual, used for decoration and accompanied by the laughter of a Leo with her Libran-Scorpio.