Mystery Case Confession | Finding My Style | Wardrobe Woes

Mystery Case Style Challenge | Should it Stay or Should it GO NOW?!


Mystery Case Style Challenge | Should it Stay or Should it GO NOW?!


I must confess, I was rather productive on the blog merge and home organisational front during my social media free week. It’s surprising how much you can actually achieve when you don’t have online distractions.


I managed to tick a number of items off my extensive spring cleaning list but what I didn’t manage to tackle, possibly because I’m like an emu with my head in the sand here, was my once again full to overflowing rather chaotic wardrobe.  I’ve had a number of attempts at tackling the problem in the last few months and it’s only now that I’ve had time to read and digest Nikki Parkinson from Styling You‘s new book Unlock Your Style that I’m beginning to see the error of my wardrobe ways.


My Wardrobe Woes


There are a number of contributing factors (let’s keep it real and call them excuses) that have been standing in my way.


Changing Shape: Weight and shape change due to health issues over the past year. New meds will supposedly sort this out but it’s going to take time. No one can put a definitive figure on this but anywhere from six weeks to six months if I’m lucky.

Age Factor: I’m not getting any younger (shock horror) and I’m possibly holding on to a lot of style that was best left in my 20s and 30s. Now that I find myself in my 40s (not sure how that happened) I’m not convinced or confident when it comes to my style possibly due to first point (see above) but I could also be in old age denial here.

Budget: Even if my budget wasn’t super tight at the moment, I don’t want to outlay money in the clothing department and risk adding to the chaos. As soon as my health and weight start to improve, I would like to shop from my own hardly worn, mostly designer wardrobe first.

Timeless: My love for quirky, vintage and timeless pieces hasn’t changed. It’s a perfect way to ensure I never arrive at an event in the same outfit as someone else. For one reason or another, I struggle to throw out these pieces and there are so many of them now. How do you know when it’s time to let go and how do you decide what’s worth keeping?

Sentimental: You know the pieces I’m talking about here. While the semi formal blue cocktail dress I was wearing when Mr C first asked me out is no longer in my collection, it’s only recently departed and due to water damage after a severe storm caused roof damage which in turn leaked into one area of my storage wardrobe. Sob.

Organised Chaos: For the most part and thanks to a few OCD tendencies my wardrobe is fairly organised. Even though it is very much bursting at the seams, there is a place for everything and everything is generally in its place and easy to find but this doesn’t equate to being functional or wearable. Does it?


Over the last few months, armed with Unlock Your Style, I’ve been easing myself into the ‘Great Wardrobe Cull of 2014’.  Although, I’m beginning to think I need an intervention and/or some professional help here and I’m not talking about a stylist. I honestly need to accept my size and shape (unlike my age) isn’t changing soon and adjust my wardrobe accordingly. I possibly could do with some time on the couch.


Like most people, I’m only wearing around 10% of what is currently in my wardrobe and possibly 60% of the rest is questionable. I have far too many, I have nothing to wear moments. As summer approaches, my ability to camouflage and cover all my faults is becoming mission impossible and unless I want to spend another summer on the sidelines or in hibernation mode, I need to move faster than fast.


Funnily enough, I’m looking to my father and father-in-law here for motivation. They both have ‘sheds’ that are bursting at the seams with a huge collection of ‘stuff’ that “may come in handy one day”.  Stuff that they not only struggle to part with but organise because there is so much of the stuff. Stuff that when needed, is too hard to find amongst the chaos or forgotten about over time, so they end up heading out and purchasing something new.


Tackling the issue


With Nikki from Styling You arriving in Perth at the end of the month, I’m determined to tackle my wardrobe issues once and for all. Starting with revamping Should it Stay or Should it GO NOW?!


Each week, either here or via Instagram, I will share some of the more questionable items from my wardrobe and have my stylish and not afraid to speak the truth friends (that means YOU!!) help me decide on what should stay and what should definitely GO NOW!


This week, I’m sharing the most questionable item of all………..


Wedding Agent Mystery Case


Agent Mystery Case Beach Wedding



Which was actually my engagement party dress, as we threw an engagement party on the beach and surprised everyone by getting married. For almost 20 years, this dress has been hanging in my wardrobe. It comes out occasionally for dry-cleaning and airing but for the most part doesn’t get a second glance.


I have far too many questions when it comes to wedding dresses, clearly I’ve kept mine for sentimental reasons but honestly I’m never ever going to wear this dress again, I only just squeeze into and let’s be frank, it’s from the 90s, it’s pale magenta (please no talk of pink) and it’s taking up valuable wardrobe space, not to mention the time and money it costs to keep it pristine. More money than the dress originally cost ($300) because it was many moons ago and it wasn’t an official wedding dress that came with a huge price tag to start with.


I’m reminded of a friend who held on to her $5k dress, even after her hubby of 20ish years ran off with someone. It was very much a Princess Di number and this dress, neatly boxed, followed her round the country in the hope of passing it on to one of her daughters. Daughters who were years off getting married and not keen on the dress, the fabric or the reminders of a marriage that had disintegrated in front of their eyes and the painful divorce that followed.


Agent Mystery Case Wedding Gown Dilemma


Even after 30 years, when my friend’s cats decided to mark their territory by ripping a lot of the fabric and leaving an interesting signature scent, the dress remains in her possession. I ask YOU why? Not to shame anyone, more in the hope that your answer will help me solve my own issues here.


When you say ‘I do’ surely you’re saying YES to a life long partnership?  Does that really need to include the dress as well?


Now, I suppose we should move on to wedding bouquets. I literally threw mine away, although not traditionally at the wedding like most people do. I kept the gorgeous floral bouquet in a vase at home and it was pretty much cactus when we arrived home from our super short honeymoon ten days later.


If I had my wedding day over again, I would opt for a Tamara Harrison Design bridal bouquet.  A custom design piece that screams me, something that incorporates the vintage jewellery I’ve inherited over the years and would in turn look perfect on display in a vase on my mantel piece. I’m not entirely sure how I would approach the dress selection side of things if I had a do over.


Tamara Harrison Design Bridal Bouquet

NOW, do tell…… When it comes to my wedding dress….. Should it Stay or Should it Go NOW?!  Do you still have your wedding dress and how long have you been married?


Mystery Case





Sharing the social media love with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess

About Mystery Case 647 Articles
Managing Editor of Agent Mystery Case. Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.
  • Donna Leitch

    I have been looking at a lot of the “trash your wedding dress” ideas on Pinterest and it looks like a lot of fun!! I’ve contemplated it with my dress but I just don’t think I could bring myself to do it.
    I still own my Mum’s wedding dress sealed in a vacuum bag (I would’ve worn it for my wedding day had it fit) I have thought of repurposing the fabric for something. Maybe that’s something you could do with yours? Then you can hold on to it’s sentimental value and give it a whole new purpose!

    • Great ideas Donna. I’m not familiar with the trash your wedding dress movement. Might need to head over and case that one on Pinterest. I’m also not very crafty, so thinking my dress would end up in a never ending to do pile. I do have a friend who upcycles. I might need to organise a catch up and have her look at my dress.

      • DIY Mum from Pin WorthyParties

        Why not get someone to restyle the dress. I am not entirely sure thats doable, but worth asking…

  • 26 Years & Counting

    I got married in jeans so no wedding dress issues here myself 🙂

    • I live in jeans at the moment which is strange given I didn’t own a pair until my 20s. I wouldn’t mind a pant suit this time round.

  • rebecca

    As someone who isn’t yet married I can’t help but I think the most important thing would be your ring, husband and the love! Bec x

    • I almost lost my ring last month. My fingers swelled and it was touch and go if it would need to be cut off. I definitely be more devastated to lose the ring or the hubby than the dress. :0

  • Keep it! You have daughters, they’ll play dressups in it (yes even if they’re 18) if nothing else. I still have mine, even though the clear crystal sequins have long since turned yellow, and as you say, there’s no hope it will ever fit me again. Just put it in a garment bag and hang it in the hall closet or somewhere out of the way – that’s what I do. And BTW I love your wedding dress and pics 🙂

    • Interestingly, my girls are 13, 14 & 16 and we still have a dress up box. I’ve already gifted a number of items to it. So I’m really not off to a great start here, more moving the items within the confines of my house.

  • Mark Downey, Fullhalfglass

    We also got married on a beach. Barefoot and no shoes. My mum made the wedding dress for my bride. A beautiful pale blue and white cotton number with a matching vest for me. We still have them in our wardrobe and although they most likely will never fit again just seeing them brings back a flood of fantastic memories of a magical day.

  • Oh deary, you are starting off with a hard one! You do need to be brutal but this one really falls into the sentimental basket. I have my dress and I have been contemplating whether to sell it or not. If I sell it now whilst it’s still fashionable I can get some $ or it can die a sad death in the back of my wardrobe never to be worn and glorified again. Anyway… this is about you. Your dress. Maybe you can use my favorite motto about clothing. If it’s a maybe, it’s a no. If you are doubting, then it needs to go. Only buy and keep things you absolutely love and have to have. Helpful? not sure.

    • I think if it stays, it needs to be worn. I might need to start exercising my butt off.

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    I still have my wedding dress after 14 years and I have no plans to get rid of it. Yes, I’m sentimental but it means a lot to me and it’s not taking up heaps of room in my wardrobe. So keep yours too if it means something to you Raych x

  • So I have to confess I have never had mine dry cleaned and it got dirty at the bottom and booze on it! BAD. I want to keep it for my daughter to try on one day and have a laugh, hopefully I’ll still be around to see her get married but you never know! I too need to follow Nikki’s advice – my wardrobe is full of things I’ll never fit or wear again! Thanks for linking – Em x

    • How long have you been married Emily? Is it too late to have it cleaned? What if your daughter wants to wear it as a wedding dress?

      • 7 years!!!!! So naughty. It’s a tailor made dressed that had to be altered each week as I dropped 10kgs in 6 weeks to look HOT – the fittest I’ve ever been, exercised 6 days a week for nearly 2 hours a day! ECK. Dress can wait another year!

  • TeganMC

    I’ve seen a few people mention lately that there is a foundation who take old wedding dresses and formal gowns and turn them into gowns for stillborn babies. I’m not sure of the name but that could be something you could do so it was getting reused.

  • Let it go! You have beautiful pictures of your wedding day and all your memories. The memories are not actually tied up in the dress. Let it go 🙂 If you are looking for help in culling your wardrobe, I would really recommend Project 333. The website has lots of tips and helpful advice. Thanks for Linking up to Mummy Mondays #team MM

    • I have that song from Frozen stuck in my head now and I haven’t even seen the show. Perhaps Let it Go, could be my new theme song this week.

  • My wedding dress is in a box under our bed. I am planning on getting it out in the next couple of years and getting proper photos of my kids playing dress ups in it. As you say, chances are a grown daughter won’t want to wear it, but perhaps dress ups would be an option and more photographs for the wall? I also plan on donating mine to the charity that makes dresses for still born babies. They can them angel gowns and I think this is totally sweet. The other thing I want to look at is if the dress fabric can somehow be repurposed and used myself at home. Maybe a ‘wedding blanket’ or another piece of clothing. I certainly want to keep a bit of fabric to get sown into my daughters and in-laws dresses for my own sentimental reasons. Good luck with choosing. It is hard to get rid of our wedding gown. xS

    • How long ago were you married Sarah? When was the last time you pulled the dress out? I do like the idea of the angel gowns.

      • We were married nine (??) years ago now. And actually, I pulled it out only days ago. We have moved bedrooms, so the dress box was dragged out and the kids wanted to know what was in it. So, I pulled it out and showed them. It is so gorgeous! I’d forgot the beauty of it!!! I wore the veil and my daughter wore the veil and we called ourselves princesses. It was lovely. We should play with my wedding dress more.

  • Hugzilla

    Ooooh, I have ZERO sentimentality in me – and I mean zero – but what a beautiful dress! I have to vote “SAVE”.

    • LOL Hugzilla, I was hoping the non sentimental types would be steering me in the right direction here?!

  • I still have my wedding dress. I could actually shorten it and wear it again, and that was the plan… but… just… can’t bring myself to do it!

    My mum kept hers, and I actually wore it to a costume party! Not only was she okay with it, it was her idea – it was a long-sleeved, drop-waisted floor-length white gown. I wore it as Princess Leia!
    I’m not helping you at all, am I? I’d say keep just because you’re not going to sell it, and the dress-up idea is just too good to ignore. (Also I’m not sure about over there, but in Melbourne there’s an annual wedding dress ball you can attend so you get a chance to wear your dress again. Perhaps you can find something similar?)

    • Not helping at all. lol Emily. At this rate I will be needing to expand my wardrobe space.

    • Would love to see a photo of you in your mum’s dress.

  • I still have my dress – it’s dry cleaned and boxed at my Mum’s. My bouquet is long gone too. I’m only now trying to give away dresses I wore as bridesmaids too! I’m a sentimental lady too! x

    • Would love to see a blog post on all your bridesmaids dresses. How many do you own? Do you know I’ve never been a bridesmaid. Even when my sister married my first boyfriend, I was apparently too short to make the bridesmaid list (LOL).

      What do you think you will do with your wedding dress? Are you happy to keep it boxed indefinitely?

  • shannon @howcaniwearthat

    Well, I am yet to wed, however I have my mum’s wedding dress packed away in a box in my linen cupboard. There is certainly something very sentimental about the old wedding dress. I am not a fan of ever culling clothes so I am a little biased in my opinion. I would keep the wedding dress. I look forward to next week to see what your item is. Shannon x

    • I think because mine isn’t a real full on white wedding gown that I’m conflicted here.

  • I’m totally sentimental – so its the one dress I would make room for. Maybe not in my wardrobe though, boxed away suits me just fine. I still have my wedding dress from my first marriage too, plus lots of others that I designed (when I had my own wedding dress label and boutique in the UK). I didn’t wear a traditional dress second time around, but I still have it in my wardrobe – it hardly takes up any space at all xx

    • Would love to see your collection of wedding dresses.

  • I kept mine. I have the tiniest wardrobe ever. But it is still beautifully boxed up in my wardrobe. Could never ever get rid of it. Ever!

    • Perhaps I need to box mine up? I’m pretty sure we’ve been married about the same time Kim-Marie? When was the last time your wedding dress came out of the closet?

  • I still have mine! Boxed up in my linen cupboard. I don’t know why but I just cant part with it and probably wont ever! I loved my dress , it was one of those ‘this is the one’ moments as soon as I saw it! But I’m completly sentimental and probably no help in your decision making process! xx

    • No help at all Malinda. At this rate I will be needing to expand my wardrobe.

  • chile_chicken

    I have been married nearly seven years- but I must confess that I sold it on a second hand forum about three years ago as I only have boys!

    • You have the photos and your memories. That’s all that is important.

  • Hi Raychael! I gave mine away, so that my daughter(s) wouldn’t feel pressured to please me. I had one daughter at the time, but now I have three. Your dress has a vintage look about it, so you could always sell it with that idea, since vintage is so popular. Or you could take a piece of it and frame it and then donate the remaining fabric or have it altered for yourself or for your daughter (can’t remember if you have one or two daughters) for an important high school dance (like prom).

    • Three girls Christina, 13, 14 & 16. None have shown an interest in the dress or vintage clothing. Hmmm decisions.

      • Aw! I forgot! Mine are now 16, 14 and 6, but you probably knew that already. My mom kept her dress hoping that I’d wear it for my wedding. Instead, I designed my own dress (I took ideas from a selection of dresses) and I loved it and I still gave it away – I guess because I didn’t want my girls to feel bad for disappointing me if they didn’t feel the same way.

        • I wasn’t sure of the ages. I might need to throw the question open to my girls.

  • LydiaCLee

    If you are not going wear it again, give it to your kids for dress up – we played in mum’s for years and it got torn to shreds Miss Havershem style but it did get a lot of wear…I still wear mine (but it was an evening gown not white frock). I gave my bouquet to a friend on the way to the airport. Someone needed the joy of those expensive flowers before they died…

    • My girls are probably too old for dress ups now (13, 15 & 16) but I do think I will throw the idea to them and ask their opinion.

  • Got one site for you: It goes! x

    • Thanks so much Maxabella. Heading over to ‘case’ them now. Do you have many questionable items in your wardrobe?

  • I am not one too talk – I have mine in a massive box in my wardrobe and I dont even have daughters to pass it on too. Lets peg em together 😉 xx

    • How long has it been Sonia? Is your dress still in great condition?