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From my wedding dress to a childhood coat, history is sewn into our clothes

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Anyone who thinks of me as a tough-minded sort of person might be surprised to learn that as I strip down my possessions in preparation for a move to New York, the pieces I'm finding hardest to part with are my wedding dress, and a silk dress and a smocked woollen coat I wore as a one-year-old.

Obviously I am never going to wear these garments again and neither is pristine enough to donate to a worthy cause, but I find myself strangely reluctant to consign them to the rubbish.

Am I just being sentimental in clinging to these remnants of who I once was?

I don't think so since neither evokes happy memories. I have no recollection or photograph of my wearing the adorable childhood outfit. And my wedding dress is actually a grim reminder of a pretty awful day. Not because of who I married but because of a family drama that on the Richter scale of wedding disasters, rated at least 9.5.

I had made the dress myself and was so proud of its fashionable sleek lines, its pin-tucking and tiny covered buttons. I planned to wear it with white fishnet stockings and low-heeled strappy shoes.

But when I arrived at my parents house that April day in........

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