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When you don’t like any of your clothes, 
at all, today

PUBLISHED: 13:02 18 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:11 18 January 2018

My vision of Thalia happily packing her suitcase didn't quite work out. Picture Getty Images

My vision of Thalia happily packing her suitcase didn't quite work out. Picture Getty Images

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Our three girls are all individuals, but two of them certainly share at least one – frustrating - trait, writes Jo Malone

We were packing to go on our first big family holiday and it was simple for all but one of us.

Besides a blissful week in Sicily nearly ten years ago, holidays have been a few days camping in Norfolk. It means Thalia, who can be just a little indecisive, has never had to choose clothes to pack as we take most of her wardrobe whenever we’re away. But I have what I think is a top plan for her to choose what she takes.

I’m remembering the packing nightmare that was number one daughter Sunny when she was little. This included a memorable trip to California with her father and grandmother when she announced on arrival that she hated all of her clothes. She spent a fortnight pretty much refusing to wear anything other than her bikini.

She was about six and had very definite ideas on what she did and didn’t like so I’d had her agreement for pretty much everything that went in her case. However, her Dad and Dama discovered that what Sunny said she liked in Norfolk she very definitely didn’t like in California. It wasn’t an easy holiday, I gathered.

More than a dozen years after that and with Thalia my packing idea is not only for a yes and no pile, but to try on everything before it goes into the yes pile so she can’t arrive and decide that something is itchy, scratchy, too tight, too loose, too blue, too pink, too fluffy or not fluffy enough.

Every single thing is tried on and agreed, or not, upon. It takes a while as socks have to be carefully flattened first and tried on both feet, with inbetween flattening. Tops have to be tried on separately and on top of other tops, and then on top of a vest, and then under a coat. Leggings have to be tried with socks underneath, and then over, just in case.

The yes pile is quite small, but I’ll be taking washing powder and I leave everything in a bag in her room ready to pack.

When it comes to actually packing a suitcase however, a day or two later, her pile seems much much smaller.

‘What’s happened to your holiday clothes, the ones you liked?’ I ask Thalia.

“That was yesterday, I don’t like them,” she says.

I take a deep breath.

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