WHAT'S the oldest item of clothing you bought as new which is still lurking in the back of your wardrobe or squirrelled away in your loft?

I ask this as we are constantly bombarded with increasing living costs and many of us may have to think of cutting back a little on new clothes. Instead we could recycle our old ones or buy secondhand from charity shops or online auction sites. I have to admit I like rummaging around in charity shops.

But how many of us - and this question is posed to our male readers too - have fashion items stashed away we forgot we ever bought? Have they been back in fashion and gone out again? Can you still get into them?

Recently I rooted out an old suitcase to discover a treasure trove of things I didn't know I still had.

Take this pink, made in Italy, United Colors of Benetton top, for instance (pictured). I bought it as new around 22 years ago (give or take) from one of those boutique shops which have items folded up on shelves and on tables, rather than on racks. I did wear it a few times and then it got put away and has remained dormant ever since; stuffed in a case, sad, creased and unloved.

Oddly enough it does appear to have shrunk alarmingly in storage. Despite it saying 'small' on the label, I can't believe it was ever that little. However, I am happy to announce, 22 years later (give or take), that the straps still fit.

There are a few other items in the case which I can bring out of retirement, thus saving money on new fashion. A pair of leather sandals are a bit past their best, but two scarves will be used this winter (and still fit).

So, what is the oldest item of clothing you have (excluding that beautiful wedding dress you have saved for sentimental reasons) which you bought for yourself from new? We're not talking of a vintage item bought from a pre-loved shop, but something that was brand new that you took home, wore, and then decided to mothball for whatever reason.

As an example, my sister has a green satin 'made in England' summer-weight jacket she bought in a Leeds store in the '80s but can't bear to part with even though she's not worn it for 40 years. She says that has shrunk too.

Even staking an even older claim to age is a sheepskin coat she bought for my brother-in-law in 1975 which he has kept but hasn't worn for some time. She is on a mission now to find a 1970s swede skirt which she knows she has stashed away somewhere.

So are you a make-do-and-mend sort of person who doesn't like to throw things away, or do you have an out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new attitude and have a regular wardrobe change?

If you're the former, post a pic on our Facebook story of one of your favourite 'old' pieces of clothing which you couldn't possibly part with.