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Wednesday 25 September 2013

It's not Vintage, it's just Old

Twice a year, my children's school collects old clothing for fundraising purposes, so I am currently mentally taking stock of what I may have that is suitable. 

While I love shopping, and I love following the vagaries of fashion, I am not one of these people that buys a huge amount of (throwaway) clothing. I would rather spend a little bit more on something that I truly, truly love and will then wear to death for years, than on something cheap that will maybe get worn once and then be consigned to the back of a wardrobe. When something catches my eye, I become near-obsessive, dreaming about how it would look on me and how I would wear it for weeks on end, until I finally give in and have to make a purchase, or it has sold out. 

(Currently, for example, I am irrationally lusting after the Somerset by Alice Temperley waistcoat at John Lewis, plus this faux snakeskin blouse from M&S:

Both PERFECT for the job I currently DO NOT HAVE, of course. I can't stop thinking about them and how I can justify them "for interview". It can, however, be guaranteed that, if when I do find a new job, I will discard these current obsessions and I will be lusting after jeans and trainers and won't be able to find a single thing that is office-worthy.)

But I digress. 

To recap; I have a lot of old clothes. I am not counting the 1960s skirt inherited from my mother, or the 1940s evening jacket that belonged to a great-aunt. I'm talking about clothes I bought from new with my own money. 

The only thing that's organised around here

A lot of clothes that I have possessed since before having children (quick recap; eldest child now 8 1/2), some clothes that I have had since before I got married (12 years), and even one or two items that I bought as a university student:
Exhibit A
The jumper above (affectionately known as the bumblebee) was a purchase from the Bath branch of Jigsaw in my second year - so around 1994. It set me back the massive sum of £50, which I can still not quite believe, and which probably meant I didn't eat for 3 weeks afterwards.

I have loved this jumper to death, and miraculously it actually still looks as good as new. Considering it is nearly 20 years old, that's pretty darn good value for money, and the 50 quid doesn't actually look like such a foolish outlay. I guess I'm also lucky that I'm still the same size that I pretty much always have been.

However, I fear it may be time for the demise of this old faithful. Last winter was the first year it did not get worn at all, and my new obsession with lots of layers probably means it will be similarly neglected this year. It therefore may well be time for it to meet the blue bin liner in the sky.

To help cheer me up on this solemn occasion, I need you all to tell me (or show me!?) your oldest item of clothing. Do you still love it, or is there another reason why you still keep it? Do you still wear it in earnest or does it only come out for fancy dress?


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