In my quest for gorgeous clothing (I know, terribly shallow, but I like clothes…), I occasionally come across shops which are veritable Aladdin’s caves. Usually shops specialising in vintage attire, they have racks of dresses and jackets lining the walls, shelves stacked high with shoes and hats. They have a musty smell, not unlike that which you smell in a second-hand bookshop.
A couple of years ago I found myself in the vintage section at Liberty’s. Designer vintage. Very grand and glamorous. I was persuaded to try on a dress which I was admiring: a 1950s brocade wedding dress. It took a while to twist my arm – I had no reason for the dress, I thought it was too small and I was always told that you shouldn’t touch what you can’t afford. And at something in the region of £3K, I couldn’t afford this dress. However tempting and wonderful. I didn’t want to run the risk of ripping it. But I was persuaded.
It fit like a slightly tight glove. I was terrified that my next breath would burst the seams. The ladies gave me a pair of just-as-expensive vintage designer shoes to wear with it, for the height. I won’t lie: I felt like a princess in that dress. I have also never worn so much money in my life. I was very very tempted. Not that I had the money. But some dresses are just so worth it.
I had a similar sort of moment while I was in Canterbury at the weekend. I was introduced to a vintage shop there: Revivals. Not a giant shop, but my goodness, the clothes! I was tempted by several, having been encouraged to try them on. There’s something about vintage clothes which make me feel so very elegant and pretty. I managed to practise some restraint though: I only bought one of the several – a gorgeous 1950s (do you sense a theme here?) cocktail dress. Which makes me feel like a faerie.