Accessories, Fashion Tips, Features, Nostalgia, Wardrobe stories
By Lauren Bravo on July 1st, 2013
In two weeks’ time I’m moving out of the flat I’ve lived in for three years, and in which I have accumulated about 30 years’ worth of possessions. Here, after some very stiff competition, are the five oddest things I’ve found in my wardrobe.
The clogs, 2010
Do you remember spring 2010? The Icelandic ash cloud, the coalition government, and the biggest destructive force of all – me, in these bad boys.
You’re forgiven for forgetting, as infinitely more important and less, well, wooden things were going on, but for several months in 2010, clogs were a thing. The blame lay with Karl Lagerfeld for designing them, Alexa Chung for wearing them (note: a woman who never needs to walk up the stairs on a bus), and to a far lesser extent me, for singing their praises on this very website.
At the time I was skint, living on Pizza Express vouchers my parents used to send me from their Tesco Clubcard points, so when I found these in the Brighton Barnardo’s shop, my brain neatly overlooked their supreme ugliness in favour of the fact that they a) were undeniably clogs, b) were my size and c) were £14. And reader, I wore them. My ankles have never been more toned, or more regularly almost broken.
The verdict: Charity shop, so they can stop clogging up my wardrobe. Sorry.
The fantasy fedora, 2011
Proving that you don’t need many years hindsight to identify a purchase as ridiculous, this black felt fedora (I am calling it a fedora; I don’t know if it really is a fedora or if I just want to use the word fedora because it sounds more ‘fashion’ than trilby) was bought in the Topshop sale just after the Christmas before last. I thought it was androgynous, enigmatic and bookish, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what its magic was.
My boyfriend solved the mystery the next day, when I arrived in Edinburgh for Hogmanay and he confirmed I looked exactly like Terry Pratchett.
The verdict: Keep, in preparation for the Discworld-inspired Dior collection that I’m sure will be happening any season now.
The ballroom dancing shoes, 2007
“Oh,” you might reasonably ask, “did you used to do ballroom dancing?” No, I have never done ballroom dancing. Unless you count breaking out the odd salsa move at Favela Chic of a long-ago Friday night. But not knowing my foxtrot from my elbow was never an obstacle to me cracking out these babies. They were discovered in Absolute Vintage off Brick Lane in my first year of uni, when my craving for all things vintage (musty) knew no bounds, and 45 per cent of the floor of my tiny halls of residence room was a carpet of pre-loved footwear. In fact, so great was their tea dancey, end-of-the-pier appeal that I bought a pair in silver too.
Because they were designed for go-go grannies they were insanely comfortable and I would regularly march them to the pub, the post office and the kebab shop, hoping someone would spontaneously ask me to dance, like something in a nauseating indie film. Nobody did.
The verdict: Recycling bin. These did too much bopping to The Klaxons to be any use to anybody now.
The quilted bed jacket, 2005
Cardigans and I have always had problems. Like the friendly aunt you secretly suspect hates you, their cosy, cossetting ways fail me every time I try. In a cardigan, I am instantly Lorraine Kelly – hence the devotion to the alternative cover up in our Sleeves of the Week series.
In 2005 I was 17 and dressed like a much less successful version of Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink, mainly in lumpen vintage frocks from eBay. I was unpretty in plaid, unpretty in polka dots and unpretty in an awful lot of polyester. But by far the worst time was summer, when adolescent angst about my upper arms meant May-September were one long mission to keep myself concealed under anything slightly edgier than a cardigan. The best success was my 1950s bed jacket – quilted, pistachio-coloured with little puffed sleeves, I thought it was the last word in summer elegance and happily sweated my way round town, confident I had beaten the curse of the cardigan.
My friends, always quick to point out the incongruity of my wardrobe choices, referred to it as “the duvet”.
The verdict: Keep, if only for future occasions on which I might actually be bed-bound.
The woolen polo neck poncho, 2010
I went to Bristol for the weekend in May 2010, anticipating balmy spring weather, and it was very, very cold. So very cold that it induced me to buy an emergency black knitted polo-neck poncho from a charity shop – which I’m sure we can all appreciate is very cold indeed.
The verdict: My eyes! My eyes! Has the bonfire stopped smoking yet?