What WAS I thinking?
It truly is a ridiculous, yet utterly wonderful, item of clothing. It’s so Shalimar, so Sister Sledge... A right little disco diva. And quelle surprise, it still has a sales tag hanging from it, proof that, insanely vain though I was at the moment of purchase, an inner sense (probably of cowardice) kicked in and prevented me from ever wearing it.
But the question is, why, some 20 years on, have I still got it? AND those strippy-strappy diamanté high-heels that were so hard to walk in, they are a trippy-trappy waiting to happen? Plus that green tweed suit that was a size-too-small bargain...
Why didn’t I charity shop them – and hoards more – long ago? Because I am the average woman, one who has at least six pieces of clothing in her wardrobe she has never worn. That’s 162 million items, nationwide.
Put ’em all together and we could dress half of America. In somewhat mismatched style by our sartorial standards, but I doubt they would care. I mean, have you EVER seen a well-dressed Yankee tourist? They think anything goes, so long as you accessorise with a Nikon Coolpix.
Add that to the stockpile of 15 ‘worn only once’ items British women also cling to and it adds up to £4.67 billion, more, one calculates, than the value of men’s entire wardrobes the world over.
See, blokes never buy things that don’t fit or flatter. They rarely buy anything at all. Their fashion philosophy is simply summed up: 1. How can anyone possibly need more than three pairs of shoes? 2. An anorak will take you anywhere in the world, even when the zip’s bust and 3. Once a jumper has gone to holes, it’s perfect for gardening in (women dig manure in wearing rose-hued fleeces and toning floral gloves).
Men DO hoard, but for a very different reason. Theirs is to wring out the very last shred of use and value. Ours is because we refuse to give up on the dream that lured us to buy things like that ridiculous spangly top (only rediscovered because girlfriend of Boy is having a charity clothes sale and needs stock).
I’m letting it go to a new and younger dreamer as, though I still refuse to accept it will never fit me again, I am 100 per cent sure I will never reopen Studio 54.