Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bad Customer Service Saved Me From Myself

I soooo nearly bought a pair of skinny jeans today.

'Hang on!' comes the chorus. 'But jo, you're short! You're not skinny! And you're 37! What the fuck were you thinking?'

I know. I know. I KNOW, all right? Last time I had a pair of skinny jeans, I was 13. My dad said I looked like Max Wall in them *then*. And I fear he was probably right.

But clothes shopping is so difficult. I thought I'd do some today as a) it's not Saturday, b) the sales are on and c) quite a lot of my clothes have recently developed holes in them.

Now, I've seen What Not to Wear. Trinny and Susannah would put me in a V-neck wraparound top over something floaty and/or bias cut, with heels, blusher and lip gloss. I'd look curvy and elegant, at least till I fell over.

What I Want to Wear is a bit different. What I Want to Wear is a big jumper (ideally featuring a hood and thumb-holes), skinny jeans and trainers. With eyeliner for special occasions.

What I Actually Wear is something between the two, mostly bought in sales or second-hand, occasionally quirky, very occasionally cool, but mostly, sadly, a little dull. And I really don't like to be dull.

Which is what had me grappling with the skinny jeans today. I've tried them on before, then laughed hollowly and made swiftly for the nearest exit. These ones were better... stiffer and less stretchy than most, making them more forgiving round the lower thigh, and giving a bit more room below the knee. They were the right length, so they crumpled appealingly round the ankle. Up top was still not a good look, but it never will be, and I yanked my top down and thought 'actually, with the right T-shirt on, I could look quite cute'.

So I went to buy them, and joined the one-deep queue. Ten minutes later I was still standing behind the same woman, who was buying everything on £1 sale in the whole shop (destined for a quick profit on Ebay, I suspect). There was no one behind me, so no one came to open another till, even though there were plenty of other staff around. I got that 'I might die here and no one would notice' feeling.

But I had plenty of time to think. I thought about the only good piece of shopping advice I have ever read, which was, I believe, uttered by Anna Wintour. She (or someone equally fashionistic) said "Even if it's in the sale, don't buy it unless it's perfect for you".

I looked at my skinny jeans, and I knew they weren't perfect for me. So I flung them on the counter and left the shop.

The only jeans I've ever had that *were* perfect for me were a pair of vintage men's 501s that I bought in Afflecks Palace in Manchester when I was 19. So now what do I do?


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy another pair of 501's. Though they may not fit as when you were 19, they are still the best look out there. A gal in Levi's always gets to me. And there's the mystery of the previous owner; wandering biker, rocker, poet. Perhaps an iron worker from Glasgow, your neighbor's gardener, your grade school teacher, the one you had a crush on...

6:08 am  

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