I have been obsessing about this Mango jacket since last week.
I spied it whilst killing time at Barcelona airport last Thursday and haven’t been able to get it off my mind. I scoured ASOS for it the second I got a 3G connection when I returned home so I could put it’s purchase down to a ‘one click’ impulse buy. But it wasn’t there. So, I found it on Mango’s online website and have walked around with the web page open on my iPhone ever since. I could buy it (I’m not made of money but, I the words of my friend Rebecca, I’m not poor) if I really wanted or needed it. And I probably will. (In spite of some rolled eyes and comments when it arrives home about the excessive number for clothes I already own!)
But really needing or wanting it are not what this story are about….
When I was 13 I used to bug my mum like crazy for clothes. Again, not poor, just reliant on her handouts! My teenage BFF and I had expensive taste too. But, I repeat, this isn’t about the money. Like most teenage girls, we spent out Saturdays trailing round the shops and (in the days before an ASOS app at our fingertips) flicked through endless magazines to sources our latest styles. I’m not sure there are quite the right words to describe these!
It was beginning to be about transformation.
And when the 1995 local sport centre’s Saturday Night Valentines Disco rolled around (not literally, the roller disco was held there on a Sunday) I knew exactly who I wanted to be.
Now, I have already stressed that this is not about money and so I hope the 13 year old me’s outfit of choice serves to highlight this; a Miss Selfridge aqua blue camisole nightie, costing approximately £5 in the sale, worn as a dress.
Now, based upon this description you may have a very clear image of the person I would be and, let’s face it, in retrospect, your impression is probably the accurate one. But, in my head, I was stylish. In my head I was unique. In my head I was sexy. In my head this outfit would make my night, change my life and, primarily, make Dax Brand fall head over heals in love with me.
I left the disco (collected promptly by my mum at 11pm) with heavy panda eyes slipping down my cheeks (the risk I chose to take experimenting with the smoky eye look as an emotionally unstable teen) and sobbing in to my BFFs lime green, chain belted mini dress (apologies to Amy as this dress may not have been worn on said night but serves the purpose of my story well and definitely existed!)
The spell was broken. The magic didn’t work. But that wasn’t the end.
Since then (and possibly even before. I recall the pain of longing for a pair of Clark’s magic steps.), I have believed a purchase could make my day, change my life, make me who I want to be. And, I could tell a handful or so tales where the outcome felt very different and like it had. But this is about the obsession.
What makes me feel that I need something to help me be someone else? What makes me believe I need to be someone else at all?
But, for now, back to that jacket….
Postscript – The 15 year old Dax did fall in love with the 15 year old me and we spent that summer blissfully happy!