Some time ago I read in Vogue that when you happen to be dragging your heels in shops at sale time and come across what seems like a great bargain, you should really ask yourself whether it is worth your trouble and your money, especially considering that sales happen towards the tail-end of a season. It isn't really so in England, where we are blessed with fabulous selection all year-round and when sales hit at the end of June, which is really the beginning of the English hybrid non-summer and at the end of December, when winter is only just settling in. But I'll tell you what Vogue was spot-on about in that article: the author said that if you see a dress stamped on by people, finally dropped in a heap under the rails and you still love it, that's the sale item to buy. As I was trailing Hoopers five minutes before my hair appointment this afternoon I couldn't quite believe what I saw. I saw this:
I know the pic does not do it justice but this is a Thomas Burberry skirt that I bought for the paltry sum of £ 195 last winter. I loved the thick fabric, the school-girl shape, the length, the fit, the everything. Then I took it home and left it to let off steam for a few days as I always do when I buy something new. Because a couple of American trips were fast approaching, in an inexplicably unusual fit of frugality I decided to take it back for a refund. I figured that the dollar exchange rate was going to be so abysmal come my two weeks in Chicago that I should have really spent my £ 195 there. I was right, the exchange rate was abysmal and I do have fond memories of trailing the rails at Neiman Marcus as ice was falling off the skyscrapers outside and I had not a care in the world. Still, I thought of that marvellous, thick skirt upon setting foot outside. It seemed that, at -25C, it would have worked oh-so-well under the down coat and on top of the long-johns on top of the tights.
I am telling you, there is no chance I was even thinking about it this afternoon, no more than I was expecting to come across Jovi shopping for dresses. I immediately recognised it poking out of a rail, the neat pleats calling my name as loudly as they did the first time my eyes met them. I had to fight with myself in order not to yell YEEEEEEEEEESSSS at the very top of my hysterical voice. I slowed my pace right down, even though I felt a run rushing up, a vortex throwing me in the skirt's seams as it hung there beautiful and composed, I swear slowly waving a pleat in my direction.
Dear reader, if this ain't destiny, I don't know what is. It was like meeting a longed-for-but-never-acquired boyfriend with the added bonus that he is now filthy rich and wants to marry me. It was down to £ 38 and in my precious size. And yes, Vogue was right; if you still love it months and months down the line when tons of hands have passed it... you were meant to be.