The joy of buying a dress to keep isn’t satisfied by renting, which can be just as compulsive
My relationship with fashion is that of a long-term couple who frequently argue at a pitch that worries the neighbours. It contains passion, guilt, sorrow and frequent spot-cleaning.
I still enjoy the vinegar perfume of glossy magazines and even (as I peer at the price of a coat or boot) the familiar internal screech. I still enjoy a leisurely stroll around the shops, gently fingering a silky sleeve, noting the newer skirt length or ugly shoe index. At its best, getting dressed is an existential pleasure akin to the jolt upon meeting a stranger’s eye across a crowded room; at its worst, like lowering oneself into a cold bath of beans without a single name on your sponsor sheet. I love my clothes, each thing embedded with the sweat of memory, each old dress a welcome surprise.