Had a ferret in my wardrobe for something warm. Found a big cardigan. Shades of mauve in a boucle chunky knit; two white knitted bands around the upper arms. Thirty-two years on, it's seriously pilled and shabby. It no longer has the moral fibre to declare itself vintage. It's warm but sad, not the delicious creature I snuggled my face into in a Firenze market in late summer, 1985. Was a beautiful garment when purchased new. Now it's fit for the op shop bag. It's all a bit metaphoric.
Recently, in my endeavour to reuse/recycle, I wore an old pair of Nikes. They've aged well. They're a lovely shape made from interleaved strips of grey suede. They have a dance shoe sole with rubber tread under your heel and toes and a suede arch. When I bought them, at least ten years ago, from Rebel Sport in the Bourke Street Mall, the sales assistant read me a mandatory disclaimer. These shoes aren't designed for sport, or words to that effect. Didn't worry me. I had no intention of exercising in them, apart from cycling. These non-sports 'leisure' shoes must have looked good because my daughter used to borrow them. Also, they'd elicit compliments from some of my students and colleagues.and are as comfortable as your slippers.
You know why they've aged well? I've barely worn them.That dance style? Great in the studio, shit in the weather. Didn't want to spoil the suede by risking them out in the rain. Another thing, they slip off my bike pedals. Literal slippers. Not cool. I'd forgotten about that though, when I gave them another outing recently, feeling proud of my environmentally aware austerity. Remembered about the slippage as I was cycling downhill to the shops, gripping my knees to stop my feet shooting off their perches. As I walked along the street later, my feet kept skating out behind me in a flicking motion. Sensibly, I skidded to a stop then slid around the door into the sports shoe specialists.
Ah well, a new pair of running shoes is an appropriate alcohol-free reward. So I told myself as I browsed for an elusive bargain.
Having laced my right foot into a sleek new running shoe, the sales assistant picked up one of my old Nikes, examined it and pronounced it seriously old school; sounding impressed. 'Are you just going to give these to the op shop?' she asked. Was that a hint?
But old school? They're only ten. Suppose if you're under thirty that's a long time.
Meanwhile, I conceded another battle in the war on waste by buying another pair of sports shoes. For safety reasons, I wore them home. At my age you can't risk a fall on a damp footpath, sans tread on your trainers.
This is the sad thing though. I can part with neither my old cardy - back in the wardrobe - nor my 'vintage' Nikes - back on the shoe rack.