Some magic works. Let nobody tell you otherwise. By way of evidence, this piece of vintage Retro Futurism, courtesy of Jil Sander, which appeared by magic in my local thrift shop. Strong in the shoulders, slim through the middle, seriously flattering on the middle aged spread. I walked in and made a beeline for it before I had even noticed it was there.

Best guess, late 80s, early 90s. I feel like Rachel from Blade Runner meeting Morticia Addams while throwing some Diana Vreeland shapes. I cannot bring myself to take out the shoulder pads. Look at those perfectly rendered pockets.

Is this the Law of Attraction in action? Could I have earned a dividend for investing so heavily in +J? Perhaps the Universe noticed me accumulating loyalty points, and invited me to cash in on a piece of the real thing.

I am steering my way out of the Doldrums. I miss the passion but the reflex is still strong. I had more or less given up shopping with any intention, other than to size up on a few basics to account for weight gain. Still, the best things in my wardrobe are often the ones that turn up quite randomly, and in spite of everything, this has been a very good year for it.

Exhibits B and C. A pair of wide legged pants in black linen by Margaret Howell (not shown) from a clothing exchange in York, and an oversized navy peacoat in Harris Tweed from a sale rail on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. This latter was a HEWI for a custom tailoring project, which I had been wanting to try for a while. A work in progress, of which more later. The fabric is a delight.

I have no idea how this works. I very much doubt it would work at all had I not developed a very focused shopping strategy to begin with. It helps with finding the treasure amid mountains of dross, and once found, knowing when to pull the trigger and when to walk away.

Possibly the best examples ever are the two pairs of George Cox creepers, which turned up unworn in another of our vintage emporia. I bought both pairs, even though they were a size larger than I was wearing at the time. But these are solid shoes, and once broken in, with boot socks they wear very well. I have long since worn through a smaller pair, while the larger ones are still going strong.

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