Vintage shopping, I’ve come to discover, can be an extremely intimate and exciting experience. An adventure full of possibilities, you can never be sure what kinds of thread-bearing gems a single day of vintage shopping can render.
And while flipping through coat hangers of sometimes drab and worn-out clothing, you can suddenly find your enthusiasm for all things vintage – and the hunt of vintage shopping – reignited as you pull out something extraordinarily unique, reminding you of why you fell in love with vintage shopping to begin with. This happened to me yet again, and this time the extraordinarily unique something was so much so that it immediately brought a ridiculous smile to my face.
In complete honesty, this particular store in the Fulham neighbourhood outside of London was very obviously upscale. So in a vintage shop called “Circa Vintage,” I pulled out a number that dazzled me instantly, circa 1980: a multi-coloured tweed Haute Couture Chanel coat.
The price tag? Still unreachable by most, sadly including myself, at 2,500 pounds – that’s nearly $5,000 Canadian Dollars – but no doubt valuable for the era it represents in the revolution of the famous French fashion house.
Oh, Chanel, could you be mine someday? I’d love nothing more than my very own haute couture Chanel jacket, which I’d probably end up eating, sleeping, and vintage shopping in. Hearing Keira Knightly and Sarah Jessica Parker, some of my favourite actresses, both gush about how grateful they feel to own their own Chanel – despite their millions in the bank – I can only imagine how grateful I could possibly be.
Call me materialistic, but many of my goals do consist of not only obtaining certain designer threads, but being at a place in my life where I can. Can is the operative word: the ability to have something you love because you worked hard to get there. Though some may roll their eyes at this, I’ve always said I’ll know I’m a success when I buy my first pair of $700 shoes. And I’m not talking credit cards here.
But I do believe this is okay, because there is clearly a stronger link between the materialistic and the spiritual realms of life. If there weren’t, why would we have fashion to begin with?
So sometimes material objects like shoes and clothes are perfectly valid, acceptable goals. And if something means something to you, does it really matter what that something is, whether it’s the sunrise or an incredibly expensive jacket?
And when I think of the one material item in the world that could elevate me to my most down-to-earth, grateful, thankful, feeling blessed self?
Well, ironically it’s that exorbitantly priced Chanel jacket, even if I stumble upon it in an unsuspecting vintage shop.