Jun 24, 2011


Few would willfully throw their money out of the window just to do so. In spite of this, however, most of us still manage to do the equivalent of just that at least once and probably uncountable times in a lifetime: we buy something we never use and hardly, if ever, look at or otherwise appreciate. Sometimes shopping means willfully donning out dough on a piece of clothing that after having collected dust on the shelf for a symbolic period of time is then thrown in a charity shop bag or resold at a fraction of the original price.

Although shopping rules are helpful tools in the art of wardrobe building, trying to come up with hard and fast rules to avoid the specific problem of wrong purchases appears to be as futile as trying to teach a pig to sing. And as Robert Heinlein has sharply observed, it not only wastes your time; it also annoys the pig. Moreover, sometimes the most unlikely of items end up becoming wardrobe classics. Items you subconsciously doubted, yet bought anyway for inexplicable reasons. These purchases are sometimes planned, other times the result of sudden impulse.

Take, for example, this blazer from By Malene Birger:

When I happened upon it in my local charity shop in early spring, I didn't quite know what to make of it. Although it initially seemed a bit mumsy to me, I nevertheless picked it up attracted by the  naive character of the geometric print - it seems to have been drawn on in pencil by a child's hand. Luckily enough, my attire that day was far from conservative: I was wearing baggy blue jeans, a t-shirt and black boots, which when I tried on the blazer completely dispelled any hint of mumsiness. For mornings when the task of dressing is approached with as mild a disinterest as it had been for me that particular morning, it now dawned on me that this jacket was perfect. Thrown over anything casual or uninspired, the outfit suddenly appeared to gain a quirky edge. I thus decided to buy it, although I still couldn't shake the feeling that I might be the throwing the hard earned 125DKR I shelled out for it - quite a steep price for a charity shop item - out of the window.

As it turns out, I really had no need to worry. The jacket lives up to what it promises adding that happy touch of eccentricity that I adore so much to so many looks of mine - I seem to wear it at least once a week and sometimes many more times than that. The irony is of course that I would never in a million years have picked it up had it been hanging in a regular store with a full price tag.

All things considered, neither rule nor moral can be inferred from the tale thus told about a blazer. While the story might easily be construed as a textbook example of the rule "when in doubt, do," it might just as easily serve as the exception to the opposing rule "when in doubt, don't." Really, the only thing that might be concluded with absolute certainty is that what felt like the wrong thing to do in the moment ended up being the perfect move.

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