My most favourite fashion item is not gorgeous or unique. It simply became my favourite through others.
My favourite item is not particularly stylish, in fact in recent years it has become disgusting and almost dilapidated, but it’s turned into a kind of comfort blanket.
I bought the coat second-hand from Depop in November 2021. It’s a black corduroy jacket lined with faux sheep fur; £20, retail price listed at £65. The brand – Monki. Perhaps two sizes too big.
I’m not sure why I bought it… I have a weakness for coats (I currently own two trench coats of the same colour and style, except one with a lining, for winter, and one without, for spring). Perhaps, I bought it because it reminded me of some film, some character I loved, maybe I bought it when things were bad.
Maybe, then again, it was simply a practical warm jacket for school – black like the dress code insisted.
It smells like dog and perfume, Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden to be exact. The type I wore two years ago, and the scent still lingers.
I lent it to my friends who, most often, did not bring a coat to school. It was both offered and requested. There was a sweet feeling of handing it over and seeing them sink into the folds of corduroy and sheepskin – content and warm.
I look at and I’m reminded of late-night wanderings around the house when I couldn’t sleep but couldn’t revise any longer.
I see my friend tucked away in the corner of philosophy class, her eyes just visible over the collar, blue ink on her fingers- asking “What page are we on?”
I slip it on and still feel the wet days of coming into school partially soaked (it is, of course, not practical for rain) but warm.
All three of my dogs adore the jacket. Despite all the beds we have bought them, all the cushions and old throws we have crafted into a cost nest; at the sight of my coat on the floor, sofa or bed they pounce on it and lay down, ignorant of my “no’s” and gently trying to tug it away.
It brings back both good memories and colder times, times when I fell asleep in my clothes after work, coming straight upstairs and toppling onto the bed. It is always near, always there to pull over me – not a blanket but a jacket, a jacket scented of friendships I miss, heavy with burned-out hours, warm requests to wear it and even more warmer requests to lend it.
It will fall apart before I rid of it, and even then – those shreds of less black, more grey and less white, more grey scraps will still be near and dear to me.
Clothing is intimate in that way, in many ways really. It’s like those scenes in romance movies or novels, where one person gives the other their coat or jumper. It’s portrayed as something special, something dear.