You can have nice things

Yesterday, I bought a bag. As soon as the seller (Penny Dreadful Vintage; she’s got lots of splendid bags on sale right now) tweeted about it and I’d seen it, I asked her to put it on hold, then bought it that evening. It’s 1930s, black, with lovely art deco stepped metal details on the clasp and handle attachments. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

Then I had the usual worries: should I spend that much at once, is impulse buying a good thing, couldn’t I make do with something else, what will Mr Robot say?.. Well, I’ve just been given another batch of freelance work, which is what pays for my bags and shoes and other fripperies. I’ve wanted a proper vintage bag for over a year (see my ‘Building a vintage wardrobe’ posts), so this isn’t an impulse buy, it’s simply leaping on the right bag as soon as I’ve seen it. Mr Robot is far too much of a gentleman to comment on how I spend the money I earn.

So it all comes down to ‘couldn’t I make do?’ And yes, I could. I already have a handbag. But it’s not remotely deco in style. Part of getting back into vintage clothes in the past couple of years has been accepting that I can have nice things too. (Do you ever feel you shouldn’t?) I always have the lingering feeling that these things should be left for younger, thinner, prettier people. And that’s stupid. The only things I should rule out buying are the ones that don’t fit or I can't afford. Getting into the mindset that all I can have is clothes that fade into the background, and that any old bag will be good enough because I'm not young and pretty is ridiculous. Every so often I get mad at myself for internalising mainstream society’s obsession with age and weight and physical appearance. And that makes me grouchy enough to pick up the plastic and say, “Madam, sell me your finest deco bag! For I am entitled to feel fabulous too!”

If there’s something you really want, and you can afford it (don’t go getting yourself into debt for that Faberge egg, y’hear?), have it. It’ll make you happy, and it will make your little bit of the world a more beautiful place. ‘Make do and mend’ is a crap vintage motto. Let’s hear it for ‘Brighten the corner where you are’.

You can have nice things.


  1. I'm all for treating yourself to lovely things.

    Sadly restraint when it comes to shopping is not something I have a problem with, it's the other way round if anything!

  2. I'm pretty broke so I do exercise restraint but I have no restraint if it's a real bargain! I agree you should treat yourself and I'm awful for not letting myself have nice things!

  3. like my jewellery collection, the pretty things make me happy! and i always believe that it better to invest in good,sound, quality pieces :)

  4. :) Thanks guys! I reckon this bag will be a real investment. I really make things last anyway - today I'm wearing a cardi knitted for me when I was doing my A-levels, and I'm 38 on Sunday! – so it's worth spending a bit more to get something I'll love for decades.

  5. I hope it has arrived by now and that you do love it (sorry for delayed response, only catching up with blogs after a months break!). I need to remember this myself more often - buy less, but focus on things you truly love and will cherish. x

  6. It is here, and it its beautiful! I need to put it away safely until the event.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts