I often go window shopping and look at amazingly beautiful and amazingly expensive things which I cannot afford to buy and will never own. You could call it a masochistic exercise, a tantalisation of the senses, or you could just call it the exploratory excursions of a man who likes to know what beauty costs.
I often think to myself as I look at these exclusive, finely crafted and well-designed artefacts whether I have made the right decisions in life. If I had tried to be more enterprising and money-driven, I could have been wearing or owning these things. But the cost to my freedom would have been immense – I would not have the free time and the space for thinking that I have now (unless I had become a famous actor, or artist, or indeed, an author with the success of someone like J. K. Rowling). At such times, when I balance the possibilities against the chosen reality, I sometimes feel like a consumerist sell-out, something I would never want to be. But it is okay to be a consumerist in the imagination, because this hurts no one, exploits no one, doesn’t cost anything.
Today, I had these same thoughts while I looked at a particular bunch of items. The first item to catch my eye was in Selfridges. This is the White Leather Jacket by Acne Studios, which costs a staggering and unaffordable £1160. I’ve never seen any man wearing a white leather jacket, which is why it took my fancy so much. I immediately started thinking of colour combinations I would wear with it – the most stylish being blue jeans with a black t-shirt. Next, when I was in House of Fraser, I noticed a new shirt company which I had never heard of before. I saw ‘new’, but it is extremely well established, being founded in the nineteenth century. The company was New & Lingwood and the shirt that they had was the beautiful Hedingham Bird And Bug Print Shirt, which cost £85 (which, for a shirt, is out of my price range). I was attracted to the natural history motifs as I am interested in nature documentaries and natural history at an amateur level. While I was looking up the shirt online, I also noticed a splendid jacket by the same company, which was on sale, but yet still unaffordable: the Burgess Lightweight Leaf Green, which has been reduced from an awesome figure to £295. The colour is intoxicating and I must confess, it is my favourite at the moment. I do have a green jacket or blazer, but it doesn’t have that intense quality to the colour, being much darker green.
This esoteric and expensive collection of garments would hardly be to everyone’s taste. Although I do dress in a classic fashion, I also have whimsical tastes which reflect the flamboyant aspects of my personality. Some would say that my tastes are far too expensive. Yet, I, like everyone else, am proud of my fashion choices, even if they remain, for the most part, imaginary… If the reader has been struck by the peculiar quality of my fashion choices, please feel free to comment.
1. Acne Studios – White Leather Jacket £1160 (Selfridges)
2. New & Lingwood Hedingham Bird And Bug Print Shirt – £85 (House of Fraser)
3. Burgess Lightweight Leaf Green Jacket – New and Lingwood £295