So I mega-treated myself to this beautilicious Guess handbag for my birthday. Yes, I admit that I am one of those sad older women who gets nearly as excited by handbags as the thought of hot young men. It was a birthday gift from the old man……but I bought it…….you know how it is. (We’ve been married a long time.)
I know that the fashionistas amongst you will smirk unkindly at my description of my Guess handbag as designer, but for me it felt like I’d won the lottery, having been fashion spending-deprived by the financial constraints of the tightus accuntus for far too long. I’ve also only recently reached the conclusion that accessories are the way forward in any future shopping exploits, as anything else looks so f*cking bollocks on my new delightfully (NOT) fuller menopausal figure. If handbags and shoes can rock Carrie Bradshaw’s boat, they’re good enough for me.
So I spotted this bag, all wanton-looking, perched on squeaky-clean glass shelving in the Guess shop, and I simply HAD to have it.
I got all hot and flustered because it was reduced by a massive fifty bucks, which bought it down into the old man’s ‘affordable’ range, (because he seems to think that we’re on the poverty line, unless we have to buy anything Apple of course). It was still a little more than I’d usually be comfortable parting with, but because it was a birthday gift he had allowed me, (as a treat, obviously), to trade up from KMart. Have I mentioned before, that the old man is an accountant?
And although it’s new, (and so not ‘officially’ old, obviously), my spontaneity in purchasing the aforementioned bag was primarily fuelled by my (not-thinking AT ALL) shopping high, and in my mind at the time, it had a stylishly quaint, vintage quality to it. And as I live permanently in every shade of black conceivable, from charcoal to jet, (because, albeit funereal, the magazines insist that it knocks off kilos), its stylish combination of black and latte coloured leather just seemed too good to be true.
(It had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the deliciously toned, young Italian salesman with the melting chocolate accent who couldn’t keep his eyes off the tween, while collectively calling us both ‘beeeeutiful girls’.)
The thing about buying a new piece of clothing or accessory, in the world of women, is that you know pretty quickly if it’s a hit or a miss.
That’s what real friends are for. You see they put it out there if it’s a good buy, (even if a small part of them dies a little), but they’ll remain as tight-lipped as a schoolteacher if you look like a fugger.
So as much as I’m loving my new handbag, working my vintage Hepburnesque strut with it casually thrown over my shoulder, there is the slight sinking feeling in my gut that maybe it’ s not so much ‘vintage’ as bordering ‘Nana’ in style.
If you read Cosmopolitan, you will know that there is a very fine line between the two style statements, (as well as how to give the perfect blow job).
Like huge Brigitte Jones/boy-cut undies, a look tantalisingly hot on young girls, they just look plain awful clinging to the love handles of a woman in her late forties, taking on the persona of an incontinence aid. It’s like letting your hair go prematurely grey – you can just about get away with it if you’re Kelly Osborne. Actually, you can’t.
I’m still making a stand against the aging process, although not in a Botox and fake breast kind of way, but I’m still a long way from trading alcohol for herbal tea. And I admit that I might have made a fashion error with my Guess handbag.
Because the more I look at it, discerningly, like they would on Fashion Police, the more I conjure up images of my own grandmother at Sunday afternoon High Tea, with a spookily similar handbag in which she carefully kept her handkerchief (for wiping our mouths at every opportunity), her Avon powder compact, peach lipstick and horn-rimmed reading glasses. And that image makes me shrivel with unparalleled fear.
This is exactly how it pans out, the aging process. It surreptitiously envelops you like a dark, dank fog in the night, and before you know it you’re trading social events for hot chocolate and separate bedrooms.
So I’ve begun to question my choices this week. I’ve archived the handbag for the time being, to give me time to think about how it is marketing me. And I’ve invested in some trendy little Chanel reading glasses, and re-introduced my prematurely retired breast tissue to some new-fangled, underwired, uplifting technology.
‘We will never surrender’.