I am a total scruffbag when I am not at work. With a grubby little dog to walk down muddy lanes, chickens to put to bed and mossy logs and ash to ferry about for the logburner, there is just no point in wearing anything nice around the house. When I lived in a city, I was always relatively well dressed, in case someone ‘knocked on the door’. Well, living so rurally means that a) we are too far away for anyone to just ‘pop round’ or b) everyone else is just as scruffy so it doesn’t matter. In fact, my good friend and neighbour frequently walks around in her PJ bottoms and a jumper covered in dog hair. Because of this, I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes.
But in December, I broke, desperate for a taste of ‘normal life’ and went on a bit of a ‘spree’, buying various items, one being this jumper from Mango. It cost me £9.99, and as I only wear it to work, I haven’t washed it yet (should mention I do layer up, so it doesn’t smell, ok!). I put it on this morning and gasped – it is covered in bobbles, is stretched out of shape where it had half fallen off its hanger and the sleeves are all misshapen and baggy when you wear it. I looked at the label – 78% Viscose, 28% Polyamide. I know you can de-bobble with one of those gadgets, or with a razor, but in my experience this doesn’t last long. I recon I can get a few more wears out if it before it will be consigned to the ‘gardening clothes’ drawer – but what a waste! Ten or so wears and it is redundant – price per wear almost £1.00.
Compare this with…..my lovely GAP jumper. It cost £50 back in 2006, when I had money to burn.
I LOVE it. The word comfort blanket doesn’t even get close. It is 100% wool. I recon I have worn this at least once a week for seven years. Price per wear = who knows but it must be in the low pence – and it’s got years left in it. You can tip a cup of tea over its brightly coloured stripes and it doesn’t show. You can cook a smelly roast dinner in it, hang it by a window and the smell disappears. I have never de-bobbled it and have washed it several times. Over the years, like a trusty guardian angel, it has seen me through:
visiting grans who are now 90 (sorry gran);
cuddling babies who are now all grown up;
dirty jobs like bottle feeding lambs;
And many, many more things.
I know that you are thinking about Time Team, but I don't care!
|Look, I have heard them all, OK?|
So – lesson learned. From now on I am buying quality, not quantity. It is hard when you are skint and seemingly unable to save money, but I am going to try. Five months of buying the crappy Mango jumper would have bought me another GAP lifelong companion. Even better to buy them from charity shops, where you can find bargains my other lovely, stripy, GAP jumper, which was £8. See a theme emerging here?