This is supposedly the age of throwaway fashion, sweatshop-produced garments that which, in the affluent West, can be worn once or twice and then discarded. Even charity/thrift shops hesitate before accepting them onto their hangers, pricing them at a quid or two. So I got thinking about those garments which do not remotely fall into the throwaway category, our Old Faithfuls.
I once had a denim jacket. I was in my early 20s and won a £50 prize. I splurged on a good pair of jeans and that jacket. It fitted like a glove and it came to Jersey with me when I left home. I must have had it 10 years and would have it today, but I’d outgrown it and, almost as if it realised its likely fate, it went missing, never to reappear.
Then there is my gilet, Exhibit A below. It is a Nike, bought during my Dublin days c2008. Strangely the shop didn’t remove its security tag. It used to set off the odd alert around the town shops until I managed to prise it off. It is comfortable and suitable for most situations in non-extreme temperatures and is still going strong.
But my pièce de resistance is my long-sleeved running top, Exhibit B. You’ll see it was awarded 20 years ago next month on the occasion of the Jersey Spartan AC Half-Marathon in November 2001. It was the third of nine of these races that I organised. In those days these shirts were highly coveted, being of the long-sleeved variety and therefore most suitable for winter training. It is rare to see long-sleeved T-shirts these days, and they have been largely replaced by thermal base layers. I’m hanging on to it for nostalgia’s sake.
You’ll note the domain name http://www.jerseyspartan.com. In 2001 the internet was still in its infancy and accessible mainly by dial-up for most people. It was a couple of months previously that 9/11 started to accelerate the age of 24-hour rolling news that we now take for granted. That domain name is still in use 20 years on.
So, can anybody say that they own clothing that is more than 20 years old?