In one of the imaginary lives I entertain when my real life isn't exactly going to plan, I am a girl who wears lovely vintage frocks and works in a shop; maybe like the protagonist in Maggie Alderson's novel Shall We Dance?
Strolling through the Woolloongabba Antique Centre with a girlfriend recently, my fantasy self lost herself amongst the vintage furniture and frocks. I spotted two gorgeous confections in one of the stores that would suit imaginary me to a tee. They were an absolute steal at about $30 apiece, and my size, too, but I knew I couldn't buy them. So I took a picture instead.
The moment would pass, my desire to have something cute and new would dissipate and, in hindsight, I'd be grateful I didn't give in. Why? I have bought vintage dresses in the past, as far afield as London and close to home as The Village Markets, and they have mostly languished in my wardrobe feeling very unloved.
I like the idea of vintage – just as I love the idea of working in a shop, and admire girls and women who can look eclectic and ethereal all at once. But I know they require a degree of fussiness that I can't be bothered with.
To do vintage very well, to my mind at least, you also need to be really well groomed or risk looking like Little Orphan Annie. My hair is crazy-curly most days. My nails are filed right back. Sometimes I forget to shave my legs. I very rarely wear lipstick.
Perhaps one day I will wind up walking the cobblestoned streets of Paris or Rome and think, "I wish I had those pretty little dresses with me now", because fashion can be playful and fun and when in Rome...
But I can rest assured for now that they will wind up in the hands of some lovely person who will sew their buttons back on if they come loose; not a girl wanting to entertain a fleeting fancy.
Girl With a Satchel