Thursday, 14 August 2014

Breaking Plaid - Or, The Plaid Suit.

I'm walking from one library to another across the city because buses be trippin' (/not frequent enough) when I spot a random charity shop on Aungier Street with a somewhat interesting window display. I don't know why exactly, but I'm drawn inside.

The moment my foot lands inside the door, the older women working there and browsing, stop and stare. The median age is probably sixty-five and a quick glance about the place leaves me less than hopeful but I've been hunting for some vintage, reasonably priced wine glasses for some time now so I bolster my courage. It's when I'm staring at religious books in a corner that I decide I've been polite enough and can leave without seeming rude.

And then, as I've almost reached the door, I have one of those moments. There have been just a handful of these moments in my life, where time slows and it feels a little like fate. You turn your head at just the right moment, glance down for some reason - small things. That's when you're eyes meet and it's a little like falling in love. It hits you like a solid thing. On a rack, just by the exit, is a red plaid suit by Avoca with the words "Made in Ireland" emblazoned across a label at the top. It's terribly old fashioned, something only an elderly woman would wear, but it calls out to me. The jacket, so long and well-lined, would actually make a rather cute coat and the skirt could be just the sort I've been looking for for some time now with a little alteration. The print reminds me of the coordinating outfits my mother dressed me in as a child where everything had the same print; down to a beret perched on the side of my head. It's the solid kind of tartan that can be elegant, casual or punk. Styling will make these pieces go far, a little imagination.

When I notice it's down to a tenner, I fumble in my trembling excitement to take the jacket off the hanger and see about the fit. It's perfect. As I shrug back out of it and gather my things to bring it to the counter, one of the women tells me, "There's a changing room in the back, luv, if you want to try the suit on first." She's giving me a curious look, as are several others. I probably look a little mad buying something that looks so old fashioned.

She puts it in a bag for me and we chat amiably about the crazy-changeable weather but she's giving me mucho side-eye. I beam my thanks at her and skip out the door.

Now that it hangs in my room and I've examined it closely, I notice a little more wear and tear but I like that it has character. I've tried the skirt on and it fits my waist with just a little space for comfort - as I like it - and has pockets which is always a bonus. With the hem pinned to the length I'd like it at, it hits a cool and elegant midi. The jacket over a band tee and skinnies with stompy boots or the skirt with a solid piece of knitwear and some extra height are a dream.

I do so love to be proven right.

Moment of madness or inspiration? Let me know.


  1. That's one of my favourite charity shops! I actually was eyeing that tartan two piece but sadly it was the wrong size, glad it went to a good home x

  2. That's gas! Yeah, it's not a perfect fit for me either but I love to play with over-sized stuff!