This is a picture of my utterly faithful herringbone coat. It is hanging behind my bedroom door but when I finish writing this piece it will be going into a bag of garments for the clothes bank- and I feel a sense of betrayal to it, though I know it's just a coat.
I've enjoyed wearing most of the clothes in the bag (of course we all make the odd strange purchase, like the floral t shirt I could never quite bring myself to wear that I hope will have a better life with a new owner). But for the most part I think when you put a dress that's seen some good times out dancing or a skirt you wore to work a few too many times out to pasture you feel a touch wistful but you know it's time to say goodbye (do men get this too? Do you think about the t shirt you wore when you kissed a beautiful girl before you put it aside?).
The herringbone's time in truth came at least a year ago but it's ridiculously warm and so I found myself reaching for it in the depths of January, though I knew it was time for something new.
Poor herringbone has never really been beloved of my west London (in this case I mean west of about the Bethnal Green Road) friends and colleagues. Out East it's cool, tweed and pattern is favored and herringbone is I'm afraid so old and has seen so many gig floors, rubbed against so many tube doors and held so many newspapers under its arm that it looks vintage- not refurbed vintage, like I borrowed it from a great Aunt vintage.
Since I've moved west herringbone has had a cooler reception shall we say, and even in soho where anything goes my boss did remark that my coat was very long serving!
People used to save up for clothes and cherish them, lovingly polish shoes or admire a dress for weeks before saving enough to buy it. We don't have that relationship with what we wear anymore I don't think, as women- I think men do more actually and I'm not sure why but I like it, I don't care if I've seen a man in a shirt before if he looks good in it.
So it's time to say goodbye. Goodbye to the perfect sized pockets that hold an i phone and an Oyster card, goodbye warm tweed, goodbye lapels that held a poppy pin without the constant stabbing into my flesh that happens with my Mac, goodbye being able to just throw your coat under a bench at a bar or concert or frankly anywhere and knowing that it'd be there later, patiently waiting- not dirty because it showed no marks and always warm and cosy and comforting, even when the night wasn't.