I am positively medieval when it comes to omens –- spotting one magpie ("for sorrow") turns me into a flinching, jerking peasant as I furiously tap my knuckles and break a loop made of my fingers to ward off bad luck, and I scoop lucky (filthy) pennies off the ground.
And of course this Dark Ages mentality extends to my wardrobe. I have a "lucky" handbag that I have taken along to every single job interview I’ve ever had [You were carrying this the first time I interviewed you for a job! - Rebecca ]. It’s actually a Paul Smith men’s wash bag, which I use as an oversized clutch and is an excellent icebreaker in interview situations.
I got it on completing my first internship on the fashion desk of a Sunday newspaper’s magazine -– the fashion editor very kindly let me choose a gift from a pile of swag and I immediately grabbed this bag. Once I started taking it to job interviews (and got the jobs), I then couldn’t risk not taking it –- if you see what I mean.
The same goes for a pair of pumps that I found in Absolute Vintage on Brick Lane -– they are navy and white leather with amazing zigzag detailing and I wore them to my first ever celebrity interview years ago. I was absolutely terrified but the subject of the interview, Rosamund Pike charmingly complimented me on the shoes, immediately setting me at my ease and I’ve worn them to movie junkets ever since. Okay, they crush my feet cruelly and I can barely stand, let alone walk in them, but none of that matters –- they make me feel confident in situations where I need that little extra boost.
Actually I can think of a few other pairs of shoes which I consider lucky, or that at least have sentimental associations –- a pungent pair of suede two-tone brogues from New Look (a big hit with ScarJo and Natalie P when I interviewed them for "The Other Boleyn Girl"), the bubblegum pink Miu Miu pumps I got married in and some electric blue satin stilettos (classy!) that I bought with my first ever pay cheque for a piece of journalism, to name but a few.
There’s also a "lucky" set of underwear (not in that way, ew) that always makes me feel like I’m wearing a superhero costume under my clothes. I cling sentimentally onto too-small dresses and T-shirts because they remind me of my teenage years, or a particular summer, or gig, or boy.
And don’t even get me started on the aran cardigan that my granny knitted me, or the Gucci handbag I have on permanent loan from my mum, or the Bottega Veneta I bought off eBay -– I have an obsession with these objects that is bordering on unhealthy.
You see, this is where I start to worry: Am I too attached to these pieces of clothing? What would I do if I lost them? Would the good luck I attribute to them vanish, too? I worry that it’s dangerous to be so emotionally dependent on inanimate objects, to invest them with so much significance -– whether it’s superstition or simply happy memories of a place, time or person.
Because God knows I’m not very good at looking after stuff, so it’s only a matter of time before one of these precious talismans gets left behind on the tube. I’ve got form for this -– I’ve lost two scarves that were handed down to me from my parents and that I loved so much that when I lost them I could barely breathe. The same goes for a very precious garment that mysteriously vanished after a party. I was hysterical about that one. It’s not healthy.
I need to break these attachments –- they’re only things and things disappear, whether you lose them, or they’re stolen, or the fabric simply perishes with age and use.
So am I alone in my creepy and materialistic attachment to my clothes? Do you have a pair of lucky pants you'd care to tell me about? A treasured heirloom that you'd be devastated to lose? Share with me!