My teenage years were navigated through the aroma of CK1 and the wearability of conspicuous consumption. Hands up who remembers Calvin Klein jeans slung deliciously low on Marky Mark’s derrière? That’s the 90s’s right there. I especially remember purchasing a cream French Connection t-shirt complete with mint green lettering: what the FCUK was I thinking? Labels, that’s what.


After that baptism of strongly worded fashion fire for a short while I was hooked on all things logo: Miss Sixty, Stussy, Hooch. When I became a student the low rent label driven obsession was curbed due to lack of funds, but it didn’t stop me trying: I wore Buffalo boots with Miss Sixty t-shirts, I bought Gap trousers that looked like Maharishi (on a good day) and I picked up DKNY handbags in TK Maxx.


Then came employed life. A rush – actual money instead of sitting in the red doldrums of your bank account. I distinctly remember walking into the Diesel shop in Manchester one Tuesday (my day off from my Graduate Manager role at M&S) and spending £100 from my first pay packet on one pair of jeans. At that point in my life that was the single biggest expenditure I had ever made on one piece of clothing. I still have those Bootcut wonders 10 years on, but they now reside in my denim wardrobe as a pair of skinnies after a visit to the Denim Doctor. Such an impossibly good fit and wash, and too good to give away.

And then the piece de resistance: my Louis Vuitton bag. Let’s all sigh a collective sigh of relief – after the Buffalo boots the only way, thankfully, was up. Jobbing as a VM in London there was no need for a car, so word was sent back up north to sell my first car and gleeful was not the word when the cheque arrived. Ecstatic, euphoric – those words came close when I realised there was a little bit of profit from the sale. I dutifully paid off my student loan and then…I visited Louise Vuitton in Selfridges on Oxford Street nearly every day for two weeks to work out exactly which bag I wanted. The wrapping ceremony was enough to make me weep, a true gift in itself, and as I proudly marched down Oxford Street clutching my big brown bag I felt like my heart would burst with pride.


I know, I know, it’s only a bag. But that’s the thing: it’s not. Recently I helped a client sell off enough unworn and underused items in her wardrobe so she could afford to buy a Chanel handbag and when I got the email telling me she’d purchased it I experienced exactly the same feelings: such an all-encompassing, passionate pride in knowing you have earned what you have bought and that it will serve you so wonderfully well into the years to come – the purest form of label love.

By Stephanie Roper

The Wardrobe Angel



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