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Friday 19 February 2016

Man, I Feel Like a Lady!

Yes, I do like to paraphrase and today I do that in my title, courtesy of Shania Twain,
because there are indeed days when
man, I feel like a Lady!

Days when I get together with this little combo.
Clarks Snakeskin nubuck heels (AW15, discontinued), 40s vintage Corde bag (lonnnng discontinued!)
I wear these accessories and I become ladylike!
First, the shoes.  The heels - they look clunky.  I thought that I would walk clunkily in them.  I don't.  I walk like a lady.  And, as last weekend has proved, they are the perfect dancing shoe, as I felt NO PAIN when I danced for hours wearing these so comfortable shoes.  I can't say that I danced like a lady in them, but I did walk quite elegantly to and from the dancefloor ... I think.
But now, on to the little bag.  I bought it about 30 years ago, at a jumble sale and at a time when you could pick up interesting things from a by-gone age.
I bought it to use as an evening bag for black-tie events.  And so it was used, a few times a year.
My liking of this bag has remained constant over time. 
I like that it is beautifully made and corded in a simple geometric shape.  
I like it's size.  It's size was determined by what a 40s lady would have carried - maybe a small address book, a coin purse, a compact and lipstick, an embroidered perfumed hanky, a house key.
I like that it's size disciplines me to carry like a lady.
So, I like it's look.  I like it's size. 
But what I really like is it's click. 
When the clasp closes it makes a deep, solid, click sound. 
The click sound that ladies' bags used to make when I was a child. 
It is an elegant, grown-up sound.  The sound that invokes memories of times when I longed to be grown-up so that I too could carry a little handbag
filled with a few well-chosen pieces of lady-like ephemera.
Fast-forward from childhood to adulthood and the reality was that the handbags of my grown-up days were much larger than those of 40s ladies, because through the years they needed to carry so much more: make up bag and John Steinbeck novel, then spare nappies and babywipes, and later a huge hairbrush and jumbo can of hairspray, a Filofax and calculator.  So it pleases me greatly that now, in retirement, I (mostly) have no need for a big clunkingly capacious handbag as I travel lighter. 
And it pleases me even more that although my ball gowns may have not seen the light of day since The Great European Heatwave of 2007, I have now re-discovered this little handbag and use it frequently. 
It is my handbag of choice.  Its size fits my new life, my new life as a Lady.  A life where I don't need to transport anything more than an iphone, a debit card (if I remember!), a lipbalm, a tissue, house and car keys.
I am more of a Lady in this little bag's presence.  I am sprinkled with Lady-dust and Lady-magic happens when we are together.
So, my suggestion to you, dear reader, is to search out a vintage handbag.  Open, then close it.  Maybe several times.  Listen to its clunky click.  Then let me know if you were able to walk away from it.  Or if you walked away with it, feeling like A Lady.
A la perchoine.

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