Diary of Lisa Taylor, reluctantly 42 (and a half)

Or.. 'f.ck me I'm forty.. two.. and a half', though can look 38 on a - not so deluded - good day. Or 'How to reconcile a well experienced mind trapped in a still - but for how long? – youthful body.' Don't have the 30somethings angst/problems, neither have the resigned (?) ageing baby-boomers in safe family territory outlook yet. Here's how I cope, one day all sexy women will get old... but never invisible. © Lisa Taylor 2005/6/7/8/9. Jeez.. so much for the 42 and-a-half delusion

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

6 February - Clothes

So, only the other day was I reading a story in The Standard on clothes that are destroyed when the end of the sales comes and they have not been found a home. Something along the lines of the Gap slashing them and binning them and someone from some cashmere brand saying he works hard to keep the brand exclusive and so demands that his stockist destroy stock rather than mark down too much and if stockists don't comply he won't sell to them again. And something about the fact that when we're tourists we don't want to get to parts of the world where poor people live and find them wearing designer labels so unsold merchandise cannot be sent off to the other side of the world. So far, so ... makes sense. And presume when it's not brands it's even easier to just rag the unsold stock (i personally think half of what primark sell is actually made of plastic so am sure can be recicled to become picnic paper plates etc).

Then am in the market where I stop often enough to buy wool jumpers from the guy who sells them at a fiver for 2. I often walk away with six or eight. Allegedly most are bought as gifts for the teenage daughers of my mates/relatives but when I get home and model for Toph he invariably says that looks good on me and I should keep it. Especially when it looks like something for a 13 year old. Clearly in his eyes my age spans decades. This time we chat as he clocks that I've picked the Ralph Lauren out of the Next bunch etc. FYI I don't pick for the label but the designs I like, whilst also assuming that if was sold in a RL shop, it may well also be a better quality yarn than the Dorothy Perkins selection. He tells me he sometimes has to pay £70 for the stall so am calculating how many jumpers he has to sell (he also sells cashmere at a fiver or tenner, and other stuff) plus I don't know his margins. He buys in bulk from somewhere where recently he's being squeezed out by Bulgarians or Romanians who buy in such large bulk to sell in own country in actual shops that he is missing on some good stock. Just then a woman picks a 'woolly' dress that is sold by him at £7 and in the rest of the market at £9/10, though am sure you can barter down to a fiver. I say I don't understand why the dress is so ubiquitous and he says it was once worn by Sienna Miller and the foreigners sort of like it and... it costs him 27p. Yep for dress sold for £7. That's what I call a margin suddenly. Ten of those and the stall is paid costing him £2.70. Not bad for standing here on a drizzle day.

He's sort of worried now he's made his life sound too easy so he adds that for one day at the market he has to do a lot of driving here and there to sort out merchandise and when it snowed last month he couldn't get to his supplier nor come do the market and suddenly was in penury and considering that old adage of 'I have to get a proper job'. He's also launched a lable of recycled kiddie clothes called 'usedtobe'. I really like it. Tell him he can apply that name to almost anything he'll recycle and how lucky to have bought the domain name.

But this puts paid to my future plan of selling back to him all that I've accumulated from his stall. My entire wool jumper/cardigan/tanktop/vest collection probably cost him a tenner if that...

I go off wandering and suddenly am pricing everything I see very differently. See those haibands with feathers or netting or plastic beads stuck on them and sold by the oriental stalls. They want £10/12 for one but they must be 50p. Or the guy with all the FrenchConnection cotton items? He sells them for £3 but perhaps also pays 30p for each. The gusy with the Clarins beauty products for £3/£6? Job lot entire stall stock for £200? max? Truly, try go tell that to the Luis Vuitton women... Handbag for £1500, made for a hundred if that... Mind boggles. If you start devaluing everything this way you would hardly shop... Result?



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