The end of season sales are upon us and I have been occupying myself with online bargain hunting.
I am, of course, an expert when it comes to the sales.
Given the sadly limited budget within which I have to operate at all times (marry for money, kids; Browns won’t accept love as payment, no matter how much you have of it) my shopping motto is ‘never knowingly pay full price for anything.’
I’m signed up to all the brands I could only dream of buying if only I’d stuck with my 1989 boyfriend who went on to be a hedge fund manager.
When their clearance alerts drop into my inbox a thrill runs through me.
Where thrills once originated from that 1989 boyfriend, the thrills in Executive Youth come from Sloppy Joe.
You see, I bloody love knitwear.
In my Hush-UK basket right now I have the Aloha V Neck jumper, ‘a sporty-look lightweight knit with a warm Hawaiian greeting’ which ‘will take [me] from the beach to town and back again.’
Exactly what I need!
Admittedly the nearest beach is thirty miles away and the nearest town’s a mere twenty minute drive, but who’s counting?
Aloha from rural Dorset! The fact that the greeting is in Hawaiian simply underscores my credentials as a global villager, right?
It’s perfect. I must have it!
The thing is, I’m a sucker for costly, casual wear. Especially if it comes with cashmere content.
One of the outlets high up my browsing history is Mint Velvet. All metallic yarn and chic weekend styling, they had me at ‘relaxed glamour’.
I’m addicted to the descriptions of the goodies on offer. ‘Luxe weekend vibe’ has me sweaty palmed while ‘ultra cosy’ sends me weak at the knees.
That clever team in Marketing are working me good and proper.
My only problem? I’m actually not that good at relaxing. And I never seem to have any time in which to do it.
I so want to believe that a ‘luxe weekend’ is waiting for me.
I imagine myself in the lounge of a country house hotel – let’s say Babington House (hell, I can’t afford that either) – a fire crackling away in the grate while I plough through the papers and copious amounts of expensive red wine, occasionally reaching over to pat a luxe-weekend dog (generally Airedale terriers, Great Danes or whippets).
I’m trying so hard to look effortless with a touch of cashmere it’s practically killing me.
The scenario plays itself out: luxe weekend dog takes fright as the flames reflect off the foil stars on my fine knit jumper into his canine eyes and he knocks the red wine out of my hand. I am effortlessly drenched in good burgundy and spend the rest of the weekend marvelling at the absorbency of cashmere. I mean, who knew?
I blame the film ‘The Holiday’. My god, it’s a terrible movie, but oh, the knitwear! One hit of fine textured knit is all it takes. Once you’ve watched, you’re addicted.
Cameron Diaz styles out a whole shed load of relaxed glamour from an ivory, chunky cable-knit to a baby pink, angora cardi.
I sit on my sofa with a Babycham (‘The Holiday’ is my Christmas treat) wishing I could reach out and stroke her.
Obviously my husband does not understand the appeal of the film and will do anything to avoid being in the same room whilst Cameron and Kate Winslet angst about house sitting and relationships.
I care not a jot. The only other Christmas film we watch every year is ‘Die Hard’. Bruce Willis in a dirty singlet. Not my idea of relaxed glamour.
The universe did bestow upon us however a heroine we can both enjoy and whom we agree we’d both like to stroke.
Saga Noren, the fictional Swedish detective in the TV series ‘The Bridge’ proves that you can wear relaxed glamour and yet never be relaxed.
Saga looks great striding around Malmo in her leather trousers and fur trimmed hoods but she is always tense, always frowning.
That weekend luxe dog? She’d knock it out with a death stare.
I feel a sisterly solidarity.
Is it too late to retrain for the Swedish police? I really like the uniform.