I spend quite a bit of time on eBay in order to snag beautiful clothes at affordable prices — er, cheap; very cheap — like this lovely (soft, heavy linen) skirt from East I got for 99p.
Apart from anything else the typos, misspellings and autocorrect phenomena on eBay are a source of mirth.
"Warn once," a woman proclaims ominously of her skirt. And "Pulled threadworm" says another. What? Oh, I see. Drawn threadwork.
A source of frustration recurring with tedious frequency is the unwillingness of many vendors to add the measurements of the garments they are selling. "Ankle length on me." Really? So what? "My friend is a size 16 and it fits her perfectly." Sigh.
I like natural fabrics (I do not warm to the word "faux") — linen, cotton and cashmere for the most part; and my socks are alpaca and my winter tights are merino. I look out for Anokhi, Toast, Nila Rubia, East (who sadly stopped trading last year), or handmade things in soft linen and Indian cotton.
I used to have mostly greys and blues, all quiet colours, but recently I coloured my life in, to therapise my soul when something bad happened, so now my things are rather rainbowesque.
I wear very little jewellery, only earrings, and most of those are pearls.
Though I do have these beauties made by the cunning hands of our in-house craftswomen, God bless them.
And these made of coral and carnelian.
When I sold some work a little while ago, I achieved a long cherished ambition and bought silk underwear from Patra, and shirts from Chandni Chowk. I've bought their things on eBay before, but I wanted to buy something new, because they are handmade in India using traditional hand-block techniques and vegetable dyes, and fairly traded. Expensive, then (and very, very beautiful). Glorious.
But I'm getting sidetracked, because what I wanted to say to you is — why do people want their clothes to be crisp?
I keep seeing these garments, mostly blouses and nightdresses, advertised as "crisp cotton". As if that were a virtue. What? Crisp? Who the heck wants their blouse or nightie to feel crisp?
It might be a feature of my autistic tendencies, but I absolutely have to wear the softest, lightest, most pliable attire on God's earth. First thing I do when I buy a new top is take the label out (with extreme care), otherwise I can feel it and that drives me wild.
Recently I saw a Flax shirt for sale on eBay — very low price (£4.00) because the woman selling it said she had worn and washed it so often it had gone all floppy. I bought it immediately. She was quite right, and hallelujah.
Imagine apologising because a shirt is no longer crisp! It does indeed take years to get them as lovely as this one is.
In case you were wondering, it's the colour in the photo of me wearing it, not the close-up.
But what about you? Do you go searching for crisp clothes? Aren't they uncomfortable? Or are you basically searching for fabric marshmallow, like me?