When I was a teenager my Mum was an agent for Kays Catalogue. There was no greater excitement than the arrival of the Autumn/Winter catalogue. Of course there was Christmas stuff to look at, but what I really loved was the fashion.
I adored the paisley-patterned jewel-coloured dresses over thick wool tights and tan leather boots. I loved the swirling long tweed skirts, teal blouses with long bows floating down from the neck and layered knits over the top. I coveted the jumper dresses and lace-up ankle boots. I wanted it all.
I used to sit at the table with the new catalogue in front of me and dive in. I tore up multi-coloured tissues to use as page markers. The next stage would be whittling down my choices, bearing in mind my dream capsule wardrobe and always including new snuggly pyjamas.
Next I would painstakingly write out my order on a piece of paper. using these headings:
Price per Week
Finally I would add up the price per week column and hope that it came in under my weekly clothes allowance of £5 - a huge amount in the 1980's.
When the order arrived I would run up to Mum and Dad's bedroom (it had the best mirror) and try everything on. I was always careful to keep the packaging together for each item and fold it up neatly if it didn't fit. If I liked an outfit I would go downstairs and show my Mum, asking for her approval.
I was excited to hear that K&Co is the new online place to find the old Kays catalogue. Shopping online isn't quite the same a leafing through a doorstop sized catalogue, but's it's certainly greener. I've just had a mooch around and instead of marking pages with multi-coloured strips of tissue, I've added items to my basket.
What do you think of this?
Sadly it doesn't come in my size, but it's available from £2.85 per week!
This, however, does come in my size...