One of the items I packed up in my little suitcase for my recent visit to the land of the long white cloud was a black cardigan. I think we all have one, they go with you to the movies cause you know its going to get a little chilly, they dress down a maxi dress, the look great with jeans and they are IMPOSSIBLE to find when you need a new one.

My perfect black cardigan

I was almost faced with this mammoth task (eek!) recently because while we were holidaying in lovely Taupo, on the North Island of NZ, I dropped mine walking to dinner!!! I was devastated, I ran back all the way (in high heels too) almost to the car but could not see my cardigan! Now before I go any further, I must explain to you that I have had this cardigan since I was about 14 or 15 years old (yes, it’s a little tighter round the arms and I can’t actually do it up over my bust anymore, but that’s beside the point!). My grandmother bought it for me from Kmart, yes Kmart – it probably cost around $19.99, bargain!

Why do I still have it? Because it is the perfect black cardigan – its warm enough when it needs to be, the sleeves are long enough, it sits just on the hip without making them look huge, and covered that bit of exposed back that you get when you sit down and your jeans ride down about 2 inches. It really is the perfect companion (no offence honey, you are too!). The other reason I still have it is because I just haven’t found one to replace it – they are too short, to baggy, too small, too big, too thin, have a pattern, have big ugly buttons etc etc.

For someone who works in the rag trade, many clothes have come and gone from my wardrobe, I say to my other half every time I do the washing and ironing ‘remind me that I don’t need ANY MORE clothes’ (and he just laughs). Clothes, on the most part, are fairly disposable to me, especially the ones you buy from Kmart for $19.99. Except this little cardigan….

So back to Taupo, losing my cardigan almost ruined my meal! I almost just wanted to go home and cry! “At least now you have a real excuse to go shopping” the other half noted, trying to be helpful. “But I won’t find another one like it” I whined! So as I sulked all the way back to the car, I just happened to glance to my left and there it was! Someone had taken pity on my cardigan lying on the ground and slung it over a chair – I ran, I mean RAN to it, you would have thought it was my long, lost sister!

Me wearing the cardi on Christmas Day, Auckland

Needless to say, she didn’t leave my side for the rest of the trip (besides a quick wash, you never know what was sitting on that park bench beforehand!). It was only when I almost lost her, did I realise how hard it would have been to replace her, but the thing that really struck me (and even more so with what has happened here in QLD recently) is that the amount of money she cost in the first place had nothing to do with the value that I had on her. I have given away, sold, swap and loan quite a few designer pieces which were nice, but meant nothing to me sentimentally but this $20 cardi was so special to me and I so glad I found it!

Do you have an item of clothing or jewellry that is special to you for one reason or other?