Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Grown-Up Clothing

Yesterday I wandered into Black Goat* without the slightest intent of purchasing anything - I went with my friend (who bought a gorgeous knit casmere poncho that she is NUTS about). Not sure if you're familiar with this Canadian brand... The Toronto shop opened last year but, till recently, I wasn't aware that hails from out West (Vancouver) and that there are 3 other stores - 2 in Van and 1 in Victoria. Here's the thing: While the Western Canadians have it all going on with the textiles and design (especially the chic technical/athletic all-weather garments), before now,  I really didn't think to pair "insanely delicate Mongolian cashmere" and "Vancouver" in the same sentence. I mean, cashmere is one of those things you don't want getting misted by regular rain showers and drizzle, right?

No mind, some nice BC lady is obviously very knowledgeable and very well-funded and now we have Black Goat to add to the Canadian fine knitwear scene, spearheaded by the stalwart, ├ža va de soi. It's a worthy competitor and, while the prices are in no way discount, Black Goat's quality and cost are entirely well-aligned.

So I had no plans as I walked into that pretty, nice-smelling store, but - to pass the time - I tried on a gorgeous wrap and, before I knew it, I was transfixed. It was love at first touch. I have never felt cashmere like this before. Take a moment to consider that because I feel all the cashmere in all the places where it can be found. I knit with it, I own it in scarves, sweaters, shawls, and the slimmest Ts. Sometimes, I seriously consider raising a cashmere goat and harvesting its fiber. I search for it on bolts at textile stores, to no effect.

People, I have never felt a piece of fabric that rivals this. It almost melted in my hand. It made me want to cry. Its pattern was utter perfection - colours cool and saturated simultaneously. No photo can do it justice, alas, but here's a shot of the print from the website:

Black Goat Printed Shawl in Orchids
It was at that moment that I realized that, if you love gardens, you should probably wear them, preferably close to the face, where deep and muted hues will no doubt conspire to make you look dewy and fresh.

But I walked away because what do I need of a mind-blowingly delicate cashmere shawl that's 200" x 65" on a freakin' ecru background? What am I, a lady of luxury? A fashion mag editor-in-chief?

Alas, the heady desire to feel and admire that fabric persisted. All evening I scoured the website. I did the tax math in my head. I imagined scenarios in which I might wear it in different ways, with different outfits (Breton stripes, other florals, pale solids). Eventually, I pulled out my ever-trusty, endgame excuse to justify every potential inexcusable purchase: I don't own a car! So really, I'm saving zillions of dollars a year!

And then I went back to the store today and bought the fucking thing because I didn't want to live without it - because I knew that outcome would only yield regret:


FYI, I'm 46. I don't do regret anymore.

*I urge you to check out all of the shawl colourways, if just to see the array of options. Everyone of them is fantastic in its own way.

15 comments:

  1. Stunning and it is completely understandable that you had to have it. You don't own a car and you are saving the planet tons and tons of greenhouse gases every year, plus insurance, plus gas etc etc. Enjoy.

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    1. Ha! You see, I'm saving the world by purchasing this shawl :-)

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  2. Oh, good for you! You'll be wearing this forever, and making the world a better place in it, absolutely! (so far I've resisted, but I walk by the windows with these scarves and other delectables all too often. . .

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    1. I cannot believe you haven't succumbed. It was like crack cocaine in there for me...

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  3. I have never regretted any of the expensive purchases I made, nor any out of season purchase either. Only the cheap, bargins. You will love that for a long time. Or you can give it to me.

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    1. You are so right! And I'll keep you in mind in case I find myself with too many cashmere shawls :-)

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  4. My god, that thing is lovely. I don't normally do patterns, but a huge exception is a watercolor floral print. I. Cannot. Resist. That. I'm in a climate like northern B.C.'s - I mean, they're just over the mountains...and a glacier - and folks don't wear much in the way of wool or angora because it would be constantly drizzled on & damp. We do, oddly, have a new alpaca goods store in town, but mainly for tourists who are taking the stuff back to their sunny climes.

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    1. And it doesn't even look good in the pics! Glad to hear that I'm not crazy about the weather / cashmere disconnect. Although, maybe we all need cashmere, if mainly for inside...

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  5. heh It really is pretty!! I love the mix of florals and stripes together, I'm sure you'll get plenty of wear out of it. :D

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    1. Florals and stripes = perfection!

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    2. You look like perfection in your instagram photo: striped top and this scarf. :D

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  6. It's beautiful. And I clicked through to the site and saw the lace cashmere leggings in gorgeous colors and now have a new wish-list item.

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    1. The site doesn't even do the product justice. Wait till you feel those leggings!

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  7. Honestly, I'm so glad you went back for this. In no particular order A) it's gorgeous B) last time I looked they didn't put pockets in shrouds C) your daughter is all but grown up so won't need a new bike every six months or whatever D) you've got a crap-tonne of awfulness going on with other stuff E) you're worth it F) did I mention it's gorgeous?

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    1. Evie: So glad to see you! And your reasoning is so excellent. :-) I am really glad I went back for it too...

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