Written by Various Artists


QOTM: What’s the oldest item of clothing you own?

It’s Question Of The Month time. We’re a thrifty (read: skanky) lot at Standard Issue and that’s why we like to get a lot of wear from our clothes. But which of us has the oldest?

stripy jumperEmma Turnbull
The oldest piece of clothing in my wardrobe is a rainbow-striped jumper my nanna knitted for my cousin David in the 70s. He wore it to great punk effect and I was pretty excited when he passed it on to me aged 12.

I wore that jumper to death with leggings and DMs through the 80s, looking like Max Wall according to my mam and dad. I wore it with dreadlocks and ripped-up jeans at university in the 90s thinking I looked brilliantly ‘grunge’ but actually looking like I needed a good bath. Enter the 00s and the jumper accompanied me, unnecessarily, to many countries where it was never cold enough to put it on.

Through every move since, the jumper has survived the traditional pre move ‘hoy out’. When I wear it now I look less like the radical anarchist I always (ridiculously) thought I resembled and more like someone who knits their own hummus.

It’s still my favourite jumper though and I can’t see a time when it will ever get the old heave-ho. It’s outlasted boyfriends, jobs and multiple flats. No doubt it’ll outlast me as well, but I have high hopes that before then I can roll it out as a pensioner in a bid to brighten up the bingo.

Jane Hill
I have a 1960s Frank Usher cocktail dress that I bought in a jumble sale in 1981 for 5p. I have worn it to such great effect over the years that it has become known as ‘The Pulling Frock’. It doesn’t look much on the hanger but it’s brilliantly clingy on. Or at least, it was when I could fit into it…

Julie Balloo
I have an emerald green pure 80s dress bought to wear to my 21st in 1980 and I paid $80 AUS: super-expensive for me then and probably now. The label has worn so I don’t know who made it or where it is from. I still love it.

Lili La Scala
I bought this Musto coat when I was 17 but like a Happy Meal, it hasn’t aged.

(L-R) Jane's 'pulling frock', Julie's party dress and Lili's imperishable coat.

(L-R) Jane’s ‘pulling frock’, Julie’s party dress and Lili’s imperishable coat.

Kiri Pritchard-McLean
I have a pair of knickers (originally part of a set) from Ethel Austin from 1999. I still wear them and I’d love to say they still fit and do a cheeky wink but they only fit because the elastic is long gone.

They only get dusted off at certain times of the month, if you catch my drift.

Mickster Disney nightie squareMickey Noonan

I’ve still got a nightie I’ve had since I was nine, making it nearly 30 years old. It’s candy-striped with a massive Thumper from Bambi on the front. And it still fits.

My grandma bought it for me and it’s genuine M&S so was an expensive purchase for my family at the time, which meant my grandma really wanted me to have it. I loved it because of this – and still do.

In fairness, I’m occasionally a sentimental prick and also have a towel that really needs binning, but I can’t do it. For sentimental reasons. A towel for fuck’s sake. *aims imaginary gun at head* *pulls trigger*


Hannah Dolan
I still wear my school PE jumper. It must be about 20 years old. I used to feel quite the rebel when I wore it instead of the proper school wool jumper. Flicking the Vs to my private school? Not so much… The jumper is still just as warm and snuggly.

Felicity Ward
I have a press-stud cowboy shirt I bought secondhand when I was 17 (I’m 35 so the shirt is oooold). I’ve been in and out of cowgirl dress phases my whole life, but I’ve never let go of that ripper of a shirt.

Sally-Anne Hayward
I also have a nightdress which I have had since I was a kid. It is purple with a teddy bear on the front of it and it has the words “Purple makes nights bearable” written on it. I love it.

Alice Bennett
I have a 20-year-old red jumper from Etam that I still wear and a great T-shirt that I have had for 22 years that was retro when I bought it (“Mummy what’s a Sex Pistol?”).

Rachel's jeansRachel Fairburn
These jeans I’ve had for 14 years. They’re Sainsbury’s own make, the fit is ace and there’s only one small hole from knee rub. I wear them regularly. Ten pounds well spent! My family hate them and threaten to bin them on a regular basis.

Jessica Fostekew
I had my dad’s old white Fred Perry T-shirt which he’d had since he was a teenager. I don’t have it now because in my 20s I was showing it off to a boy I was trying to impress and he looked weird about it and shortly after ended our brief affair. Only later did I realise the T-shirt’s armpits had gone brown. Not yellow. Brown.

Ruth Bratt
I have a pair of dungaree shorts I’ve had since 1990 when I was 14.

Sooz's 90s 80s vestSooz Kempner

I have a white vest with “Made in the 80s” on the front in pink neon. I bought it in Topshop in 1999, when everyone who bought it would have been a teenager.

Daisy Leverington
I have a hoodie from 1996. It smells permanently of brazil nuts and has been refused by two charity shops. If I wear it and a bloke shouts, “Alright love?”, I know that he’s not being suggestive, he’s just genuinely concerned for my wellbeing.

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Written by Various Artists

Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.