The allure of vintage shopping seems to have increased during the recession - after all, you can get a great piece for a fraction of new designer price tags. Then there's the appeal of owning a little piece of history. Hardened vintage shoppers often cite 'the story' - the fact that an item has had a whole other life before it fell into their manicured hands - as a reason for buying pre-owned items.
I recently stumbled across an Aladdin's cave of a vintage emporium in Warwick. Most of the shop is taken up with 'antique' nic-nacs - the kind of place David Dickinson would frequent at the weekends. But squashed in the back corner were a couple of clothes rails - which on closer inspection were filled with hidden gems - a DVF wrap dress could be yours for £40, or a YSL suit for £100. The only problem is when you fall in love with something that simply won't fit - you can't just grab an assistant to order in another one for you. I suppose that's another reason why vintage handbags are so great - it doesn't matter how much Ben & Jerry's you've knocked back.
Some girls have a shoe fetish, others collect bikinis - but my obsession has always been for handbags. The mock-croc bag pictured above was only £2.50, and I know I'm not going to walk down the street passing ten girls carrying the same one!
I can't help but wonder who owned it before - for all I know it could have been slung over the shoulder of a '40s screen siren.