"Hero pieces are, for me, hero pieces regardless of how you actually look"PIXABAY

I think it’s weird to ascribe a personality to Siri, but I don’t think it’s weird to ascribe a personality to the things in your wardrobe. A few of my items have names: The Cat Shoes, Old Faithful (a dress that is just an absolute stalwart). Some of my coats are referred to as ‘The Monc’, ‘Darwin’, and ‘Papa Puss’ as applicable, and my metallic leather skirt shall forever be called my Disco Skirt.

Some pieces in your wardrobe are just special and deserve appreciation and recognition. These might be items that make you feel great, look great, or that just serve their purpose perfectly. There is no way of knowing when you buy something that it won’t end up in this illustrious category – but you can often sense when something will. When I was little, my mother made me try on a polka dot dress that I didn’t particularly love. We bought it anyway, and it ended up being an absolute wardrobe staple. I cannot begin to tell you how much hot chocolate I spilt on it.

Sometimes if you have a really special experience when buying something, it will become a hero piece, or other memories will give it importance. My ripped jeans, which the aforementioned mother loathes more than bad cups of tea, have been worn to some very memorable things, including a seminal haircut, a delicious supper, and a really rather good gig with my father, who, by the way, has always been very tactful about them.

'Old Faithful' swooped in to save the day at Emma June EventJulia Davies

Another highly rewarding thing about hero pieces is the positive reinforcement you get when you think of buying something new, and then one of these pieces steps into the breach, saves the day, and does the job perfectly – better than any new thing ever could have done. Such as Old Faithful, being deployed for more active service when, at the last minute (literally) my Emma June Event outfit fell through, and I almost had to go naked, save for a black tie. Wearing that amazing dress, in the knowledge that I had had some incredible experiences in it, boosted how I felt about it immensely. Any pre-night nerves were very much soothed. Wearing an old piece in an emergency could have been like taking a replacement bus service, but instead it was like being upgraded to first class. Now that’s a hero piece.

There is also the dependability factor which renders a piece heroic, the case in point for this being my joggers, which it would be easy to overlook. They may not be particularly glamorous, but by George are they comfy. My incredible ankle wellies definitely qualify as hero pieces. There is nothing I wouldn’t wear them to – if it had rained this May Week, I know what I’d have been shod in.

The thing about hero pieces is that we do have to wear clothes. So it is quite a victory to find a piece of clothing that not only works but becomes a piece that you genuinely cherish and enjoy wearing. I get extremely cold, but actually want to wear my furry coats and silly amounts of ecru knitwear.

A lucky necklace is a staple accessory which helps to brighten up any outfitJulia Davies

To have pieces you know you can rely on time and time again to come out and bat for you is such a reassurance, especially in a world where dress codes are increasingly open to interpretation, which can leave you feeling somewhat uncomfortable if you seem to have misjudged a situation. To have items on you that make you feel right acts as a potent bolster against any bad vibes. My necklace, which I wear daily, is like a good luck charm. I spend silly amounts of time admiring it every day, and I’ve had it for years. The same goes for my watch.

Society today straddles an odd dichotomy of telling you on the one hand that you must look a certain way, but on the other that if you have low self-confidence you’re somehow insufficient or shallow, a jumble which helps no-one. Hero pieces are, for me, hero pieces regardless of how you actually look – they just possess some intrinsic quality that elevates them from something I have to something I enjoy having and look forward to using.

William Morris decreed “Nothing useless can be truly beautiful”. Hero pieces are useful, beautiful and essential: as Bill Cunningham said, “Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life”. And what better weapon to have in your arsenal than a bona fide hero?

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