Followers of my wedding shenanigans may remember my previous post about wedding tackle – I smugly outlined the reasons why I was more clever than everyone else for choosing to outfit myself and my best men in waistcoats, shirt and pants – thereby avoiding the overpriced monkey suit that seems designed to acclimatise the groom to what lies ahead, i.e. discomfort and penury.
What I hadn’t bargained for was the complete lack of decent waistcoats available in the North West area. “French farmhouse rustic chic, eh?” remarked the suit hire shop assistant ruefully. “No-one’s really caught on to that round here. You’ll need to get out in the sticks, far from civilization, somewhere simpler, where folks spend their time outdoors, battling nature. Try Wigan.”
Marriage. Welcome in discomfort and penury!
The high street had nothing. The posher high street had nothing. The internet had worse than nothing. What was I going to do? I had two weeks to go. The purple tuxedo of my nightmares was beginning to look like a depressing reality.
As I tossed and turned in bed, I was visited by the coughing, spluttering ghost of my great great grandfather. “Get to Boundary Mill, lad,” he eventually wheezed out. “They’ll see you right.”
Boundary Mill, for the uninitiated, is where people without hobbies go when they retire. On the carpark at 9.55 on Sunday morning, I briefly enjoyed the novelty of being the youngest person around, as I jostled to the front of the crowd of elders clamouring for bargains.
The purple tuxedo of my nightmare now looked like a depressing reality.
Once inside, I felt the tears run, unbidden, down my cheeks, as the overwhelming relief rose up like a geyser. I’d stepped into fashion history. Childhood memories of cuddling my grandparents came flooding back, as I let my fingers trail across rack after rack of vintage designs, chunky knits, and tweed – good, thick, honest, Harris tweed. I’d hit the waistcoat motherlode. Now my problem was too much choice!
Tears running down my face, I let my fingers trail across rack after rack of vintage designs…
To cut a long story short, I got a way better outfit than I’d hoped for. I’d been mentally downsizing my expectations since I started my quest, but Boundary Mill restored my faith, with a twinkly eye and a Werther’s Original. Three men, outfitted in high quality, classic vintage formal wear for under £500. I’d highly recommend this place if you live anywhere near Bolton (maybe not for beachwear though). The staff made it their personal quest to help me not look like a dick, and we’re now sorted. Apart from the rings…