Sometimes fashion can be a brutal business. I refer not to persistent rumours dogging any designer at any given time which is, of course, enough to put even the best of them off their forthcoming collections. Nor even to a particularly harsh silhouette/skirt length that might steal the limelight on the catwalk but, in real life, is a challenge to say the very least.

Nope. This week, I was forced to spend a whopping £520 on a Rick Owens sweater so small and fine I could carry it in my purse. More aggravating still, I already owned one. Sad to relate, last month I tore it, getting dressed in a hurry. And we – my knitwear and I – are undone.

So, you might not unreasonably argue, why not just live without it? I can only say that I can't. I have worn it pretty much every day of my life: over vests, over T-shirts, under jackets. It has the perfect neckline, is the perfect length, and has the super-long, skinny sleeves that this designer is famous for. It feels – and this is of prime importance – lovely. And, however profligate it may seem, I want it in my life.

In fact, it is just this sort of understated garment that tends to be my downfall. I don't like statement dressing any more than I like cheap clothes, so a perfectly minimal pair of trousers, or the best ballerinas are more likely to make me flash plastic than a pair of thigh-high boots, say, or an over-embroidered gown.

My sweater arrives, packed in its own little calico pouch for safe-keeping, and I'm almost too fearful to touch it, let alone try it on. I take the plunge and immediately realise it's worth every penny. I felt naked without it, you see, and that will never do.

Susannah Frankel is Fashion Editor of 'The Independent'