Harriet Walker: You can do a roaring trade in selling posh people the lives they feel they were cheated out of

 

Share
Related Topics

A while ago, a non-posh friend asked me why posh people love dressing up so much. Just to be clear, she was asking me this not because I have some Roman numerals after my name, but as a fellow non-posh person.

We decided that fancy dress is just an easy way to fill up all the time one must have when one isn't worrying about money or loading the dishwasher oneself. But I can further add to the debate now, having just spent a weekend at what can only be described as a big fancy-dress party for posh people. It was billed as a "festival", but those normally have acts and activities. The only thing to do at this festival (it was 1920s-themed) was sit on the lawn in your finery and drink.

I'm not against sitting and drinking, not at all. It's actually one of my favourite activities. But the drinks at this place were so extortionately priced, as the tickets had also been, that I had felt – to use a non-posh phrase – a bit mugged off. (I was at a posh person's hen do, before you start asking me why I went.)

I was struck by how posh people like not only to dress up, but to dress up as times gone by, when their ilk was in charge. The good old days. Like the 1920s, or like my posh friend's posh parents who go to parties at their sailing club with titles such as "Last Days of the Raj".

Posh people like to dress up because they are misty-eyed about when times were better. Unlike the rest of us, who are showering off the proverbial mud from when we dragged ourselves out of the primordial soup and into semi-detached houses.

I have never seen so much glammed-up hair or so many fawn-like hunger thighs as I did at this 1920s party. And I work in fashion. There were flappers and headdresses, RAF uniforms and cheroots. The boys were as costumed as the girls. And, in what was just about the only historically accurate part of the event, everybody was white.

Turns out you can do a roaring trade in selling posh people the lives they think they were cheated out of by things such as social mobility, the General Strike and the NHS. You can sell them, as the jokers who ran this "festival" did, bottles of wine clearly marked with a Tesco Finest label for £35. You can make them pay £80 for the relief of only hanging out with other people like themselves.

We were less easily bought.

To counter the fact that you weren't allowed to bring your own booze, the hens I was with had clubbed together to buy something called a "Wine Rack" from a dark recess of the internet.

A Wine Rack is like a Wonderbra, but where the padding would normally be, there are two empty bladders which can be filled with alcohol in order to sneak it into over-priced events. A tube then protrudes out of the wearer's skirt for all to partake from. I got the short straw and was the one who ended up wearing it. I'd like to say this was because I'm known among my friends as party central, but in actuality it was because they were all blessed with such enormous posh bosoms that I was the only one who fitted into it.

That was the other thing. I was struck by how easily the posh attendees assimilated the period garb: they were built for it, they had evolved specifically to be in that role of louche sunny-afternoon debonairs, reeling from opium over the croquet hoops. I, on the other hand, do not have a vintage body. Things from the past look bizarre on my frame. I am tall and boxy, with a torso that speaks of manual labour rather than generations passed on a chaise longue.

By then end of the day, I was satisfied with one thing: I spent an afternoon lolling on a lawn and pissing vodka out of a tube from my bra. I think that's more louche than if you laid all the posh people end to end and made them drawl "Erh nohw cerm ohn, mate." We middle-class types are at home anywhere, you see.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Today is a bigger Shabbes than usual in the Jewish world because it has been chosen to launch the Shabbos Project  

Shabbes exerts a pull on all Jews, and today is bigger than ever

Howard Jacobson
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker