Joan Burrows, 62, who lives in Penwortham, near Preston, is the retired former chief officer of Preston Council for Voluntary Services. Joan, who has a daughter and three grandchildren, is also a Penwortham town councillor and school governor. She shares the stories behind a couple of her wardrobe items with us.
MY BIGGEST BARGAIN
“One of my favourite bargains is this pair of shoes which I have had for about 18 months.
“I was browsing through one of the magazines you get with the Sunday papers when I spotted a pair of shoes and I thought: ‘They’re nice.’
“The article showed actress Amy Adams wearing the shoes which were by Casadei to the premiere of the film Man Of Steel and apparently they cost in the region of £800 to £900 and there was a waiting list for them.
“This magazine article then went on to say that Clarks sold a scarily similar pair for £69.99.
“As I loved the look of these shoes so much, I cut out the magazine article and went into the local Clark’s store and asked if they had them in.
“The manager told me that they didn’t have them but she went on her computer system and told me that although that particular store hadn’t been sent any, she could order me some in.
“When I went in to collect the shoes, the manager told me that she had also bought a pair since I told them about them and so had one of the other shop girls and they had started stocking them in store.
“I absolutely love these shoes. They look nice and get admired a lot and have quite a high heel.
“But they are also really comfy so I love wearing them.
“Compared to the £800 or £900 the designer version would have cost me, they were a real bargain!”
MY ULTIMATE SPLURGE
“I am a bit of a bag freak and have got several Bridge bags and I also like Burberry bags.
“I got it into my head that I fancied a Louis Vuitton so I went into the Louis Vuitton shop in Manchester and after looking at the bags, I decided the Alma style was the one for me.
“I didn’t buy the bag on that first shopping trip.
“In fact, it was the third time I went into the shop that I actually bought it.
“The bag cost me £750 and when I bought it, the leather was a pinkish colour and it turns to tan as it weathers - that’s one of the ways you can tell if it is genuine or not.
“However, despite splurging such a large amount of this bag, I only use it from time to time and have certainly not had my £750 worth out of it.
I think it is because as I have matured, I don’t really like ‘in your face’ bags as much as I used to and the Louis Vuitton print is very distinctive.
“If I was buying it again, I could not justify spending £750 on a bag for just occasional use.
“However, it is a lovely bag.”