This is one of my favourite rants.

It seems as soon as I discover some amazing thing that makes my life easier or actually works as a product instead of just smelling nice I discover they no longer make it, it’s impossible to find or I am mercilessly mocked for using it.

Thanks to some very good Twitter advice the other day I purchased the book “Let’s Bring Back” (now in my bookshop!) with some Amazon vouchers and I’ve just started dipping into it. It’s an excellent, and very interesting book. Mr Chick calls it a “bathroom book” but personally I’m dipping into in the middle of the afternoon when I get an energy dip, or just before bed! The book is American, so not all of the things are relevant to the UK, but it has inspired me to put together my own little list of things I don’t understand why people stopped using and we should definitely bring back.

Rain Hoods

I have one of these and I completely fail to understand why they ever went out of common use! Even the most compact umbrella can be a fairly bulky thing to fit into a small handbag, but my rainhat comes in a squishable compact plastic pouch and lives discreetly in the corner of my bag. In the case of unexpected rain fall I just whip it out and my hair is dry and I don’t look like a drowned rat on arrival at my destination. I then stow the damp hat in my pocket instead of having to find places to put dripping umbrellas and then leaving them behind.

You can buy a pretty red polka dot rain hat for the measley price of £1.50 at Notorious Kitsch.

Refillable Make Up Containers

I can only assume we can largely blame the massively consumerist 80s for the apparent final total death of this one, although they started to disappear far earlier.

You spend a fortune on a pressed powder, it might even have a mirror in the lid, then, when it’s finished, you THROW IT AWAY and spend another fortune on a replacement. I searched Boots Make Up department for the word refill and found just 11 products. Several from Estee Lauder, so bravo to them, and another couple of premium brands, but from the regular make up counters, nothing. Powder compacts are the most common refills available, but whatever happened to refillable lipsticks, or mascaras and eyeliners that came in a cake and were used with reusable applicators? I know formulas have moved on, but I feel so frustrated when I throw away yet another un-recyclable mascara tube.

You’d even decant your talc and bubble baths into prettier display containers, meaning the purchase packaging could be far less extravagant. Plus, of course, it means you get to choose your own style rather than being a walking advert for a cosmetics company every time you powder your nose.

Refills are more environmentally friendly and save you money. Why did we stop using them?

Besame still sell a refillable powder compact, as do some high end brands, but lipstick refills appear to be gone for good.

Travelling Trunks

I think you can still get these, but again, confined to the very high end of the market. They’re maybe not the most practical for lugging about on the train if you don’t have staff, but with a lighter weight material and the addition  of  a couple of wheels I think they’d be perfect for the kind of business or leisure traveller who drives from hotel to hotel, staying one or 2 nights.

It might still seem unwieldy, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen business men struggling across a car park, 4 loose shirts fluttering in the breeze, trousers slipping off coat hangers, trying to manhandle a laptop bag and wheely suitcase up a kerb, into a hotel and deal with check in. Imagine arriving, upending your trunk, opening it up and having everything hung, arranged and ready to use. No unpacking, no ironing screwed up shirts with terrible hotel irons, no forgetting all your socks and leaving them in the hotel drawer. Bliss.

If you are insanely loaded then Bernard Malle appear to still make one, but I can’t imagine it comes cheap!

Setting Lotion

Amami has shut up shop and most shop assistants look at you with confusion if you ask if they still stock it. Having spent a gazillion years trying to get my hair to hold a curl using mousse, gel, heated appliances, hairspray and any number of voodoo like rituals, I bought my first bottle of Amami about a week before they stopped selling it. Great.

I can now get setting lotion at Superdrug, and it’s available online at Sallys, but it’s far from widespread. It’s still the only thing that keeps a curl in my hair, though even that’s not infallible. It’s probably not great for your hair, but considering the amount of other stuff we all use that isn’t great for our hair that hardly seems to be an argument! Bring back stuff that actually works, that’s what I say.

Dressing Up

I’ve expressed strong feelings about this before, so I won’t go off on one again, but I was reminded of it while watching the Seven Year Itch on TV last week. That famous white dress Marilyn Monroe wears? She’s just come out of the CINEMA. I think you’d be viewed as over dressed if you wore it out to dinner these days, let alone to go and see a film.

It’s just such a shame, considering how expensive it is to go out to dinner or to the cinema wouldn’t it be nice if we could get dressed up for it and give it a sense of occasion, maybe it would make that expenditure seem a bit more worthwhile and the cinemas could stop complaining that DVDs and downloading are killing them off.

I could carry on ranting for a while, but I think 5 is enough for now, maybe I’ll return to this when the urge to rant strikes me again!

What would you bring back?