I’m not going to be cliché and say oh I hate all my clothes. I don’t. But lately I’m struggling. I’m 38 and just at the stage where I reach for certain items (like short skirts) with a bit of a ‘hmm’. Which kind of saddens me. Mind you I’m only talking about my own gutless self here. The rest of you should just go ahead and wear whatever you want. Life would be so dull for me otherwise. I’m more of a fashion observer than a fashion do-er. Welcome to my wardrobe. Favourite colours: grey, black, cream… and if I’m feeling particularly daring… olive green or dark blue. I even have black sneakers.
So what can I wear? I feel like I’m in this weird middle zone where I need to make some decisions. When do I start to look officially a bit silly in skinny jeans and what comes afterwards? Trousers? They have articles in magazines with titles like: Look fantastic at any age! I always covertly read the section for my age group and it’s almost always horrible.
I went into a new clothes shop the other day, enticed by a couple of decent looking jackets in the window. But when I got in there I realised I had entered into a very elderly zone. The shop assistant called out “Hello! how are you?” and I scuttled out. I felt like apologising and saying “sorry I’m just not there yet…was just checking. See you next year probably!”.
I recently watched this documentary called ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’ which was about six brilliantly stylish women whose average age was about seventy. One of them had a sort of zany and colourful signature style which she said made it remarkably easy to get dressed in the morning because she simply chose a simple black dress, grabbed one of her crazy arty jackets to put over the top and then a fabulous big arty necklace to go over that. And red glasses. And clogs. It wasn’t an elegant look, in fact she described it as just stopping short of resembling a clown. But it wasn’t without style and she certainly didn’t fade into the fashion background in a cloud of grey hair and reading glasses. I find myself remembering her words and feeling really envious as I am trying to put together an outfit in the mornings. I bet she doesn’t stand in her room before work hissing at her sleepy husband, “Hey, does this look ok?!! Open your eyes!”
Being confident enough to say “Fuck it…I am wearing the red clogs and I don’t care what people think.” I want to wake up one day and be exactly like that. I’d like to be able to throw on a multi-coloured poncho and just look absolutely cute instead of absolutely stupid because of the uncomfortable look on my face.
My best friend and fashionista herself, Rosebud, says that if you wear things you actually really like and fit you well, then you will always look stylish. This is possibly my favourite fashion advice ever and I do try and follow it. But if I could go back and retrieve some of the things I have bought over the years that I have that I ‘really liked’ and have fit me ‘really well’ I can assure you there would be belly laughs. I’m remembering specifically a weird sort of safari jacket that Pip and Glenn refer to as the Bindi Irwin jacket. Also a pair of aqua green corduroys. And on one occasion some smurf blue stockings that I could have sworn were grey in the packet. No it wasn’t the seventies. And no they weren’t even vintage. You see now why I don’t wear colour? I can’t be trusted. Perhaps for now I’ll keep my skinny jeans. But I’ll stick with my rainbow of greys and blacks so that no one will really notice.
I’ve just realised that next I will write about my braces.