Friday, 20 April 2012

Clothes Doth Maketh the Woman

So how was your Easter break?  Mine was a hectic two-week whirlwind of impromptu planning (my self-employed husband was working for most of the holidays and forced to snatch time off here and there), chocolate consumption and praying that Whitsun brings with it better weather and better getaway prospects. 

I sat around for much of the Easter break, variously at the park with friends (in between rain showers), playing Mario Kart on the Wii (during heavy downpours) or drinking litres of coffee at a local indoor play centre (when all hope of a sunny dry spell was gone).

This Easter, as the rain hammered down, I frequently sought solace in stolen moments enjoying stolen pieces of my son’s Easter Eggs and had time to reflect on the sameness of my day-to-day outfits.  Add to this general sense of dissatisfaction the fact that I was unable to get a much-needed appointment with my hairdresser to get my roots done and you have a woman on the edge.

Post Easter break, which, let’s face it if you didn’t manage to go away, was literally a wash out, my mind has been pre-occupied with updating my wardrobe.  I have become a “safe” dresser – a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl, but secretly have become obsessed with acquiring a pair of Aztec-patterned leggings, the perfect ankle boot and a really wearable day dress.  I have decided that once in possession of these items (and having had my roots done), I will feel more like me and revert to a fully functioning writer, be inspired to complete my book and be a happy and contented wife and mother once again.

Without straying into Samantha Brick territory, I used to be comfortable in my own skin and adept at selecting items of clothing I felt confident wearing, with a nod-to-but-not-dictated-by current fashion trends, all the time conveying my own sense of individuality.   I remain a size 8-10 and yet, those days seem to have slipped by the wayside.  Life gets in the way.  Age gets in the way.  And therein lies the key to all this.  Age.  Women over the age of 35 are expected to adhere to fashion rules.  We should not wear skirts above the knee or skinny jeans for example.

I have conducted some preliminary research into this attitude on Twitter.  Katy Pegg (sister of Simon) recently tweeted that she was thrilled with her new Aztec print leggings.  I seized the moment and confided that I’m not sure whether there’s an age limit for patterned leggings.  Katy replied that she is 32.  I’m 38.  Does that make a difference?

Given time, I could ramble on all day about my inner struggle with this issue.  However, it seems that all it took was a word from the original fashion darling herself, Twiggy.  Flicking through a magazine in a waiting room earlier this week, I read an interview with Twiggy in which she said that she was sick to the back teeth of being told what mature women should and shouldn’t wear and that she was jolly well going to please herself, trust her instincts and wear what the hell she likes!  Of course, I am paraphrasing wildly here, but you get the gist. 

The result of this pep read?  I went shopping and am now the proud owner of a bargain pair of ankle boots (reduced from £65.00 to £10.00), a fabulous and wearable day dress and, as my Twitter followers will testify, a pair of Aztec print leggings, which, combined with a long length grey fine knit, biker boots and fresh highlights, have inspired me to write this blog.  See?  It worked.

Now if I could just find the perfect outfit that says “Hot New Literary Talent” then my work is done.

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