Well, it’s the first real day of my month going through-the-wardrobe and I’m cheating already but I suppose a little bending of the rules is par-for-the-course with resolutions. (I swear that will be the only golfing metaphor I ever employ!) So, why have I broken the rules already? Because I bought these French Connection trousers in the sale yesterday (prior to making aforementioned resolution) and want to give them an outing. £62 for anyone who wants to know…not bad for a bit of woollen leg-cladding.
I’ve got a feeling these luvverly – straight-leg…peg-leg…tapered leg? – trousers are supposed to be cut at the ankle but not so on my 5ft 2in (and a smidge) frame. Turns out, I love them full length, slightly too-long anyway. The reason I’m so gleeful about them is I never…never…no, really, never…get to buy trousers that don’t need some sort of alteration. When I was younger I genuinely thought that leg-stretching should be available to people like me on the NHS! I’m wiser now. Anyway, I think in fashionista circles the blue leg matched with a black turn-up is called colour blocking…but I’ll leave all that fashion know-how to better blogs. I’m not qualified to spread fashion wisdom – I’m still in style stabilisers!
Having slightly abandoned the principles of my sartorial experiment, I needed to make amends by accessorising the rogue trews with old and unloved accoutrement. So, today’s post is about rediscovery. A quick trawl through the lost-property trough that is my dressing table unearthed an old cuff and a necklace that were like that tree in the forest…and the truth is, they didn’t exist because I wasn’t around to wear them.
The cuff was probably the last thing I ever bought from Topshop – and probably this purchase occurred a full decade ago. It was a time when I was doing cuffs in a big way. A time when I knew my style better than Messrs. Hobss, Whistles and Boden. Putting it on was like trying that version of me on for size…and I liked the old girl.
This necklace is a different story. It was a gift from ex-work colleagues – a gift that was perfectly suited to my style and showed how well they knew me. A little bit quirky, a little bit classic with its mix of coral and gold. It was so much appreciated and yet I’ve never worn it. Today I threw it on over my breton (breton again, oops…slowly, slowly, catchy monkey) jumper and it felt like a warm hug from old friends. Perfectly suited to New Year: should old acquaintances be forgot and all that.
But we’ve wandered from the beaten track. The point of my little sojourn into fashion blogging isn’t just to rediscover old trinkets. It’s about rediscovering the world outside my cosy little mumosphere. And rediscovering myself – not who I was before I had my daughter because I don’t want to go back but it’s time to emerge from my eight month odyssey of milk-sodden leggings to find who I am to become now; what kind of mother will I be? What kind of woman? Will motherhood define me or will I define it?
Making (minimal) effort with clothes is part of that rejuvination and reawakening into full consciousness. Being a mother is the best thing I am but it’s not all I am. Daughters, in particular, need to know that. My mother taught me exactly that. Yes, daughters also need to know we are not our clothes but this month, for me, clothes are a metaphor for returning to full service – and doing it with flair. If I can put myself together every morning, I can be the warrior mother my daughter deserves. That’s just how I feel.
The proof is in the pudding and here I am in all my (slightly pudding-shaped) glory. So, we have the FCUK bargain trousers, a Kin by John Lewis jumper and my old faithful Russell and Bromley brogues. The slightly tousled hair was a post-partum discovery (and a departure from my usual graceless bun). Generally my hair is poker straight but needs a good blow-dry to tame it. When you’re sleep-deprived and you can’t dry your hair for fear of waking a colicky baby (hours on end of crying punctuated by short bursts of sleep) you adapt fast. All I do is smother it in blow-dry cream whilst wet and leave it to dry, occasionally giving it a little twist on the ends as though I’m thinking deep thoughts. Which, of course, I’m not.
Let’s give the last word to Chanel. For the first time in over a year, my outfit came with a home manicure today. This flamme rose shade was also a rediscovery. I bought it nearly three years ago thinking it would make the perfect wedding accent but hated it. In three years, I’ve shrivelled up and dried out (just a little bit) yet this little vile of polish was fine. And, it seems, it has improved with age. Typical.
Now, back to the wardrobe for tomorrow’s challenge. No cheating allowed this time.