For those of you who are just joining me, catch up with why I’m on this little tangent into fashion blogging here.
Up-to-date? Then let’s begin. 2013 was momentous for me – in triplicate. Firstly, I cooked an 8lb bun (not easy when you’re 5ft 2in…and a smidge) but being a bona fide masochist, that wasn’t challenge enough for me. As well as carting my truly enormous bump around for nine months, I did an MA in journalism – much to the amazement of all and sundry. And to complete the perfect triple, I deserted my reasonably paid job as a teacher in favour of motherhood (and, if I’m impossibly lucky, a little freelance writing).
The maternity pay has dwindled to nothing and it’s only now I look at the many outcasts in my closet that I realise just how much I took money for granted when I was working. Whistles and Hobbs were staple workwear and nothing was saved for best or put on a pedestal. All clothes were created equal. And it didn’t matter if I seldom wore a statement dress. I could afford to wear it once and store it for later…for posterity maybe.
Now that I’m no longer earning a daily crust, the way I think about clothes has changed. Everything has to come out and play. Dresses need to be versatile enough to wear and re-wear. I no longer get an invite to a wedding and immediately consider a shopping trip (well, not every time!) I still buy from my favourite shops – although more sparingly and usually in the sale but, these days, I’m much more likely to buy cheap and experiment with brands. Sadly (for me), I do find that fabrics or shapes tend to be less flattering on my figure – as with this ASOS skirt.
The paisley pattern has an almost vintage, tea-stained quality and the heavy jersey makes it feel more luxurous than it should for the price but the elasticated waistline is a dead giveaway. It just doesn’t forgive misdemeanours (of the biscuit variety). That one minor detail robs this skirt of its true status as a wardrobe wonder. You see, it just makes me feel fat. Let’s be absolutely clear: being slightly thicker around the waist than your average catwalk model is perfectly acceptable to me. Feeling it, on the other hand, simply is not!
I just about managed to salvage the skirt with a very old Warehouse top, and a belt stripped rather unapolegitcally from a Whistles dress I love. The slightly witchy Aldo shoes I got (rather fittingly) on a trip to see Wicked and they always make me click my heels with Dorothy-like tenacity. Those, and a bit of colour around the neckline, certainly help re-route my mind from my midriff but I wouldn’t say the ensemble was a total success. I like the way it looks but it still doesn’t make me feel like a supermodel. And, even if I will never actually be one, I absolutely demand that every stitch I wear makes me feel like one! Am I being unreasonable?