I’m starting to dread opening my wardrobe doors. Every ferret in their depths brings me closer and closer to the possibility of coming up empty-handed…and leaving you all with white noise. Just between us, I don’t take failure all that well. A round of Scrabble can bring on a monumental sulk (but then, some people do cheat!)
Not that there aren’t oodles more lacklustre or forgotten items sandwiched together on my wardrobe rails, waiting hopefully. But every successful outfit is a journey towards the misshapen, the faded, the badly bobbling. I’m starting to seriously doubt I have another 18 days left in there…but – just as in Scrabble – I refuse to cheat.
So, I’ve turned to this Whistles dress. It’s not forgotten. It’s not lacklustre and it’s not unworn. I adore it…and, to prove it, I’ve worn it a full three times in two years: one theatre trip, one party, one wedding. Is that a bad average? 1.5 wears per year at around £50 a wear. Yes. That’s a very bad average. And that’s my justification for choosing it…I was determined to find a way to wear it casually.
This dress should be several (scarlet) shades of wrong. It’s red. It’s snake-print. It’s see-through. Sounds like a walk down a dark alley. But it works. And not only that, it’s the most demure dress I’ve ever worn. Who’d have thunk it?
I’ve paired it – after the usual round of ill-tempered deliberation – with a Topshop jumper I bought when I was pregnant. In sympathy with my enormous belly, the jumper very thoughtfully decided to grow right along with it. How kind. It grew. And it grew. It’s now so big it’s at a point where I could only conceivably wear it if I’d lost half my body weight and was having a picture taken for a weight-loss magazine to illustrate the sheer size of my loss. You’ve seen the kind. But, like so many of the other things I’ve tried in the last week, it had a pleasant surprise to offer with a very simple adjustment. A belt. And that was that.
Two little somethings blue for accessories, the tap shoes we’ve seen before and an unkempt French plait completed the look. Oh, and a vintage marcasite brooch (I have a collection of vintage brooches – yet another unplundered pot of goodies).
I learned to French plait from my Mum. She used to plait my hair a lot – so tightly I probably looked like I’d had botox…at 9! Whilst that skill might come in handy one day, for now, this one is a little less taught. Laziness – and ineptitude – mostly but also, has anyone else noticed how painful it is to do your own hair?!
I hope this doesn’t mean I have to start going to the gym; that’s the one endeavour in which I’m perfectly content to fail.