On fashion

Bin bags and pillowcases are very 'now'

Some fashion, earlier. Apparently red bin bags and pillowcases are very 'now'

My name is Kat and I am not fashionable, trendy, chic or even particularly well-dressed.  There –  I’ve admitted it. Perhaps I am on the first step to healing.

At the best of times, I look like the girl who’s trying too hard at the school disco and has overdone it. At worst, I look like I’m just been airlifted in from a jumble sale.

As any woman does, I blame my mother. When taking me clothes shopping as a young’un, we shunned the delights of Etam and TopShop (“Too tarty, and their clothes are tatty”) for M&S, BHS, and the local church bazaar. When you grow up in the home counties, you do get a better quality of castoff…

Brand names were out (“I’m not paying ten pounds extra for a label!”) as were pointy shoes.  No bad thing, as I am “blessed” with square feet, to add to my woes.

I am also to blame, vowing to only wear black for at least 8 years, and (once I did move in to colour) going too far and ending up in tie-dye.  My favourite trousers as a student were red tie-died baggy pants, which came in handy when I had a nasty bike accident and cut my knee open (the first time around). After a quick wash, nobody could tell they’d been covered in blood.

My main problem, when it comes to fashion, is that I am a difficult shape. Think if Jessica Rabbit, then squish that image down vertically by about three feet and remove the bunny ears.  According to Gok Wan’s questionnaire I am an “hourglass honey“. According to everyone else, I am a stumpy shortarse with big boobs and a big bum, albeit with a good semblance of a waist in between.

Diversion – one of my favourite jokes goes thus: Why is it called a waist? ‘Cos you could fit an extra pair of boobs in there.

Even when I lost a lot of weight a few years ago, the basic floorplan was still the same. So I am a bit stumped when it comes to buying fashionable clothes from fashionable shops. They all seem to be made for women who are a good couple of feet taller than I am, who were designed on the day God lost his protractor.

For example, I have seen some lovely winter coats in the shops – I think they are called ‘cocoon coats’, with a bulging cut and a cosy neck. I tried one on, and looked exactly like a human Weeble. Whoever these clothes are made for, it is not me.

My friend Emily is always bemoaning my lack of fashion sense, to the point where she has pretended not to know me when we’ve been out together.  But I have tried! I take fashion tips from popular culture, and have been looking to the TV for inspiration.  Unfortunately, it seems that I am subconsciously channelling The Wombles rather than Gossip Girl.

Of course I have a few tricks that enable me to look at least vaguely presentable at important meetings, TV appearances and gigs. V-front dresses are a must for the boobily-enhanced lady. Although I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to realise I can wear vest tops underneath, to avoid taking people’s eyes out.

I have also weaned myself from wearing black all the time – now I have at least one or two days a week off. My big discovery here was the colour brown – it’s like black for women in their thirties!

But herein lies another of my problems. I have no idea how to put together an outfit. I often get to work to discover that I’m wearing brown trousers, with a brown top and brown sweater, resembling nothing so much as a humanoid poo.

I clearly need help.

12 responses to “On fashion

  1. Loved this post, very very witty. I myself solve the problem by just not wearing clothes. (Not really, well sort of, I can’t really explain, it’s all clear on my blog)


  2. Hahaha I’m not that mean to you!!
    An it’s only some of your clothes I complain about
    and and and I only pretend not to know you when you are zombie dancing
    AND my mother wears big homemade skirts with elasticated waists.
    Growing up is learning the move away from sacking 😉

  3. From now on, if you don’t know how to dress yourself you must follow these simple rules

    1) You’re not allowed to wear the same colour (or pattern) top and bottom. Unless you’re wearing a suit or twinset.

    2) If either the top or bottom is patterned the other must be plain. There are some exceptions but it sounds like you can’t cope with these yet 😉

    3) You can’t wear spots with stripes.

    4) You can’t have stripes on the top or bottom

    5) Make Emily take you shopping.

    • Thanks for the advice 🙂 I have definitely breached rules 1 and 2 on a regular basis. I have no idea…

      Emily tried to take me shopping once, it didn’t really work.
      Maybe in the new year, Em…

  4. I hate shopping!
    I will go Internet shopping with you tho if you like.
    D’s rules are good, spesh the not wearing the same colours top an bottom. I get cross with strangers in the street for wearing blue tops with dark blue jeans.
    Tho spots an strips are fine, long as they are both on the top. You have be bold with it tho
    mmmm clothes

  5. “the colour brown – it’s like black for women in their thirties!”

    hahahahahahahaha!! so true!

  6. Pingback: On being a lady « You do too much

  7. I know this is going to come as a shock but…I love thinking about clothes. I have at least four books that I can lend you, that delve a little deeper than the three/four shapes mindset. I also have a really cool book that tells you what you should have in your wardrobe (it’s basically a license to shop). Finally – if it’s about fashion, then I have that Hadley Freeman book, the one with sunglasses in the title.
    Again – don’t go by what I wear at work, it’s more a theoretical pursuit at the moment…

  8. Pingback: On wardrobe malfunctions, in which I unwittingly flash an unsuspecting Cheltenham Science Festival | You do too much

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