Saturday, 20 June 2009

Advice from the Stylist

Its 2:30 on Saturday and I’m feeling dirty on the inside. Last night was my work mate’s (Milnoids) 30th and today all I’ve managed to do so far is move from the bed to the couch. I’m sat watching Britain’s next top model, yet to shower, brush my hair and teeth and put some clothes other than sweat pants and hoodie on. My cat just bit me, I’m sure it’s because I smell like a Gregs meat pasty.

On Thursday I signed up for the Marie Claire How to get published seminar, and as I pressed “Confirm” for the tickets, realised I’d be THAT person. That person that turns up to a swanky evening on their own, positioning themselves strategically next to the door where the staff are walking through with the trays of food and booze because they have no one to talk too. *groan* I’ll post an entry about how it goes after the event.

Thursday evening the Stylist came round. The Stylist is my ultimate partner in crime from our mischievous youth. When she moved to the big smoke and became the stylist for a famous pop star, I knew I would miss her massively – but what I didn’t realise until she had gone, was how much I relied on her as inspiration for not looking like a frumpy 9 – 5er.

Now she is back, it’s highlighted more than ever that for the past 4 years I’ve only really bought clothes that do for home and work, and that expressing who I am through my sense of style is all but a distant memory!

I showed her the blog and she seemed enthusiastic about the project. She also, like me recognised the outcome may not be as cut and dry as: this is A) an improvement on my life or B) A pile of old drivel designed to sell products and make women feel inadequate.

I quizzed her about the 2 fashion issues that have been bothering me the most.

Firstly the expensive T shirt article. Marie Claire has advised I buy the best quality T within my budget; listing T shirts from all over the fashion planes costing anything from £45 – a none descript Gucci number for £115!

The idea of spending more the £20 on a T-shirt (or any fashion item for that matter) seems ludicrous to me. Spending nearly £100 on a t-shirt then – I just wouldn’t know where to start! After showing her the article she told me she rates the T-shirts from American Apparel highly by means of quality for the money. I could almost hear my wallet exhale in relief to this!

What is even better is that they are unisex, some clever rolling of the sleeves takes them form man shirt to lady shirt (According to the pictures on the website) and so Husband can wear this too. A multi tasking T shirt, I love it! Finally, it’s our second wedding anniversary on the 14th of July, which is none other than cotton. Bonus! I managed to croak out this morning in bed, that I would like nothing more for my anniversary pressie than a grey unisex American Apparel T- shirt. To which Husband kindly agreed. Job Done.

The second issue was the men’s socks and shoes thing. I keep thinking about this. I’m starting to wind myself up about it because the whole idea just terrifies me. Maybe more so than the colonic! In Marie Claire’ words “Do team your boots or shoes with men’s socks to create a modern look.” The model in the picture looks great, and maybe striding down the streets of New York or London, men’s socks bulging out of your footwear is a completely acceptable concept. However I have visions of stepping out of my door into the streets of Stockport only to be chastised by someone in a tracksuit tucked into Ugg boots for my blatant fashion faux par.

The Stylist suggested buying flesh coloured socks, then maybe no one would notice. She is a genius, I love her. But I haven’t decided if this is cheating or not.

In term time, the Stylist teaches at university, by a small twist of fate – she teaches Evil J’s friend who welded herself to my couch for 15 hours last Sunday. The Mad Head was snapped for a competition at graduate fashion week (she won) and the scarf she wore really caught my eye. It’s a union jack flag from River Island and would be perfect for both the nautical fashion story and the Girl about town socks and shoes nightmare.

Yesterday was pay day – woohoo! So I withdrew my monthly spends and hit the shops. This something I rarely do, and when I do, do it with a large amount of guilt. My fear of financial trouble is so strong that new clothes are low on the priorities, purchases are usually sporadic and impulsive or absolutely necessary. Resulting in a fairly dull wardrobe that doesn’t make me feel great when I’m walking out of the door.

I felt a bit liberated marching into town, specifically going to go and buy something. I did my usual however, of popping into a few other shops to make sure I was making the correct decision! I bought the scarf, and as I was wearing a blue striped vest and blazer, popped it on for the afternoon. The emotional association I have with clothes has long been confused and slightly negative. I would never in a million years thought of spending my hard earned cash on something as useless as a scarf in summer. But how can something be useless if it makes you feel a little more confident and you walk a bit taller. It sounds so fickle, but if you feel like you look drab, you walk around feeling drab? I’m starting to get something I have been missing here.

I also found a giant clutch in the sale in Warehouse, which is also part of the Girl About Town fashion story. Again – a giant clutch is something I would have never considered in a million years prior to starting this blog. But after using it last night for Milnoid’s 30th – found it the most useful thing ever. It manages to say “I’m making an effort with my bag people!” whilst hiding the fact you are carrying 2 decks of 20 cigs, a lighter, keys, a phone, by big purse, lippy, and if I really tried, I think I could have got Steve my guinea pig in there too. Practical fashion – this is something I have been missing out on. I associate practical with dowdy, and fashion with stupid and uncomfortable. The fact that the 2 can coexist is a revelation and can definitely sit in the epiphany box.