Saturday, 3 April 2010

Last-Year's fashion commandments

When I was typing up the Sinha Stanic piece I realised how many fashion commandments I had governing the choices of my wardrobe. There's lots of them and I don't think that's unusual. By the time you reach the end of your 20s, it's likely you've had your fair share of fashion mishaps and you've learnt the short-cuts that will hopefully ensure what you take into the changing room will at least look okay.

The funniest things about these rules is that they are never apparent to other people, probably because if you obey your own rules people don't tend to notice your big belly/ungainly toe/third nipple or whatever physical faults you've invented for yourself.

So, at the risk of sounding like my own worst enemy, here are my own fashion commandments:
  • All tops must have sleeves. I hate this rule the most as I long to run around in spaghetti tops. Annoyingly, although I am quite little, I've been dressed with a pair of bingo wings. If I try and exercise them, I quite quickly start to look like I've had far too much spinach. So sleeves are a must-have.
  • Or thick straps. It's the hottest day of the year. Or a festival. I have been known on such occasions to get my arms out. Straps on tops then must be thick enough to cover bra straps: I've tried those strapless bras and the four-breasted result certainly wasn't pretty. I hate the particularly British show of bra straps and vest tops that seems to come out iwth the sunshine. And I'm too big up top to make like a feminist and go without.
  • No polo-necks. Short neck + big boobs = hideous.
  • No to smock mockery. I look like I'm about to milk a cow. While serving a pint. While pregnant.
  • Elasticated waists are wasted on me. Though I'm lucky to have a comparatively small waist they bunch up and below and make me look like a sausage ready to pop.
  • Watch the flowers. Don't get me wrong on this one. I love florals. I'd happily dress like a flower bed everyday of the week. The thing is, I see this as my future. I plan to have a floral coach, floral wallpaper and floral carpets. I plan to wear nice floral knits. I'm saving this for my later years, so I'm trying to tread carefully for now.
  • Flip flops can flip off. I don't get the flip flops in the city thing. Your feet get really grubby and your toes get trodden on. At a may fair maybe, not on Mayfair.
  • Trousers are pulling my leg. This is more of a phobia as I perhaps have never found a really good pair (perhaps because I can never be bothered to try them on...boring! Leggings are a definite no-no which is strange as I adore tights. Maybe the memories of my 80s childhood are still too painful.
  • And finally polyester and other nasty artificial fabrics should be avoided at all costs. It's tough to stick to this when you enjoy your vintage shopping as I do. But, from cruel experience, the static and the sweat are not worth it. Go natural!
I sometimes wonder if I'm actually doing myself a disservice by sticking to these rules and whether it leads me into a fashion rut. After all, the shapes of clothes, and even fashionable body shapes, shift over time. Sometimes it pays to be experimental and brave, otherwise you turn into Trinny and Susannah. After years of avoiding horizontal stripes, last year finally I embraced my inner Breton and it lead to the look of the festival season... It certainly opened my eyes, ay captain.

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