There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!
Sorry, Mr Wordsworth, but it’s still raining, it’s still chilly, we’re back in our winter coats and, to add insult to injury, March has five weekends. We. Are. Skint.
But what if I told you it’s possible to "update your look for spring" without spending a single penny or freezing your bum off? To be clear, I’m not suggesting you take up shoplifting. Take the other day, when I decided I hated my black jeans so much I chopped the bottom off the hems with the kitchen scissors. Three inches shorter, not only had I satisfied the urge to "destroy something" (PMT), I’d made my very own version of the New Cropped Raw-Hem Wotsit Jean Of The Season (or whatever they’re calling them now) – for free. They look better once you chuck them in the washing machine for an hour; it frays the hems and they look less homemade.
Most of us own a belt or five, so here’s another "trick" to try at home. Take two of said belts – brown can be mixed with black – and belt the crap out of your outerwear (in non-violent, non-period-related way, obvs). An oversized white shirt looks especially great drawn in at the waist, but stick to one belt for shirting, knitwear and anything lightweight. "If in doubt, belt it" is my advice.
Tip three? You might need more of an open mind for this one. Take a seat…
As in glittery, bright red or pink or something fun. Channel Jon Snow of Channel 4 News and wear bright socks with your day-to-day shoes (not Simpsons socks, mind). I’ve bought a pair of red ankle socks and am wearing them with black patent, block-heel shoes and the aforementioned cropped (chopped) jeans. Why? Because it’s jolly and it’s free and it’s cosy, plus I’m over wearing the dreaded "black tights of doom". Even though I love them, it’s time they went. Fishnet ankle socks look great with jeans, flats and heels, which I realise might be a step too far, but who cares? Be the talk of the town (do this by wearing any old fishnets under jeans).
Can I tempt you into a spring top worn over a roll neck? Remember that ONE warm day in mid-February when we all rushed out to panic-buy spring stuff, imagining spring had finally sprung? Wear your "It’s too cold to wear" spring purchase with a thin roll neck underneath. I’m currently sporting a camisole over a roll neck, while ignoring the boyfriend’s comments of "You appear to be wearing your clothes the wrong way round." Ha ha ha.
One last “skint style hack” before I bugger off, never to be seen again – well, until next week, when I’ll be back to flog you stuff because, YAY, it’s payday – is the "nan" scarf. You don’t even need to buy one, make one – make one from something you were going to get rid of. Cut up a top that’s printed, floral, spotty, stripy, whatevs, hem it with Wundaweb and there you go, a brand new "look" for nowt. Very eco, very green, very anti-landfill, very "It’s the week before payday". It’s almost Friday, ladies, nearly there. Nearly there.