I’m slightly ashamed to admit this but, when it comes to knowing what to wear this “spring” (bloody weather), I’m as confused as the next woman – I’m in a style rut. I know – me, a “fashion editor”. The struggle is real.
I remember advising (telling) my mum circa 2001 she should give up the 1980s shiny grey eyeshadow "for something more modern". And again, in her mid-sixties, when her hairdresser began cutting her hair into a slightly too-short bob, "Whoa, Mum," I said, "grow it a bit longer – you don’t want to look old-fashioned." Keeping hair styles, make-up and clothes up to date is good for confidence, I reckon. Case in point: the style-confident Brigitte Macron in her skinny leather trousers, sleeveless dresses and pouffy bob. Bravo, Brigitte.
Style ruts happen slowly over time, but buying random crap for a "quick update", a fast pick-me-up that ends up shoved at the back of your wardrobe never to be seen again? Well, what’s the point? My current style rut is a merry-go-round of blouses, jeans and low-heeled shoes (zzz). Then, one day, I’ll throw something new into the mix only to discover it goes with absolutely nada. That’s when I give up and go back to wearing the same things over and over again.
One skirt, many opportunities, proof change needn’t be bad, wasteful, radical, destabilising or totally off-piste
The shops are rammed with so much good stuff this spring. All that stripe, gingham, floral, embroidery and lace, not to mention a rainbow of zesty summer colours. But what to do with it all? Try to blend it with your existing wardrobe? I’ll be honest: I tried and it didn’t work – I ended up with a fuchsia top that goes with nothing. And even if you’re the type who only wears classic pieces, styles that endure the test of time beyond the life cycle of throw-away trends still need to be updated.
Bored of wearing jeans and flats every day, I recently decided to try something new, something I haven’t worn in years – a skirt. Not gingham, lace, floral or anything particularly cray cray – it’s black, midi and fairly normal-looking. Still, it’s a small step towards trying something new. Plus, it means I now have something to wear with my crazy Topshop slides (they look a bit “Nana going to the shops in slippers” worn with jeans). The skirt, which is fitted at the waist, looks good with a plain T-shirt – another thing I haven’t worn in over a decade, thanks to a nasty scar on my right forearm where I had a large tattoo removed. (I’m no longer ashamed of my arm, another good thing about getting older – zero shits given.) I found a white T-shirt with a scooped neck, with sleeves that finish at the elbow, which feels a bit smarter for work.
It might not sound particularly radical, buying a black midi skirt, but that one piece has opened up a whole new world of getting-dressed opportunities. It looks good after work with heels; it looks great with white trainers on the school run (running, literally). It works with simple slim-fitting knits and I love it with baggy sweatshirts. One skirt, many opportunities, proof change needn’t be bad, wasteful, radical, destabilising or totally off-piste. Small steps, big changes – pretty simple, really. If only the rest of life were that simple.