The older I get, the fewer fucks I give. It’s not a negative thing – it’s a “being a grown-up” thing. For example, do I care, as a lifelong Labour voter, that one of my closest friends voted Tory? Not like I would’ve done in my twenties. At my kids’ new school, do I shy away from women who, under normal circumstances, I’d never usually get the opportunity to talk to? Not any more. At my new, Friday-morning painting class, am I bothered about the fact I am the youngest person in the room and my NBF is a 70-year-old retired GP? Nah, course not! The hang-ups I once had in my twenties have gone and nowadays I just get on with things in a far less self-conscious way. Caring less about what people think is TOTALLY liberating.
Translated into clothes, this I’m-43-so-fuck-it attitude can mean BIG changes. Take last Wednesday, for example. Off to watch a friend’s gig in East London, I just didn’t fancy wearing the obligatory black jeans and boots combo, so, instead, I concocted an outfit so odd even the kids made a comment. In the manner of a woman high on sherry, I wore a black, 1920s-style dropped-hem dress with long sleeves, over which I layered a green army jacket cinched in with a diamanté belt, over which I layered my new Monsoon cape – a thing of glory, it is black-edged with gold brocade. The pièce de résistance? Glittery socks and block-heel shoes. Talk about Cat Lady chic…
Aged around 20, I wore tweed granny suits with block-heel shoes and carried granny box bags picked up for a quid. I wore my red hair in a Purdey cut and, over the years, I’ve often wondered what happened to that spirited dresser
I find myself returning to 18-year-old my roots. Back then, I wore only vintage and kooky ensembles picked up from The Cats Protection League (there’s a theme going on here). Aged around 20, I wore tweed granny suits with block-heel shoes and carried granny box bags picked up for a quid. I wore my red hair in a Purdey cut and, over the years, I’ve often wondered what happened to that spirited dresser. I think maybe working in fashion has, in a weird way, turned me into a conformist when it comes to clothes. Ironic. For years, I’ve felt compelled to buy stuff because it’s the latest trend. How dull.
The antithesis of dull, I’m absolutely loving all the Lurex and metallic fabrics that are in the shops right now. All the sequins and glitter and all the fabulous eveningwear – bring it on, I say. But why save things for those ever-elusive “posh nights out”? I bought this navy glittery dress from Zara to wear during the day over a roll-neck jumper. It’s so fabulous someone even asked if it was made by Attico. Attico, by the way, is the reason there are so many great dressed-up wrap dresses and kimonos across the high street at the moment. A current fashion fan’s designer of choice, I’d shop there too if I were rich. Out of my price range, I’ll stick to the sumptuous velvets Mango et al has to offer – far cheaper but, frankly, just as nice, especially worn in an unexpected way during the day. My 18-year-old self would be proud.