In the essence of Dame Vivienne Westwood’s infamous advice to “Buy less, choose well and make it last”, over the past week I have found myself really trying to focus on the ‘choose well’ aspect. I’ve realised that there is more to this approach than just choosing to buy the pieces that I truly like. This apparently is a two-way street, and yes, I’m referring to the fact that does my new item actually love me back? Yikes, its bad enough hoping my cat loves me back as much as I love him? and lets face it, he really doesn’t give a shit about anything other than the back garden wildlife! But now I’m wondering, does that new jumper I’ve just bought actually suit me and love my body shape? In my head when I selected this beautiful cream knit jumper off the rack, I envisaged images of London streets with Kate Moss skipping along wearing it teamed with a vintage oversized biker jacket and a baker boy cap. The question is, does that fitting room mirror reflect any sense of Kate Moss London street chic, back at me??
When I originally spied the Maison Scotch ‘wild rebellion’ cool knit, I dashed to the fitting room. I threw it on and stood back to evaluate how it felt and looked. Well, I bloody loved it! The feel of the knit is luxe and the colour didn’t make me look like Casper The Ghost either. Done and dusted. So, home I go with this beaut of a knit all bagged up and ready for some hardcore winter style moments ahead of me. Or are they????
You see, sometimes you have to go a little further on the inspection front than just the fitting room mirror. I’m learning that sometimes a mirror may not give you an honest answer because the mirror doesn’t reflect those pesky reality positions and postures that we find ourselves taking on a daily basis. When I look at myself in the mirror and see a cute jumper with a little rock & roll edge and my shoulders are back with pride then I think I’ve nailed it for the season. The alarm bells started ringing however when I tried this jumper on at home and then went downstairs and sat on the sofa with my youngest son as he proudly showed me his latest paper creation. I was so busy being excited at his creativity that I threw my phone to my hubby and requested a photo of us with this epic paper Star Wars scene made from paper, sellotape and a Zara delivery box! What a glorious moment to capture!! However this quickly turned into a ‘WTF are those rolls?’ moment when I then looked at the screen and realised that I’m actually the one looking like Jabba the f*&^ing hut!
It made me think of all the positions we take up in a day that resemble nothing like the model pose of Kate Moss or any mannequin in a shop. I don’t make my kids lunches standing with one arm on my hip. I don’t load the washing machine with my shoulders back and a straight elegant posture and let us be honest, there is nothing graceful about my stature when returning home from a Sushi buffet and bubbles night with my mates! Yep, I can’t claim that one to be an Audrey Hepburn lookalike moment!!
So, when you’ve bought something and you get it home, before you take the tags off and stuff the receipt into that magic household black hole where the socks, school letters and certain elements of your sanity have disappeared to, then check out these daily positions in the mirror first! It may potentially be sore for the eyes but it could be worse? It could be sore for the Visa card if you have to add your new piece to the ‘donate’ pile after catching a shop window reflection of Quasimodo!
So, buckle up, here we go……..
Standing vs Sitting:
On a daily basis, am I catching a Cappuccino standing up or just catching the bloody biscuit crumbs off my chest when I’m sitting down?!
Am I wearing this jumper for a chill evening of reading, standing with my shoulders back or is it a chill evening of sitting with Instagram and the slob-shoulders scroll?!
Is it that time to stand up and embrace a Friday night wine or is it that time to collapse into a heap and just embrace a bloody Friday night slice?!
Disclaimer: No jumpers, biscuits or tummy rolls were harmed during this photo shoot. Although I did polish off that glass of wine. Just a little damage was made to my wallet as I had to pay my 8 and 10-year-old iPhone photographers for these ‘very honest’ photos! How could I possibly subject anyone else to taking these pictures. FFS!! You should see the reject photos! The outcome from all of these shenanigans is that there is no way I can possibly keep this jumper in my wardrobe! I do not spend 16 hours of the day standing up! The end.
That shopping bag or delivery box needs to contain an item that:
- Makes you feel like you, it’s a piece that screams your name and reflects your personality and teams up nicely with items you already have in your wardrobe.
- Makes you feel comfortable and does not cause you to fiddle or scratch at any material or fitting irritation. A big ‘No’ to wool induced itchy nips or a bloody ‘hot as hell’ polyester pavilion!
- Makes you feel confident because nothing ‘looks better’ than when you ‘feel good’!
- Puts a smile on you face regardless of if you are standing or sitting!
That shopping bag or delivery box needs to head right back to the shops if:
- The piece hangs off you drearily and even grants you a glimmer of room to dare question your body shape?
- You shouldn’t be constantly shifting or adjusting yourself when you wear something. I know I shouldn’t spend every minute of the day pulling the front panel of that bloody jumper down to smooth over my midrif roll. I may have a midriff roll but I also have my health. I also have much ‘bigger fish to fry’ in my life and I have a wardrobe full of clothing that makes me look fabulous. Adios cream jumper. The only cream I’m embracing today is the one in my cake!
- It’s a piece that you bought because it looks fabulous on someone else and not on you. Not a problem, just return it!
- It’s great to gather inspiration from friends, bloggers, magazines etc. But it’s important to stay true to yourself so try to recognize and acknowledge when something looks great on you and not just on those who inspired you to make the purchase in the first place.
The last word
Now hold up, before you get your knickers in a twist regarding the disappointment of why you could potentially look like a sack of shite vs Sophia Loren, it’s worth remembering that the stylists tips and tricks for those beautiful magazine images and mannequins involve:
- Pieces being altered and tailored for that celebrity to wear for that occasion.
- Pieces can be held and adjusted with bulldog clips to cinch in or hold back fabric to create the perfect shape or drape.
- Magazine and shop photographs have been professionally edited to perfection. Nobody’s living room looks that bright or in fact that bloody clean!
Now remember that some people in the world are just blessed with bloody gorgeous genes. But let’s just chill for a moment and let the models be the bloody models. In the meantime, go forward in your life being YOU! Go be fantastic and fabulous in your daily ventures. No one can be you and besides, I’m pretty sure that Kate Moss cannot belch the lyrics to David Bowie’s Rebel-Rebel, on a friday night. Sorry Kate, that’s all mine darlin”!
Thanks for reading!
P.S For any cool design eyes transfixed by my bloody gorgeous Queen cushion sat on the black vintage chair, then check out the amazing work of my lovely friend, Peggy, at www.designbypersnickety.com