Saturday, 20 March 2010

how i got the needle

This week it has been, occasionally, a bit sunny. Which triggers the usual end of winter panic: realising that I haven't got anything to wear. What the hell did I wear last summer? Why does this happen every summer? I can't have spent the entire season in the office.
This time, however, retail therapy is not an option. I am supposedly downshifting, for god's sake: I am meant to rise above material things, not lie in the bath reading fashion magazines wondering if cutoff grey tracksuit bottoms are someone's little joke.
So instead I spent an afternoon foraging at the back of the wardrobe and in what I euphemistically refer to as the 'sewing box' (ie stuff that's been waiting to be repaired/ altered since approximately the 1980s).
And this is what I found, to my surprise. Who knew?
Exhibit 1: long pale blue shorts that I never liked. Chopped short, rehemmed et voila - reasonable knockoff of £95 pair in this month's Elle.
Exhibit 2: silk combats, not worn since last time they were in (not sure, but I was definitely single) yet by bizarre cyclical fashion logic now deemed v spring/summer 2010. Though I learn they are called 'the silk cargo pant' this time. Love that fashion singular.
Exhibit 3: One pair muchloved jeans with rip in knee (from years of changing nappies on the floor) + scissors = denim shorts. Very Kate Moss. Obviously as worn by her older, fatter sister, solely in the privacy of her back garden.
Exhibit 4: Grey TopShop jacket that I loved so much I refused to stop wearing it when pregnant, despite a bump so huge it was visible from space. The seam split and I never got round to mending it. Five minutes with a needle, and it's back.
Exhibit 5: Pale blue Diesel trousers, not seen since drunken sailing holiday in Croatia, feared drowned. But no! scrunched up in the sewing box, it turns out. Now reinvented (well, rehemmed) at 2010 just-above-ankle length. To wear with heels, in the unlikely event I ever go out again. Which brings me to
Exhibit 5: After counting shocking number of pairs of heels, firm resolution not to buy any more. Especially if, like the teetering orange pair bought for a friend's book launch which make me look like a lapdancer, I can't cross the road unaided in them. Let the fashion mags claim it's now 'all about the kitten heel'. Last year it was all about the lapdancer heel, and I know how that ended up: in an undiginfied heap on the pavement in Clapham, that's how.
I'm not saying I'll never darken the doors of Selfridges again. But the joy of being thirtysomething is finally seeing fashion turn full circle: from now on, pretty much whatever the trend, you've probably got one stuffed at the back of a drawer from last time round. If that's not God's consolation prize for ageing, I don't know what is.


  1. I'm just about to embark on a wardrobe workout (fashion speak for a spring clean) too. I won't be chopping trouser legs off to make shorts, not with my varicose veins but I have been thinking about re-visiting the silk combats. Let me know how you get on.

  2. I recently had a wardrobe clearout and realised I buy the same things over and over again. I feel like I've developed my own personal uniform of black trousers, black vest top and coloured cardi in winter, and cream linen trousers, pale vest top or blouse in summer. Help!

  3. Goodness you are being thrifty, have just used a 30% off voucher in Gap which almost counts as spending nothing doesn't it?

    Meanwhile, what are you doing to do with your work clothes, mine are just sitting in the wardrobe staring at me every time I open the door. A beautiful Hobbs pinstripe suit which I will never ever wear again. Time for ebay...

  4. Oh you are good. I can't even begin to think about it yet. Need to lose the xmas half stone first......mmmm, better sort that out as its nearly April!

    MD x

  5. know what you mean about the Uniform - tho your winter one sounds more appealing than mine (muddy jeans, damp waterproofs, accessorised by muddy toddler demanding to be picked up & muddy dog). also find it hard to escape the London mummy uniform: straight jeans, ballet pumps, top cut to hide c-section overhang.
    gwynneth dont throw the suit out! this is the Whole Point: just like one day i will wear again (er, maybe) all the mistakes at the back of my wardrobe, one day you will wear said suit again. this post is a thinly disguised plea to be allowed to hoard everything in my wardrobe forever, on the grounds that one day it might come back in.

  6. Oh the fashion singular. I can just about get my head around a shoe, even a lap dancing shoe, but I draw the line at wearing a jean.

  7. I have a box like that - really must get around to going through the stuff in it

    Also must sort out my wardrobe - three years of pregnant / not pregnant / pregnant / not pregnant haven't done it a lot of good really