Blame the demise of the Summer or watching The Young Montalbano but I reckon the real reason was that when a friend urged me to try on a 1970s dress we'd admired at Saturday's flea market I'd replied "I don't really do black" and with a shudder realised I sounded just like one of those women.
|Victorian-style lace up boots (£2, Colors Of Benetton via a car boot sale) - shame about the fallen down hem!|
I'm sure you know the type. They're the ones who gasp and paw through the rails on my stall, holding dresses against them in the mirror, sighing and promptly replacing them. I can't wear that style; that colour doesn't suit me; I'm too old for that; I'd never go anywhere to wear it; I'm too short/tall/fat/thin or, even worse, No way! Everyone will look at me!...Excuses, bleeding excuses.
Look at me, I tell them - I'm a short arsed, ordinary-looking bird in my late forties, my arthritis makes me walk with a limp & prevents me from doing up my own shoelaces. If I'm not working from home, shopping down the market or rummaging through other people's cast offs, I'm drinking in back street boozers. The highlights of my year are either being amongst the great unwashed at music festivals or bumming around India on second-class trains, sleeping in £5 a night guest houses and eating at roadside shacks. Hardly a glamorous lifestyle, is it? I could spend my life in a pair of leggings and a tee shirt and nobody would bat an eyelid but why would I want to?
We moan about our lack of options as we grow older, that's there's nothing suitable in the high street shops and that magazines and TV shows never feature women like us. We complain about becoming overlooked and invisible when in reality we build our own prisons, blending in with pared-down style, fuss-free clothing and neutral tones - imposing silly rules about how we should portray ourselves to the world and pointlessly trying to emulate someone else's style instead of creating our own.
|Great-Great Grandfather's mourning brooch|
Mum died three years ago and Grandma less than a year before her and still people stop me and recall their incredible style. Who's going remember you if you don't stand out?
|Native American pendant (car boot sale, 3 years ago) worn with Victorian bog oak mourning locket (filled with hair)|
Of course, it's entirely up to an individual if they want to follow fashion & join the herd but it just exasperates me and makes me sad, in my book there's nothing worse than a wasted opportunity.
|Early 1960s Young Mayfair crepe cocktail dress (Mum's) worn with a 1970s denim waistcoat (Second to None, Walsall)|
A day without dressing up is a day wasted.
See you soon.
Updated to link to Spy Girl Anne's Paint It Black.