{17/10/2012}   Autumn jackets and coats

My flat is currently deceptively chilly, chillier than it is outdoors, so I have been unnecessarily wearing my autumn jacket collection.  Really, these are days between my black corduroy jacket (one grade up from a cardi) and what I now realise is an impressive collection of autumn-wear jackets and coats.  I am actually looking forward to the temperature dropping a good few degrees so I can wear this array of lovely jacketage and coatage and not break out into a sweat on leaving the house.  But my annual dilemma rears its annoying head again: what is the perfect autumn coat or jacket and why have I never found it?

I have autumn jackets for most eventualities, yet not an all-rounder.  Yesterday, I wore a diagonal-zipped black wool jacket with catalogue-woman high collars.  I often admire it in shop windows as I walk past (that’s normal, right?), but it’s far too warm for the current temperature.  However, much colder and it’s inadequate around the bottom area as it only covers the top half of my bottom, and I appear to be prone to a chilly bottom!  Another autumn favourite is also far too warm for the current weather.  It’s a battered-looking (you pay a lot for that effect, bizarrely) olive green leather jacket in a biker style.  I love it.  Except for the fact it only just reaches my waistline so leaves above the waistline toasty but below and just above it a touch too exposed to the elements.  It’s probably a triumph of loveliness over practicality.  But I really like it.  Another favourite, in fact probably the coat of coats in terms of style, is a silk-lined cashmere coat in a dark tealy green that was made for me in Shanghai.  I didn’t like it that much when I first had it made because the shoulders were a bit too Dallas but now I love it and I have probably never had an item of clothing that has garnered as many positive comments, including from strangers.  I guess the joy of this coat is that it actually fits me and, now that it’s the time of year I can wear it, I am officially retiring from my diet (what diet, says a voice in my head!) for there’s no point having a beautiful bespoke coat if you’re not the same size you were when you had it made for you.  My autumn coat list does not even end there for I also have a genuine 1960s black leather just-past-the-bum length coat which I can only wear without the buttons done up as it’s a touch snug, ie doesn’t do up.  I don’t use it that often as I always feel a need to revert to my c19 year old self who used to wear it all the time, ie black hair, DMs and the odd foray into red lipstick.  If I tried to recreate that look, four words would spring to mind, of which the emphasis would be on “mutton” and “lamb”!

Then there is my very sensible and practical rain and wind proof jacket.  It does exactly as it should but makes me feel geeky and I don’t like it.  Plus, when it rains, the water pours off the jacket and largely congregates around my thighs.  However, it is a joy to be out in the rain, then get indoors and still be dry underneath, at least on the top half.

So really, what I need is a jacket that covers my bum, is not so waterproof that rain pours down the length of my jacket and settles just below the hemline but is nonetheless waterproof, that looks stylish, has a high collar (a feature in all my favourite jackets and coats), is olive green or black, has pockets, is roomy enough to enable a few layers as it gets colder and can be done up.  I have often thought a mac would be the way forward but they look rubbish on me and never seem remotely insulated or indeed water resistant.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  And I’m not talking winter wear here, I will eke another blog out of that in a few months!


{16/09/2012}   Deciding what to wear

Yesterday, I spent almost an hour choosing what to wear.  I was going to France for the day with a friend and we’d planned to get picnic food, have a feast on the beach, go for a big supermarket shop and take lots of photos (we don’t meet up very often and this is a birthday day out).  So it could have been windy and a bit chilly sitting on the beach for a few hours, but probably warm in the car and if there were sun but no wind, it might have been sunbatheable at a stretch, and as there would be photos it needed to be something that looked ok and supermarkets are always chilly.   Finally, I opted for layers, but it really was a struggle.

My preferred outfit was a short sleeved black top with white patterns on it.   I thought I had the top sorted, until I realised that it would be a bit sad going to France, very much Brit abroad, wearing a top covered in little Eiffel Towers!  I’d say that would have been on a par going to France wearing a navy and striped t-shirt, a beret and a string of garlics around my neck!

The what to wear dilemma annoys me no end, I can never quite understand why some days I love wearing X but on other days it feels horribly wrong and sometimes looks hideous and sometimes flattering.  I guess it has as a lot to do with your mood, hair, what or where it is you’re dressing for.  But it’s still annoying that even my most frequently worn, favourite clothes sometimes don’t work.

I used to have a t-shirt I loved and I wore it loads, then one day it stopped looking good and soon after, with heavy heart, I threw it away (it was quite worn so not charity shop suitable).  There are lots of photos of me wearing that t-shirt and in some it looks fine, but in later ones it didn’t look right.  I think my body shape has changed a lot over the years so I suppose that is probably a contributing factor, added to which it was only a fitted cotton t-shirt so it will have changed shape too.

But if you don’t trust what you see of yourself in the mirror, you won’t feel relaxed or comfortable.  Sometimes I go out to the local shop wearing scruffs, ie what I’ve been slouching in at home.  I did that recently and was bedecked in clothes for dirty chores, most notably very old jogging bottoms with one leg partially bleached and a top that was far too tight/small (ie clothes you didn’t mind getting dirty in).  It was quite early in the morning and I was only walking round the corner to move my car.  But as soon as I got outside and felt committed to my errand, I saw people walking towards me, nice people wearing nice clothes.  I felt wretched.  I know it’s silly, I mean they were total strangers, but I looked and felt really horrible.  After that, I vowed to always go out in clothes I would have no reason to be embarrassed being seen in.  So with that scenario again, I really would get changed into jeans and a t-shirt, for example.

Similarly, it’s horrible to be overdressed.  The point really is that I want to feel like I blend in and don’t stand out too much.  I mean, I’m happy to wear bright colours (glasses, clothes, jewellery) but not to be wearing clothes unsuitable for the occasion, ie I don’t mind standing out for “interesting” fashion sense but I do mind looking like a scruff at a posh venue or looking posh in McDonald’s.

I do think your overall attire is your packaging.  A bunch of roses look nice but with pretty paper and ribbon they look complete; you can’t see the knobbly bits on the stalk and they are displayed to show them in all their glory.  So I think I was right to faff and dither yesterday, I just wish it hadn’t taken so much of my morning!  In the end, I was about right: the supermarket was chilly, the car warm, the beach very warm  but wispy cloud cover made it chilly and the wind was a little cool; layers on and off all day.  The only fail came with the photos and that neither of us can agree on a nice one of both of us!  But that’s probably not the fault of my clothing choice!

I’m not fit, I’m not a rambler, I’m scared of heights so don’t “do” mountainous climbing or narrow paths up steep places so I probably don’t need hiking boots.  However, having thrown my last pair out after ten years of service and discovering slippages were probably (ie definitely) caused by the soles having worn smooth in places, I feel oddly lost without a pair of walking boots.  While I may not require them for my usual free time activities, I have always used them and enjoyed having appropriate footwear for certain situations.

I do have a rather beautiful pair of plummy pink Scarpa pavement pounding type shoes and I thought these might do.  But I feel somewhat bereft without proper walking boots.  I told a friend I was thinking of shopping for some the other day.  I was unexpectedly embarrassed when she enquired where I was going to need them, for it’s true that I rarely off-road beyond footpaths and grassy cliff tops.  I told her I like to be prepared.  She gave me a look!

The pair I threw away had been on some adventures with me.  They have been through water (they were waterproof until about two years ago), in volcanic mud, submerged in manure, lost a lot of their remaining colour in a sand-related incident and been through mud, over rocks … ah, see, they’re making me feel adventurous, and maybe that’s why I feel lost without them, like my adventure passport has been taken away from me!

I was with a friend in the Lake District when I bought them and it took a long time to find a pair that fitted well and they never rubbed my feet or felt uncomfortable, even the first few times I wore them.  I can see it might sound a bit excessive lamenting the loss of a pair of boots, but they have been to some cool places with me and enabled me to walk with relative ease in places all other shoes would have let me down in.  So maybe I do need hiking boots after all.

I tried a few pairs on in Reykjavik but the only ones in my size that weren’t insipid colours, in fact were very funky, it transpired were designed for fell running.  Er, yeah, right!  I have spent a considerable amount of time online but there they also seem heavy on the greys and browns.  I want comfort and colour, surely that’s not too much to ask?

It’s an unexpected feeling though to miss having boots and to feel a sense of something being missing from my “need to have” things.  But I really do feel a little bit of adventure potential has been taken away from me.  I was trying to think what countries those boots had been to and I realise they’ve been pretty much everywhere I’ve been over the past ten years – and I know it’s ten years and four months since I bought them because that holiday and shopping trip was after a friend’s wedding ceremony not hugely far from the Lake District and they’ve just had their tenth wedding anniversary – from North Wales, France and Germany to the Faroe Islands, Georgia and Japan.

Oh shoot me now, I can’t believe I’ve just written an ode to walking boots!  If anyone sees me out and about in a wax Barbour jacket, that really will be the final straw and the final farewell to my (rose-tinted alert) adventurous youth!

{05/08/2012}   Making your own clothes

From about 10 am to 7.40 pm yesterday, by some miracle, I made myself a pair of trousers.  I had never made an item of clothing before, had no idea how to use a pattern and had only ever used my sewing machine for botched trouser length alterations.  I am unbelievably impressed with myself and very excited about the prospect of wearing a pair of, ahem, couture trousers.

I have never been a competent sewer, I never took my mum up on offers to teach me to use a sewing machine and I have never looked at a dress making pattern.  I didn’t think I had it in me, but I for years now I’ve wanted to make my own clothes.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  I only had to unpick one thing as well!

As the pattern was full of little symbols and a high error risk, I decided to “make” the trousers out of paper first.  When I realised that I would have to cut out ten pieces of (very baggy) trouser leg, I began to see this was not the three-hour start to finish I had in mind.  The paper part took two hours, though it took a while to stick the newspaper together to make the “cloth”.  I then had a chalk related incident whereby my dressmaking chalk wand thing wouldn’t leave a mark on the material so I hit the town on a quest to find one of those triangular chalk things that my mum always used.  I went in every possible shop: haberdasher, craft shop, stationer, supermarkets, dry cleaning shop, Wilkinson’s, 99p stores, etc.  But no chalk triangles.  I then decided, a bit laborious, to cut around the pattern.  This took ages and was tedious.  Plus, the material was black jersey and collected all my cat’s blonde fur as she came to investigate and walk across and sit on the material.  I reiterate: laborious.

Then all of a sudden, all cutting out was done and I was on a roll.  I ironed a bit, pinned a lot, sewed a lot (machine), took ages threading the elastic through the waistband (this was a Vogue “easy”, no tailoring or anything too complicated!) and tried it on.  Fail.  The waist was far too big.  At this point I was on the verge of calling it a day, but I know what I’m like and I knew it wouldn’t get finished if I didn’t carry on.  So I decided on a drastic course of trimming and re-stitching.  It only went and chuffing well worked!!!!  You really have no idea how proud of myself I was!  The one bit of unpicking occurred after I had sewed the elastic together, one end the wrong way giving it a twist.  I contemplated leaving it and embracing its quirkiness but, again to my surprise, I spent ages unpicking it (I had done three rows of four ups and downs to secure that elastic!) and re-did it.  And it fits a treat and it’s so my style and exactly the kind of trousers/culottes I would buy in an instant if I saw them for sale.

I bought the pattern and material up to a year ago and I had written a to-do-in-2012 list, which had included the making of these trousers.  I had written it down because I really didn’t think I’d ever do it.  I am so pleased with them and with myself.  I have no idea if I’ll ever make anything again but I hope I do as it is extraordinarily satisfying to complete a project in a day and to be able to wear a pair of trousers that fit really well.  I also doubt there are many other people who have bits of cat fur sewn into their trousers either!

{28/07/2012}   Wearing white clothes

I am not designed to wear white, yet every year when it’s nice and warm, I insist upon the wearing of white clothes.  It seems right to wear white when it’s hot as I have in mind that white keeps you cool.  But I just can’t keep whites white and I end up looking grubby.

The other day, I wore a white skirt without so much as a passing concern as to whether this was sensible.  Shortly afterwards, while out and about and thus committed to my outfit, I caught myself “cleaning” my sweaty hands on my white skirt.  There were no particular marks left, but I’m pretty sure the white was far less dazzling.  Following that, I was then paranoid about sitting on something dirty and I felt thoroughly uneasy.

I wore a brand new white shirt to work a couple of months ago.  It was so delightfully white and crisp, I actually felt quite smart.  Prior to going into court, I bought a coffee, which I drank without incident.  I couldn’t find a bin so for some reason I folded the paper cup in half until I went into the court building, where there was a bin, into which I deposited my cup.  No incident.  I then went to the bathroom and while washing my hands, I looked up into the mirror and realised there had been an incident, for I had about five areas of milky coffee splatter.  Quite noticeable.  Actually, very noticeable.  I was incredibly disappointed.  I got rid of splatter marks where water rendering the shirt transparent was not an issue and they did pretty much wash out, but the shirt has lost its allure now.

I was idly flicking through a summer fashion supplement earlier and one item of must-have summer holiday packing was a white top.  Hello?  Like that’d stay white.  The mixture of salt, sweat, sun cream and brightly coloured cocktails is a recipe for disaster.

I saw a friend the other week who regularly pulls of the white trousers look.  I look at her with envy every time I see her strutting around in her pristine whites.  I have never seen her sit down, she’s far too classy to stand around drunkenly gesticulating with one hand clutching a glass of overflowing red wine and she’s never struck me as a wipe-hands-on-jeans kind of girl!  Unbeknownst to her, she is my white clothing heroine and I am often to be found subtly scanning to see if she has got a splodge, even a speck of something non-white on her whites.  She never has, but I fear my outspoken joy if I do ever discover something grubby adorning her whites.  I mean, she even has a white (possibly) cashmere jacket.  And it was still white last time I saw her in it!

As for me and my summer packing, I’m afraid to say there will be at least one white top (I gave up on my white shorts, they are now dyed black!) for I know I will persist with my belief that white is the way forward where there is sun.  I also find it doesn’t clash with the inevitable hint of pink colour I tend to turn in sunbathing conditions.

{26/06/2012}   Suits

I dislike wearing suits for all reasons other than that a well-tailored suit can make you look very stylish.  I have never had a well-tailored suit but look on those who do with a degree of awe.  I am also somewhat slovenly when it comes to taking things to be dry cleaned.  I think a suit is like a uniform in that it associates you with a particular profession or work environment.  “A suit” is, I think, a label for an IT person, a numbers person; someone who isn’t perceived to be creative in their workplace perhaps?

A few weeks ago, I passed a friend in the street, both of us court reporters/stenographers working, that day, in the same court.  She looked very smart in a well-fitted suit, I felt incredibly scruffy in my relatively smart trousers and untucked shirt.  This got me thinking about suits.  I appreciate that women can get away with more casual attire than men in suity environments.  I’m sure that must be annoying, particularly in what for men would be a tie situation.  In court today, uncharacteristically wearing a shirt tucked into my semi smart black trousers, but with no jacket in sight, I looked around.  The barristers, solicitors, witness and claimants were all men who wore suits.  Only the Deputy Master, a female, and one trainee solicitor, female, were a little less formal; they looked a lot more comfortable, and certainly still smart.  For me to wear a suit, I would feel restricted and far too hot.  The other day, the Master asked, sweat pouring down most people’s faces due to an air conditioning failure and no windows, if anyone would like to remove their jackets.  Both counsel looked at each other surreptitiously and announced that, no, they were fine.  So no one took off their jackets.

Some people seem to exude authority when they are wearing a suit.  But in their casual clothes, they look “normal”, usually completely different!  That’s why I think a suit is like a uniform, only worse because the quality of your threads and the extent to which the suit looks bespoke seem to put you in your rightful place up the rungs of authority and power.  People go for job interviews wearing a suit, it’s to create an impression of confidence, authority, scrubbing up well; but it’s probably the worst representation of who you are.  But maybe proof is needed that you can look smart, competent and authoritative, and as suits are de rigeur for a lot of interviews, it’s a way to match yourself, at least on appearance levels, to what you imagine every other candidate will probably wear.

I think it’s verging on cruel to expect people who sit at a desk all day to wear a suit.  It’s stuffy, not that comfortable and doesn’t allow for much freedom of expression or creativity, though I guess the latter can be displayed through, for example, ties and cufflinks.  Plus, there are a few people I know who manage to make suits look funky, largely with the use of a waistcoat or less starched shirts.  And some of those people wear and look amazing in suits outside of work, though much more trendy.

Again I am skirting around points without making any major ones.  My thoughts yesterday came from seeing a court largely full of men in suits.  If I studied their suits more closely, I expect it would have been apparent that some were of a superior quality, but to see them all, a sea (well, a puddle; it’s not a well-populated court) of dark coloured suits, made them all seem kind of equal, drones, pawns; on first sight devoid of personality.  I know that sounds excessive but those were my thoughts.  But there is something appropriate about suits in court, especially for witnesses, in this case businessmen, for they are trying to persuade the judge of their professionalism.  Maybe it’s all “just” about portraying what you perceive to be the right impression.

Yesterday I donned a Primark-from-three-years-ago boob tube, knee-length shorts and a slightly-too-safari hat for my beach sunbathing session.  I looked dreadful.  It is a relief I am not famous and hunted by paparazzi, I would be mocked in a most cruel way.  While I freely acknowledge my sunbathing attire is not for the pages of the glossies, I am increasingly horrified by beach, indeed summer, fashion.  I hasten to add that I changed out of my boob tube to leave the beach.

Why do people with naturally pale, delicate skin insist on not wearing enough or any sun protection?  I saw a teenager with cheap-sausage pink thighs and shins wearing an inappropriately short pair of shorts, a skinny, previously pasty, topless bloke with a painfully pink chest and face … oh, the list goes on, so much burning on display courtesy of inadequate clothing.  It’s not pretty or pleasant to see.  But maybe worst of all is that we are increasingly becoming a nation of fatties.  I believe it’s largely a recent epidemic caused by fast food/junk food/ready meals and that I suspect they are more readily consumed than ever before.  As for me, I eat and drink too much and do limited exercise, but to my credit I do at least resist the, er, temptation to wear butt cheek skimming shorts and bikini or skimpy tops.

I don’t really care what people wear while they’re sunbathing, swimming, etc.  But walking around I am quite shocked at the amount of flesh on display, often of the pink/red hue.  I suppose it is none of my business what other people choose to wear, but I don’t want to have to look at bare chested men (the men with poster bodies seem not to display their goods other than in appropriate places), see women displaying their lower bottom and/or vast unharnessed boobs.  Sometimes I am embarrassed to be British, especially now I see so little style displayed.  I can see why and how we have a bad reputation (albeit a stereotype) for our sense of style.  Of course there are stylish people, but when they are consumed amongst Jo/e Public I feel they are in the minority.

What is to blame?  The advent of cheap throw-away clothing?  Magazines and the fashion industry?  Not understanding how to dress to your figure or age?  Or just not giving a shit?  As a slight aside, a few weeks ago a friend and I walked past a very long queue of largely teenage girls.  It was sunny and warm.  I am not kidding, I walked past them in open-mouthed horror, I swear I have never seen anything like it: most of the “teenage” girls were at least chubby, most were wearing skimpy clothing and most looked dreadfully, painfully, embarrassingly cheap.  They were queuing to see Rizzle Kicks.  I do try not to exaggerate, stereotype or offend when I write blog posts but really, that shocked and actually upset me.

I find it sad that a lot of people seem to have lost a sense of pride in their appearance and/or resort to minimal “fashion”, especially when they don’t, indeed can’t, carry it off with poise and confidence.  I’m not just talking about poor fashion sense, I am talking more about wearing clothes that suit you.  I’m not a complete prude, I don’t think people should be covered as they walk about in hot weather,  I just wish people would wear clothes in their size that cover private private bits, from bum cracks and cheeks to cleavages.  Am I being prudish?  Maybe I am, I just hate having to see people looking naked and unattractive as I go about my daily business on a warm summer day off.

Like so many others, I was glued to the TV for my annual dose of dreadful music, infuriating voting politics and whacky outfits.  What’s not to love about Eurovision?  And for those I saw on Facebook announcing they were poised to turn over, it being that awful, I bet you at least watched all the singing!

Last night I watched it with two friends.  It is impossible to watch without participating so it was a night of shouting at the TV, gazing in open-mouthed wonder and feeling slightly naughty for laughing at Graham Norton’s at times marginally un-PC commentary (I think he’s done a good job of filling Sir Terry’s popular shoes).

Possibly the most memorable entry for me from the 2012 Eurovision final was Turkey and the bat pirates.  I loved (an open-mouthed moment) the boat with the straining body of the figure head emerging from the rubbery bat wings.  Priceless.  I was in another room for one of the early entries, possibly Albania, but I could hear wailing; that was awful.  The Hump put on a good performance, but it was a pretty awful song and it was missing two key elements, of which at least one must be in abundance: novelty (think Russia) and a tight, revealing outfit adorning a lovely.  This is where the likes of Cyprus gained extra points, enhanced by a wind machine.

My favourite was Germany (no novelty and no crotch enhancing attire, hence they didn’t do well), though in part that was because I had a small crush on Roman Lob, who it transpires is a mere 21 years old.  I had a few issues with treacherous Jamie Cullum having played a part in writing the song though, where are his loyalties?!

I also rather liked Moldova’s entry.  I am totally in love with the lampshade dresses of the dancing girls (one of the turquoise ones in particular) and their legs-dipped-in-gold tights.  And then they lay on the floor and kicked their legs about, merrily flashing their pants, shortly followed by belly rocking between the legs of the singer.  Truly, I thought that was an excellent entry.  What was with the MC Hammer blacksmith look though?!

As for Jedward, well, you did Ireland proud.  Sort of.  They are two of the bounciest, sweetest people, but, seriously, get over the jumping chest-to-chest thing!  Suitable costumes and hair for Eurovision, I felt.

Oh, it’s so much fun writing about this because it makes me think about it and I have iPlayer open as well so I can refresh my memory.  I suppose I should mention Sweden.  I think she did well because she wasn’t scantily clad (I was fully expecting her excess clothes to be ripped off at some point but, no, it was a serious performance).  It was a proper dance track, though as soon as I heard it I thought it was something else.  However, it was a decent entry and was one of a few that had credibility as a winning song.

But why, oh, why, do I, does anyone, watch Eurovision?!  The votes are beyond infuriating, the people who announce the votes for their respective country usually embarrass themselves and it goes on for far too long.  Yet still I blinking well watch it!  And another thing, did anyone else notice that a lot of the performers looked similar?  I was sure that some were singing for two countries.  And lips, did you notice a lot of large, pale lips?  Oh, I’m about to get into full flow but I’m going to leave it there.  Hurrah for Eurovision and a whole evening’s entertainment!

I dislike clothes shopping, it is a chore that usually ends up making me feel fat/weird-shaped/outcast!  I am writing this looking down on a failed pyjama purchase, it’s not pretty and it’s not fair.

Being on the pudgy side is manageable, it’s having boobs over a C-cup that causes me the most problems.  The pyjama issue is that the bottoms fit fine, as does the top … except that the boob-shaped area is, to put it VERY mildly, insufficient, thus rendering the top unusable, if only for aesthetic reasons.

Everyone has a different body shape and I appreciate that’s why clothes sizes vary from shop to shop.  Zara, for example, make clothes for people who are very different in shape to me; I would need to have about three of their sizes cut and sewn to get a top of theirs to fit me.  For my emotional protection, I never go to Zara.  Bench jeans work for me – a discovery made after years and years of research – but I still have to try on pretty much every style in the size I am by their standards until I find, usually two, different styles that fit me.

I do, however, have two favourite shopping places and a third fall-back.  I get most of my clothes from TK Maxx, then McArthur Glen Designer Outlet (Ashford) and, thirdly, department stores.  The common theme is that there are a variety of brands in a relatively small area so the odds of finding something to fit are increased.

I have to be in the right mood to clothes shop in TK Maxx, it takes a lot of time and patience, but as a result I have all manner of brands, styles, etc; good for interest factor but bad if you buy a brand you don’t know, want to buy more of but can’t find elsewhere.  Also, a bonus that you can get bargains.  Likewise McArthur Glen.  I went there earlier this year.  I needed a jacket.  I had a two-hour shopping slot (I arrived after work at 6 and the shops close at 8).  The shops were quiet, I tried on loads of jackets … and ended up, unsurprisingly, with the first one I tried on.  Whenever I go there for specific things to buy, I almost always get them.  Very satisfying.

As for the trauma of finding clothes that fit, when I win the lottery I am going to have bespoke clothing.  I have to buy one to two sizes bigger in shirts so my bust doesn’t strain in a way that boob-enhanced “glamour” models think looks cool/sexy.  I have to buy trousers a size bigger to enable my bum to fit in, but to the detriment of my waist which then has a waistband too big (and belts that have to tuck in a fair bit of waistband look cumbersome, especially when you have a shirt on that is two sizes too big at the waistline, thus giving you knobbly trunk-like attributes).  I’m fine with skirts.  I can get skirts a staggering two to three sizes smaller than shirts, though I’m (a) not into straight/fitted skirts or (b) not a big fan of skirts, unfortunately, though in part that’s because (c) they often look silly with tops that are too big because of aforementioned boob issue.  Vicious circle.

Don’t stop me, I’m on a roll now.  A lot of the time I look like I’m wearing maternity tops because a lot of tops fall from boob projection terminus straight down, not even touching my mini paunch.  I am as a result dreading the day I am offered a seat on the tube.

I am also really, really fed up of having to wear belts.  Surely there are other women with curves, well I know there are.  I would love to wear trousers that fit my waist and my bottom.

And, really, can “one size fits all” be anything more than a joke?  And another thing, what’s with all trousers being “one leg length fits all”?  Trousers used to be designed for my leg length, I never had to take trousers up.  Now they are usually made in one length, quite rightly to cater for women who would have had mid-calf length trousers previously, but which means me and most others have to either pay (£9-£14 I’ve had to pay) or butcher (NEVER study the hems I’ve done!) their trousers.  It’s scandalous and a huge issue in my day to day life.  Herrumph!


{18/05/2012}   Shoes for jeans

     In my excitement at finding two pairs of jeans-shoes in my size, I bought both.  I was previously lacking when it came to shoes that go with jeans.  I am not a big fan of smart shoes with the style of jeans I usually wear, ie verging on the baggy and I feel a bit of a fake if I wear proper trainers, in that I don’t really do trainer-requiring sports.

     I usually go for footwear along the Converse lines, not that I have any Converse.  I don’t know what you’d call them, a cross between shoes and trainers in terms of smartness, I suppose.  My new ones are quite lovely.  I now have a pair of silver and white … what do you call them?  I suppose they are traditional tennis shoe style, so TTS.  I also have a pair of bright pink TTSes.  I feel they go well with jeans.

However, my feet are on the larger size, size seven.  The jeans I wore when trying them on were quite narrow at the feet, thus my feet look a touch too flippery for my liking.  But there’s nothing I can do about my long, wide feet; I shall just embrace the fact I get more shoe for my money.

I fear I am about to veer into Scholl territory here but I wish there were more choices for jeans shoes.  That said, thinking about my shoe collection, I actually have quite a few: my new silver TSS, new pink TSS, black with multicoloured laces TSS, big roll-abouty MBT grey trainers, pink floral canvas slip ons, my beloved grey and cream cowgirl boots and a pair of slightly too sensible but incredibly comfortable snug slip on slightly padded suede shoe/slip ons.  Quite a selection, and I don’t even consider myself a shoe person.  Yet still I don’t feel I have found the ultimate jean shoe.

I am so uncool.  I want to be able to wear socks with my jean shoes (summer footwear is a different matter!) but I don’t like seeing socks between jeans and shoes.  I think I would prefer not to have laces as these make the shoes a bit too sporty.  I like a bit of bounce to my jean shoe and I like colour.  And they need to be comfortable.  I think I would rather they weren’t leather, though suede or suede effect would be good.  canvas is ok but I have perhaps had a few too many wet feet incidents from rain/puddles etc plus they’re not that warm.  I am scaring myself here, I am both fussy and hideously sensible.  At least I am flexible on the colour element!  What else?  Yes, slip on is good, though high up the foot (the sock issue!).  Basically my aforementioned “comfortable snug slip on padded suede shoe/slip ons” are almost perfect, they just need to be far more exciting than slate grey!

This blog has been enlightening quite often and today I am realising just how sensible I am when it comes to shoes.  I heard myself, in my head, coming out with the likes of, “Ooo, they look comfy” as I lunged for today’s TSS!  This is all part of the growing up process, learning to love your boring tendencies.  So here it is: I love sensible jeans shoes (and shoes in general but this is a bit much for me to fully accept in one go!)

et cetera