I like to wear bright colours! Labels do not matter to me, nor do I seek a correlation between beauty and high price. I am not a designer woman at all. If I find a style that I like, and consider flattering, I am likely to buy seven of them, cheaply, in all colours of the rainbow.
Having said all of the above, I rarely buy clothes – find it tedious and frustrating. Once I like a garment, or a type of garb, I will wear it every day (with the odd wash in between, obviously: I may be sartorially unaware, but slattern I am not!) – and one of the many lovely things about moving to Glastonbury is this sense of utter freedom where material appearance is concerned.
I do not feel obliged to dress to any kind of stereotype for my age and location. I have hippyish gear aplenty – and it is probably my most enduring look – but I am equally happy pottering about, on a day-to-dog-walking-day, in grey sweat pants, a blue long-sleeved shirt, my wonderful, toning with the barnet, thick russet jumper and, when I take the hound for a peregrination, green wellies.
How do I dress? Hmm! That sounds ruder than I meant it to be, but I know what I mean so I shall leave it in all its glorious ambiguity! I have no wall mirrors and have, in any case, always been more of a sling-it-on merchant than one who stands before the glass looking at precise angles, how the dress falls and all that, to me yawn-worthy, malarky. I should have been a bloke really! Though I know some men can be every bit as vain as we women are reputed to be!
So, down to specifics: I have a pair of jeans, several long skirts and a trio of brightly-coloured short skirts. These I team up with my rainbow line of long, short-sleeved blouses and my equally vibrant batwing tops. All the above were incredibly cheap – and the variations are almost infinite, meaning I don’t need to agonise over what to wear for more than about two seconds! I have a look that is my own, which cost me very little, which suits me and which requires almost no maintenance. Ideal!
For work, I have to be more formal and tidy – and I did worry about this initially because I don’t do suits and most of my garb from my full-time teaching days had been jettisoned, or had worn out, yonks ago. But I have found a solution: A smart, longish brown skirt, a nice jacket and tights, all of which can be teamed with the three or four well-cut, more formal, blouses I still possess. I also tame my wild hair when teaching – and usually have it tied up in a pony-tail, or held back from my face with slides.
This is a variation on my most-common look!
For too many years, lacking confidence and genuine interest in clothes, I tried to buy items which looked amazing on more conventionally pretty women – and looked ridiculous on me! Modern styles do not, by and large, become me because my looks are, if you like, a couple of centuries out of date! Once I accepted that I was a Pre-Raphaelite chick in the looks department, life became infinitely easier where clothes were concerned and I stopped trying to ape those I felt to be my superiors in the physical appearance line.
The other problem I faced centred around the fact that I have never been slim, though my weight has fluctuated wildly over the decades, and so certain fashions have always been closed to me. This was hell when I was a teenager and a young woman because the emphasis was on sartorial conformity back then.
Now? I don’t give a rat’s arse what anyone else thinks. If I like a certain style, I will wear it no matter what other, more fashionable, types say! Long, flowing, colourful and slightly eccentric will do me fine. I don’t care who made it in the Designer sense. I don’t care whether other women consider it fashionable or not.
I like my clothing choices and that, ultimately, is all that matters!