I got new rules

As I’ve scarcely been out of jeans since March and yet, miraculously, can still do work, I decided it’s a one way trip out of business casual.

Secondly, one of the smaller points that snagged in my mind when I was reading up on the whole INTJ business is attitude to clothing and colours. Plain clothes, neutral colours, maybe lots of black. For years, and I do mean years, I’ve felt that I should put more colour in my wardrobe. I get told that red suits me and turquoise suits me, and I buy those colours and I feel really uncomfortable and I don’t wear them. Mostly, what I actually like to wear is black, grey, khaki, white, navy and maybe a couple of other shades of blue. That is it. Then it all goes together and you don’t have to think about it.

Consequently, I’m not so much overhauling my wardrobe as having a good, old clearout with very little intention of replacing much. All my tailored trousers are gone, anything that needs ironing is gone, anything that requires me to wear tights is gone. Enough with the dressing up and the costume.

I’m also ditching heels. I loved wearing them, but now, I just can’t be bothered. Flats can be just as uncomfortable but trainers seem to be sticking around as a style, so I’m in.

Making the decision to give up on all this is liberating and feels like a load that I didn’t know I was carrying has been taken away. I’ve had a lot of fun with clothes but as a woman, particularly, you have to spend such a lot of time thinking about your appearance: look smart, look capable, look attractive and a bit sexy but not too sexy, look young (of course), look thin, look feminine but not too feminine in case you’re not taken seriously, look effortless…  But by the power of Greyskull, surely one of the benefits of being middle aged is I get to opt out of all that shit?

If I’m not going to buy much, I can buy better. To replace all the above, I want a pair of Hiut jeans, a new black tailored jacket (been looking for a year, can’t find the right one) and some black trainers (I’d really like white, but that’s not practical and I can’t make myself buy them.) I didn’t do fast fashion anyway, but I can up it a level more. And if I really have to go back into an office, I’m prepared to compromise and throw a jacket on.

 

In which I discourse on fashion

Although this could be a short discourse, because from what I can tell at the moment, the current styles are almost universally horrendous.

Let us begin. This season is going big on what I call either Asylum Chic or Jane Eyre’s Lowood Wardrobe. If I wanted desperately to dress like an escapee from a lunatic asylum, then I’d be sorted. This doesn’t mean that the shops are bestrewn with fetching faux Victorian white lace numbers a la Wilkie Collins either.  It means more of a nod towards 80s American schlock horror movies.

The woman in the blue dress is running, running, still carrying the bloody knife, even though she’s not sure what she did with it, but someone sure got stabbed and she can’t stop crying. Jane Eyre has been told to wear the pink one to the 10th annual Lowood TB Survivor’s Reunion.

Still, once you’ve escaped from the madhouse, or extreme Christian austerity, then it’s time to start partying. Is anyone going to a fancy dress party? And if so, are you thinking of costuming yourself as a migraine? Then [trigger warning] look no further…

These are probably designer, because all the most horrible items of clothing turn out to be designer. The high street’s cheap and cheerful knock offs never quite achieve the same peaks of hideosity. Can you imagine being drunk and seeing those dresses? Or hungover? Dear lord, someone pass the Ibuprofen.

Still, even an ex-Lowood girl can’t party for ever, so the shops have you covered for those quiet nights in as well. You know. The ones when you like to stand in the corner, dressed as a lampshade.

The pink one’s gotta be cheesecloth, right? I don’t think other fabrics can achieve that salmonella pink vibrancy.  For me, though, the blue one is the winner here, effortlessly achieving that ‘lampshade in an asylum’ look and so nailing two key trending influences in one garment. I’m sold.

In which maybe there are some clothes, after all

I’ve been despairing for months. Is it me? Is it them? I can’t tell, but I can’t spend money for wanting to. The situation has reached such a nadir that earlier this week, I was so disheartened I failed even to buy mascara. I need mascara. It’s the only thing that makes me look awake in meetings.

Summer is always bad, this year has been worse than usual. Off the shoulder, formless, floaty, spaghetti straps. No no no. In any case, the weather hasn’t cooperated so if I did buy any of that stuff, it would be hidden under multiple layers and I’d look like someone who wears their entire wardrobe because they don’t have anywhere to store it. Plus, I work in an air-conditioned, under-occupied office. It might be 25 degrees outside, but cashmere is my friend in summer. In winter, I upgrade to a cape that is basically a faux fur trimmed blanket. Yeah, stylish and warm. Eat that, Slanket!

I’m also going through a phase where I’m bored with/hate all of the clothes in my wardrobe. You know how you get up one morning and everything that was fine the day before is suddenly incontrovertibly wrong? That.

There is hope, though. It’s called ‘autumn’. It looks very much as though straight and wide legged trousers will be available, in lovely fabrics like wool and flannel. I don’t care what fashion will be telling me, these are what I really want to wear, along with a sweater, a jacket and boots or smart trainers. Jeans for the weekend.

Except that I keep trying on smart trainers and realising that they’re ugly. Instead of looking as though I’m effortlessly pulling off a sporty-yet-smart urban vibe,  I look like I work in a care home. I think I might have to get dark grey Converse and call it done. There are, thank goodness, great boots all over the place so that’s not even a concern.

And then, there’s outer layers. I’ve been holding back on jackets a bit, feeling I had too many. It must be said, I don’t have any like this and it may well be it stays that way. But, goodness, it would be fun.

Bomber jacket

 

And, my coats are starting to look a little too worn and my autumn coat is plain black , and really, do I really need an excuse for this? Worn with aforementioned navy flannel pants and dark grey Converse?

 

Coat

Oh autumn, do get on with it.