My money and also my moods, definitely hang Carrie Bradshaw-esq in my wardrobe and are literally nowhere else to be seen. My eBay account is in full, exuberant and constant use, that has transferred solidly to Australian orders, and I could build a sufficient yet colourful fort with the amount of shoes I have. I want a walk in wardrobe and the aims of a Zara budget in my future pay packet so I don’t have to wait for a sale to buy everything, anything, twenty-eight scatter-cushion pillowcases that don’t match for my imaginary flat and some velvet trousers. One of my greatest creations in my deluded accessory-riddled mind is my cupboard at home, and one of my favourite past times is adding to my ASOS wish list without anything ever actually making it to the shopping basket.
These are the serious considerations of serious people.
I’ll point out at this stage that yes, like many people who probably won’t admit it for fear of judgment; I am vain. Not to the depths of Narcissus, but I just like to look good, and living somewhere without my possessions is hard sometimes. Fashion is a love of mine, like art, history or music; it intrigues me and I learn things from it. I don’t just survive to go to the Topshop sale after Christmas. A bit. Most of the time.
An assortment of colours, prints, styles, and even sizes; I don’t discriminate if it’s too big, oversized here I come. Maternity clothes? Dungarees to mama. The bolder, the brighter, the weirder; the better. Backpacking is brilliant because I live for a market, but my clothes at home are in the top five things I am currently missing (you can work out who/what is in that top five and in what order) and majority of the time I will pick shoes over a sandwich and go hungry. I love my wardrobe and I miss it with a fiery passion: Particularly as I know it is currently unguarded and therefore regularly assaulted by my best friend (I know where you live and I can see you in my dress on Facebook!).
Print on print, clash on clash, the more the merrier.
Festivals are my one and only jam, leotards, glitter, flowers and head torches, I am there with literal bells on (100% happening at the next one) stomping my foot, shaking my butt, swinging a bottle of champers and wearing faux fur, sequins, face paint and an absolutely huge smile. Never the exhibitionist or the extrovert…
Now I am not saying I am a ‘fashionista’ or even a good example of someone dressing well; probably the opposite. I don’t dress to keep up with trends, I don’t buy designer things unless they’re a fake, which I actually prefer. I am an aficionado of fashion magazines that are certainly more high-street than the designer, and do not include the unattainable reaches of Vogue, but do include more purse-friendly alternatives such as Tu (Sainsbury’s supermarket don’t you know; a Kit Kat, a pint of milk and a dress at the same time, brilliant) or the delectable delights of ‘Primarche’ as I call it; the payday Mecca of Britain; religious site, not the bingo hall.
I also have had, and sometimes still have, some truly tragic outfits akin to a 70’s Rod Stewart living inside a kaleidoscope. We aren’t all born with a gazelle like arms (gazelle arms?) or struts, nor the ability to accessorize, and we don’t toddle our way through childhood with an awareness of clashing patterns and unflattering hemlines. You don’t make it through secondary school without a minimum of thirty epic fashion disasters. Mine is ultimately an endless list of TRAGIC mistakes and hilarious family album pictures, where my hair varies in colours and degrees of those jagged-edge scissors four-year olds use in arts and crafts.
Other highlights include the days of grunge, fake slipknot fandom and massive trousers with a chain attached (bolts, yes and thank you), the ‘scene kid’ days of my scalp being covered in glue from my horrendous hair extensions, me arriving home with new metal detector piercings and winged eyeliner covering half my face, numerous miniskirts worn over trousers, crimping my hair until I fainted, and one particularly special day where I went to school deliberately as a chav. A ‘Bon Bleu’ polo shirt from TK Maxx in place of a Ralph Lauren and foundation the colour of a freshly coated fence. I quickly abandoned that look, along with the compulsory hair gel of that particular social collective.
I’ve also participated in the typical teenage angst years of copious coats of ‘Johnson’s gradual tan moisturiser’;
You know the one girls.
I remember my boyfriend at the time telling me I smelt like biscuits, which I of course took as a HUGE compliment.
Custard Cream lover that I am.
I wore Versace Red Jeans (said biscuit boy wore matching Blue Jeans, obviously) and Impulse, which were both located in my blazer pocket and smelt sickeningly of Palma violets and baby prostitutes. I stretched my ears when I was 16 which was received with the reception of having to move out for a week. I would wear two different colour converse at the same time, I had half white and half black hair parted down the middle of my head for a strong month or so, I had a pair of original 60’s platform heels in lime green I wore near constantly that were two sizes too small, I had one of those gold, dangley, clown necklaces from Elizabeth Duke at Argos and I thought I was the shit. I am possibly the world’s worst at sewing, and one of the most famous things amongst my best friends I used to do, is decide skinny jeans were not nearly skinny enough and re-sew them to make them skinnier, with the result being a pair of jeans akin to that of an emo scarecrow.
Please GOD I hope I no longer resemble Kelly Osbourne meets Wizadora in an alleyway.
‘Different’ is on trend these days (thank god, though luckily for boyfriends I dropped the ‘scene’ look along with my school uniform all those years ago) and hopefully appear in a much more attractive manner. Now, there’s ten different copies of the latest fashionable item in Primark, babies have got Yeezys and your Nan is wearing Topshop to the family Sunday roast dinner: different is in fact for every one of all ages, shapes and sizes and I love it.
Fashion makes me feel great, its representative of who I am, I want to be inspired by what I see and what I wear, and you do not have to like any of it. I love how clothes make me feel and how they express my character and person, and I have always felt very comfortable experimenting with fashion. I also love when some people look at me like they are downright worried.
Part of this excitement and also awareness of fashion faux pas as well as expression of self is the psychological attempt at a self-assurance; I exude a persona of confidence in my dress, also in my attitude and in my vast vocabulary of sarcasm and facts about the Tudors. But that paranoid teenager still revisits from time to time. Though at 27, most of the time I’m confident within myself, thigh circumference and rapid texting speed.
Travelling has definitely taught me to live with less ‘stuff’ which I have loved. No being late because I cant choose what to wear- I have three outfits. Also realistically, we could all do with a reality check in regard to possessions. In my life right now, this instant-noodle-eating backpacker ultimately has no choice outside of what will fit in a bag and a saving schedule. For instance, I have just applied superglue to my boots toes for the third time so I do not have to purchase new ones. This is within the period of a ‘backpacking lull’, where I am being actually sensible with money; so I can save to do insensible things in a few weeks’ time.
Fashion obsession aside; I am excited for no makeup, sea salty wild hair that hasn’t been brushed in a week, bikinis instead of bras, beach wear all day every day, every market I can possibly find where I am doing Del Boy impressions and being told the most times in my life I am beautiful (yes I will buy your handbags), questionable yet probably permanent tattoos, very cheaply yet expertly pruned eyebrows, Gandhi footwear, crop tops in public, and expeditions to find a Zara no matter what country I am in, even just to salivate at the window display; but I also very much look forward to wearing every different print hanging in my wardrobe at the same time when I get home; if my best mate hasn’t nicked it all by then. I’m a little bit vain but a whole lot of me.
Particularly in vintage maternity dungarees.
Evident ‘fashionista’ status established at a very early age. Thanks mum.
Also, this may become a recurring thing; my soundtrack this week includes:
Wu Tang Clan- A Better Tomorrow
Julie Andrews- I Have Confidence
Rick Wakeman- I Vow to Thee My Country
Michael Buble- Feeling Good
Nat King Cole- Stardust
Everything Everything- Desire
Solange- Cranes in the Sky
Rag and Bone Man- As you Are (Shy FX Remix)