Are your clothes revealing too much?

The weather here is dismal. No don’t fall over in shock, but it has been raining today. All day. Not only that, it is cold.

Possibly the right clothing for the current weather conditions.

Possibly the right clothing for the current weather conditions.

A few days ago though, things were different. Spring finally burst into life. We had a long long Winter and then suddenly, almost overnight the birds were singing, the butterflies flitting, the tulips, grape hyacinths and daffodils all coming up at once. English people reacted in the way that they always do. They went out in as little clothing as possible, lit the barbecue, got the Pimms out and sat in the garden all day, with no sunscreen. They smiled even while they (almost) burned.

Me? Well I wasn’t ready. My Summer clothes were still in the garage. I had to make an emergency dash to the loft, scramble up the ladder and heave down the right bag so I could find something cool enough to wear so as not to have a Jane Austen era style fainting fit.

On looking through the things I haven’t seen in some months, I suddenly realised that my Summer wardrobe bears absolutely no resemblance to the fact that I live in England. In a village in the countryside. Where it rains all the bloody time.

I seem to have stealth acquired a rainbow of dresses that make it appear as though I’m waiting for a role in a remake of John de Florette or Chocolat. In some of them I would look just right with a baguette tucked under one arm and a basket of flowers nestled in the crook of the other. I can almost imagine myself wandering happily down the alley of some remote French mountain village, nodding at the older generation as they sit gossiping outside the front of their houses.

I do have a bike (that mostly sits in the garage looking pale blue and beautiful) but I also have a mum bus which is the transport I actually use. I won’t talk about that too much though as it ruins the imagery.

There are no children in this picture. I don’t have to stand in muddy parks, on wetter than they ought to be cricket pitches, or walk along shingle beaches in Gale Force 10 winds, trying to catch up with my Mother and her Dog. I don’t appear to do anything involving dirt or in fact to do any actual work.

There’s the dawning realisation that the trouser suits, the dry clean only, the freshly pressed white shirts, the ‘don’t-mess-with-me-I-know-what-I’m-doing’ clothes have all but disappeared from my cupboards, wardrobes and chest of drawers. I’ve worked from home for the majority of the time over the past three years. I’ve only needed the occasional smart outfit when I’ve had to travel to the office, sometimes more, but usually only once or twice a month.

So this, I suppose is how my dresses have eventually revealed me as a bit of a romantic idealist, (ignoring the outlier of the running kit) who apparently sub-consciously wants to live in the South of France.

In reality, most of the time, at least when it isn’t hot, I’m in my jeans and Converse. If anything ever happened to me though, I’m afraid that if they looked in my wardrobe, the detectives piecing together my last moments would form a very different picture.

This one looks practical doesn't it?

This one looks practical doesn’t it?

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14 thoughts on “Are your clothes revealing too much?

  1. Funny – the life we buy for and the life we actually live! I have a wardrobe full of cute blouses which I buy almost compulsively for the day when my look (ha!) will suddenly morph into something a bit more ‘pulled together’ as they say in Fashion Land. This is in perverse and total denial of the fact that I actually live in white t-shirts and pretty much nothing else. See also ‘high-heeled shoes’, of which I’ve amassed an enormous and largely unworn collection (not much requirement for them in the woods or at the pub). Clearly a subconscious craving for the days when my life was a bit more glamorous … still, I like looking at them. And I guess we all occasionally pop a pair on to do the hoovering, don’t we? (No? Erm … just me, then).

    • Yes. I’ve realised that for the week we’re ‘camping’ in Devon this year that I can’t take an armful of dresses with me. Some very boring sensible clothes shopping will have to happen…..
      Your comment about hoovering in heels made me laugh – surely that’s a post in itself? 😉 I bought an almost unworn four inch pair in a charity shop the other day. My subconscious didn’t mind paying £5 for them ….

  2. Well, sometimes I dress just for the hell of it, to make myself feel good even if I am going to the corner store, especially now that I work from home and spend all my time in either leggings and t-shirts or jammies…don’t care if people make fun of me. Why are you wearing that pretty dress to the post office? Because I bought it, dammit, and I am going to wear it!
    On an aside, when I lived in London, I used to have a flat on a charming Albert Square, with pretty Victorian buildings and one of those residents only gardens at the center. On those three Summer week-ends we would typically have some sun, I would take out my beach towel and go lie in the sun in the park….foolishly hoping for a tan….

    • I think that’s pretty much it for me too. I get comments like ‘that’s a lovely dress, I wish I could wear one’ and I think well why don’t you just go and put one on then? 😉
      Your flat sounds like where my sister used to live – it was like an oasis. I gave up on tans a long time ago but still remember my friends years ago and their factor 2 oil when they went on holiday….

      • It’s hard to dodge the curse of the ‘you can’t wear that, it’s for best’ mentality. With two kids and no job of my own, if I waited for an occasion which required wearing my ‘best’, they’d be burying me in all my nice frocks. These days I just think fuck it and put them on anyway. If I’m going to be accessorised with toddler snot, it might as well be smeared over something pretty.

        Maybe there’s an Etsy shop in there somewhere…

  3. lovely post. Maybe we dress (some of us) for what we’d like to be and do as much as for what we are. I sometimes see women hitting the supermarket on a Sunday in full makeup, heels and tailored suit!

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