Life’s too short to wear clothes that make you feel bleugh. Well, so goes my latest take on life. There is some background. Last Thursday (snow day as it was called in Jersey, they don’t happen that much) I was off to do some improvised sledding with my girls. I don’t know if it’s just me, but there’s nothing worse than that feeling as your vest goes up, and your jeans slide down, and under your duvet-disguised-as-a-coat there is bare skin, and a right old draft. This is why salopets were invented of course. But mine – like much of my life – are somewhere in a box in a storage unit, so I fished out my dungarees.
Ah, my dungarees. I love them and I hate them. I bought them on a whim two years ago, before we had decided to move to Jersey… I won’t say I was having a crisis, but there are some interesting choices purchased around that time that are still hanging in my wardrobe screaming ‘what were you thinking.’ Worn in the summer with a breton stripe and a pair of flip flops, they can just about look cool (albeit on someone twenty years younger than me, or Dawn O’Porter). However, this was a snow day. I had no intention of seeing anyone I knew, so paired them with thermals, a huge big sweater (nice – adding even more bulk) and a pair of wellies. And obligatory hat/scarf/glove. I looked a state. But it was snow day. No one would see me.
Alas, after half an hour in the snow we upped the anti, switching our plastic bags to body boards, and feet first to head first. And let’s just leave it at that. It traspires that when you say it out loud it never sounds like a good idea. And eldest daughter running into me, and me landing on her, and us both crashing into a wall – her with her head – was probably inevitable.
She’s fine. Lacerations were all. Big ones, that needed stitching under general anaesthetic (not quite how I’d planned on seeing out my Thursday, but there you go). They are healing up beautifully, and we were very lucky to have a great doctor on call. But my dungarees. They weren’t supposed to be seen in town…
Mr R was dispatched to get supplies – naff magazines; toothbrushes; pyjamas; some sort of non welly shoe – and I ended up wearing the dungarees with some gold flecked pumps from George. He had also gone smaller on the Pyjamas than was actually necessary. I mean, I got them on, but that’s about all. He did ask what I would have done if he’d got me the size I said I’d wanted (I always buy up a size in PJs, I value my sleep) to which I did agree, I would not have been happy. In short, I looked a state – both in my mid-life crisis dungarees, and my too-tight nightwear. I am sure no one was really looking at me, but in one afternoon I decided that actually, I was going to wear clothes that made me feel good about myself, always.*
*Except leisurewear. That can be worn when I have in my head a plan to do exercise even though I will find something better to do.
It has meant a few things. First off, that (aside from all my clothes somewhere in a box in storage) I don’t have very many clothes at the moment… but then, this alone got me thinking. What do I actually wear on a daily basis? Pretty much a uniform. Jeans, some sort of trainer/ankle boot, and an oversized jumper. With a coat at this time of year (waterproof or not, dependent on what’s going on outside). In the summer I bravely switch this up to jeans with a flip flop and T-shirt. And yet my wardrobe has items of clothing in that I not only haven’t worn, but I have no idea quite what I was thinking when I bought them….
And I don’t think that I am alone. I don’t make a business of really thinking too closely about what I wear, I just put on what fits. That makes it sound as though I don’t care what I look like, which isn’t true at all, because I do, and I love nothing more than getting dressed up in something lovely, oh, twice a year perhaps, but I always reach for the same things; I always pull my hair back in a messy bun; and if I make just the teeniest bit more effort, I actually feel quite good about myself, as opposed to not really thinking about it at all.
I’m going to stick to my uniform, because it’s how I’m most confortable, but next time I reach for a pair of dungarees, or in fact any item of clothing that has be justifying wearing it because no one will see me, I’m going to put in straight in the pile for charity. Because no one needs to see me in a pair of dungarees with a pair of wellies in public.