The next day

by little red pen

A flat day here, made better by the following:

  • a jonquil, brand new
  • Rabbit falling asleep on Ian on the couch, with bonus snoring
  • new business cards and flyers
  • a fire and no great expectations
  • coffee and cake
  • handmade mugs
  • yoghurt
  • Ani d’Franco: “all of this is just someone’s idea; it could just as well be mine”
  • rain, grey sky and a green jersey
  • the Cat’s face, clear and open, with bonus freckles
  • gin and tonic, and no, I am not a complete lush

I thought I could be completely trivial today and write about clothes. Not my speciality, obviously, but I do wear them and I have thoughts.

pearsThe first thing that must be acknowledged is that I’m irreducibly pear-shaped. I’m fairly at peace with that — I fit the prototype passed from the women of both sides of my family, so at least I have lineage — but I would like to aim more for the Buerre Bosc end of the spectrum than the Winter Nellis one.

Being pear-ish, fashion doesn’t work so well for me as playing to my strengths. I have finally made the move from flared trousers and fitted tops to narrow pants and looser tops, at least in my head. I don’t go shopping very often and I don’t like replacing clothes that still fit and don’t have holes, so my wardrobe is a bit slow to catch up. Also, there’s a very narrow range in which narrow pants work for me: leggings, jeggings, skinny jeans, and ponte pants (whatever they are) are usually BAD NEWS, unless they achieve some miraculous combination of arse-friendliness and leg-forgivingness. This miracle is usually only achievable with the addition of heels; as I like to walk, we don’t see that miracle in these parts very often.

I have a bone-deep weakness for cardigans and woolly hand-knits. If it’s soft, drapey, snuggly, and the right colour, I’m ALL IN. The right colour is tricky: I’m partial to greys, greens, blues and certain reds. A soft pink has been known to lure me, and a stripe will usually find its way to my heart. Silver is also good. Mum had an aversion to black that verged on moralistic, so even though I admire all-black ensembles on my friends, I usually wear colour unless we’re talking nightwear. I had a pair of black silk pyjamas in my 20s with white edging, and they were THE BEST. In the last year, I’ve relied heavily on scarves to brighten up my days.

I don’t like to linger or browse in clothes shops; I’m more your “walk in, scan the racks, pull out five things, try them on, make decisions, buy or leave” type. I like an honest salesperson and help thinking of different options, but I can’t stand being talked into something that doesn’t work. If the whole operation can be done in less than 15 minutes, so much the better. Most of my best buys have been second-hand, and my only problem with that is the need to fossick in larger second-hand stores. I’m quick, but I like to know that I’ve seen everything, so vast choice makes me twitchy. I can sew skirts and simple tops, but buttons and zips are at the outer limit of my skill range.

I’d like to own a silk shirt like the ones Allison Janney wears on The West Wing (although she is longer and leaner than me, so maybe not — also Mum kept silk shirts in the freezer to make them easier to iron, and I’m not sure I’m game for that), a pair of slightly heeled ankle boots, a slouchy grey jersey to replace the one I’ve had since I was 17, better pyjamas, and a bra to replace the one that saw me through Rabbit’s breastfeeding years. One day…