Stories from the changing room (part 1)
Contrary to public opinion, not all women enjoy shopping for clothes. Or am I just peculiar? I find the very thought of having to go and find something specific quite daunting and usually put it off, and off again, and then finally I just can’t be bothered. It might make a difference if I thought I was going to get any worthwhile help from sales assistants but you just know that’s a dead duck before you start.
My niece, on the other hand, could shop for England but, then, she’s not quite eighteen and has a quite different agenda – impressing the gentlemen. But I still can’t get to grips with trailing around every shop in sight, sighing over the latest fashions (some of which, in my opinion, are singularly hideous and wouldn’t look good on a stick – sorry – supermodel), and then the mere thought of having to fight with zips, buttons and poppers in a miniscule box that masquerades as a changing room just makes me feel quite faint! Give me a catalogue anytime!
However, once a month I follow in the wake of my good friend, Jean, who absolutely adores shopping for clothes. And I enjoy picking out new things for her.
We met when I wandered into the candle shop that she used to run. I was looking for some floating candles for a birthday present. Jean was very helpful and showed me an amazing collection in virtually every colour under the sun. She pointed out some beautiful examples in cream, golden brown, forest green and sunshine yellow. We started chatting and I told her that Amy (my best friend’s step-daughter) would prefer some in baby blue, dusty pink and ivory because she has Summer colouring. Jean is an Autumn and was naturally drawn to the warm shades from that palette. She booked me for a Wardrobe Weedout and we’ve been good friends ever since, updating Jean’s wardrobe along the way with our regular shopping trips.
Waiting in the changing room for her sometimes, I see some rather incredible sights, I can tell you. And, there are times when I just can’t keep my mouth shut and have to offer an opinion.
Recently, I sat next to a lady who was waiting for her daughter-in-law. The lady was holding a lime green sleeveless top with a matching floral short-sleeved blouse. I asked her if she was trying them on. She wanted to buy them but was trying to think what she had at home to go with them! I suggested some navy trousers. I knew she would prefer navy to black because she had Summer colouring. She said she’d never thought of that. So I asked her why she was buying something that she might never wear. She replied, “Well, that’s what we women do, don’t we?” I assured her that I certainly don’t do that anymore. What a waste of money and time, buying something that you’re not sure you’re going to wear. And what about the guilt that goes with it, too? No, thank you. Not for me.
I told her about knowing which colours suit you so that when you buy something, you only choose things that suit YOU. Then, everything in your wardrobe will mix and match automatically because clothes, accessories, make-up, etc. all match YOU. This lovely lady then gave me another stock answer, “Well, I’m 73 and it’s too late to change now!” I’d love to be able to write that I find this a shame but I need to be honest here. I find this kind of attitude utterly exasperating. Why do women write themselves off so readily? It is NEVER too late to learn.
We all owe it to ourselves to look good all the time. And this doesn’t mean necessarily spending loads of money on designer outfits. If you know which colours really suit you, you could easily find something in your local charity shop for a couple of pounds. I’ve picked up some incredible bargains over the years, some of which I’m still wearing. If it makes you look good, wear it. Only you will know how much you paid for it!
I’ll tell you about the daughter-in-law in the next issue – what a bobby dazzler!
Stories from the changing room (part 1)