Wednesday, 26 June 2013

In these shoes ? I don't think so…

Topshop shoes
I went back to work two months ago. In order to make it possible for me to work we have a finely tuned operation involving dropping off to and picking up from nursery, some home working and family childcare. My boy goes to nursery from Monday to Wednesday and on a Thursday he is at home with either Hubbie or my sister who is a nanny and has helped take care of him since he was a baby. 

The new routine has been tiring and repetitive and yet I've lost all ability to dress myself properly. You'd have thought that I'd have found my groove with what to wear to work by now, but apparently I have time to find clothes for my boy, but not for me. I was so perturbed by this revelation (brought on by two days last week where I was wearing entirely inappropriate clothing for the weather) that I put my name down for a style session at the Britmums event on Saturday.

Now bear in mind that I have always loved clothes and shoes and handbags and accessories and pretty much everything to do with fashion. I've never been a trend setter, but I always took time to keep up with what was in fashion and would browse and spend time and money in clothes shops. My happy place was Topshop Oxford Circus and if I was late home on a Thursday night Hubbie would call to check if I was there for late opening - I usually was. If friends phoned me I would often be part way through buying clothes or I'd have just bought some shoes. I loved clothes. I still do. I just don't know what to wear any more.
Topshop Oxford Circus

On the Saturday morning before I went to Britmums I got up early and looked outside the window to see what the weather was doing. I chose some loose fitting trousers instead of my usual jeggings and a shirt that I thought was light and pretty looking. They weren't high fashion or frumpy, they were ok. Kate (the stylist) took one look at what I was wearing and said, "your clothes are too big for you." I stammered a response along the lines of, "these were my post pregnancy trousers and the top was from East because I had a voucher to spend." How post pregnancy is three years exactly ? I'm seriously failing at being a yummy mummy.

Then yesterday I wore a top that kept falling off the shoulders with some jeans that are a bit loose and realised that I do it all the time. Today I caught sight of myself in the mirror at a pilates class and I saw an older version of my teenage self. Since I was 18 I've worn enormous clothes to disguise my shape. I used to buy men's large size t shirts which swamp me now, back then I was almost 2 stones lighter so I must have looked even more ridiculous. I still buy and wear clothes that are too big for me. I've done it for years. Well, decades actually.

In my head I'm much bigger than I actually am. In my mind I have fat knees. a massive body and chubby arms. Wearing clothes that are too big for me doesn't make me look slimmer, or shapely. They make me look like I've got someone else's clothes on. Dark clothes that don't fit too close to the body or flatter my figure.

Cat looking in a mirror at reflection of a lion.In order to be able to dress myself properly do I need to become one of those odd people who break a biscuit in half or eats 2 rice cakes for lunch ? Do I have to become skin and bone to be happy with my body so that I don't mind wearing clothes that fit me ? 

Or do I just accept that I'll never be skinny because that requires too much deprivation. I don't want to be so obsessed with myself that I only think about my own body shape to the detriment of all else. When I lost weight and was a size 10 I never truly accepted my smaller size. I kept all the jeans in larger sizes (just as well really) and still thought I was enormous. I was convinced that the labelling in Dorothy Perkins was somehow flawed.

So if I spend more time planning what my boy wears than what I wear I think that's ok. I've spent enough of my life (and money) on myself. Now it's his turn.

I have seen a great pair of shoes in Next that I think I might have to have though…  

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