Clothes have always been the armour, and accessories & makeup the arsenal, in my personal battle against the world. When I don’t dress up I feel a shadow of myself. Once in a blue moon, I’ve been known to cover the Sunday of London Fashion Week in cream Converse and pants but, more usually, you’ll see me on appointments and at the shows in heels, a great coat and a frock of some kind. That’s my look. It’s what works for me.

But at the moment, most of my armour is languishing in a storage container in Manhattan: I was only supposed to be in London for a month.

But then I stayed a little longer, and then a little longer. And now I’m thoroughly fed up with the pieces I have here. Given that I’m spending most of my time in the depths of the countryside, bashing out copy, I’ve stopped trying to think of different ways to work my two smart frocks, and just wear whatever is to hand when I wake.

But I hadn’t realised just how far I’d sunk until this week. Scrabbling around all day in the attics, I finally folded myself into my tiny sports car, drove like a fury down the motorway to London, picked up Miss P and headed to Hackney for Vietnamese this evening.

Half way through supper a dapper ex-boyfriend walked into Viet Hoa. And I realised I was wearing tights, unlaced sheepskin lined hiking boots, a threadbare Jermyn St mens shirt (my nightshirt actually), a holey grey cardi and my bottle end big black specs. Oh plus a birds nest pinned on top of my head and a face shining with unmade up virtue.

Why, why, why is it that on the only occasion in living memory that I leave the house looking like a unmade bed that I bump into someone I didn’t need to see?

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22 comments

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It's called sod's law….although if most men are anything to go by, he won't have even noticed.

I long for an excuse to dress up, having spent the whole of January in jeans and warm, but very unglamorous, down coat…..

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Poor dear! I hate it when that happens. On the plus side, you were certain to fit right in with the locals in your outfit.

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Hmmm, that is always the way, isn't it!! I find myself going from one extreme to the other: on casual weekend days you can find me in the supermarket in tracksuit pants and thongs (flip flops), but the rest of the time I almost find it easier to dress up properly, given my wardrobe has expanded greatly since moving away from the corporate world of suits, suits and more suits!

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argh. painful. this is probably the vainest thing I have ever admitted to, but what you described is my worst nightmare.

my favorite part of the High Fidelity movie was the Catherine Zeta Jones character.

For ex-boyfriends, i want my look to quietly tell them:
i am not merely over you, i am beyond you, friend. just look at me. look at what you're missing. and notice my gracious manners too please. yes, i am at peace. my beatitude strikes a perfect, harmonious chord with my hotness. although i am looking down on you right now, and always will, it is with compassion and affection.

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Welcome to my world I love clothes but when you live where I do and have three dogs, you do sometimes let go and that is always when you get the surprise visiterx

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Ouch, feel for you. That's painful. When my husband left I vowed never to let him see me looking anything but my best. So, I know exactly how you feel. I bet you looked great really.

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Oh, I hate it when that happens, mind you as I am living in deepest France, I hardly ever dress nicely or wear make-up, used to be dressed and made up nicely every day and loved it, now when people see me made up, they give me really strange looks….maybe I have forgotten how to apply it or even scarier they don't recognise me.

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I'm sure you carried it off with style though- do know what you mean- am in heels for the first time at work for what feels like ages- the snow got me into a really bad slob habit I couldn't kick.

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Ouch! Though I do like the sound of your bottle-end glasses and hiking boots- I'm a born scruff (Converse are home to my feet) though I do try to remain a clean scruff as far as possible.

Sucks about the ex though. It's never easy to face down someone when you know you're looking less than your best- it doesn't matter whether they notice or not, but I do!

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Oh bugger. But I bet he was thinking how unpretentious and enticingly relaxed you look, no?

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