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Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

The other day, I found myself up at my mother’s house with only a brown cardigan and a brown pair of corduroy pants to wear.

“It’s a Brown Out!” my husband exclaimed, upon seeing me. 

And he was right. I felt like a big brown blob casting a chocolate-hued shadow over everything in my wake. Or like Winnie-the-Pooh pretending to be a little black cloud, except just brown and completely without whimsical charm.

It hasn’t been the only fashion disaster of recent times, I must confess. 

I was talking to some mothers at the kindergarten recently when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the sunlight glinting off the seam running along my sleeve and I realised, with horror, that my shirt was inside out. And when I went to turn it the right way around, I realised that my fly was completely undone. And that I had just been parading the Inside-Out-Shirt/Open-Trouser Look about at our local shopping mall for at least an hour. 

That might have been it for the day. Certainly I had filled my usual quota of fashion mistakes within a 24 hour period, but then I realised that T. McGee’s shoes were on the wrong feet and, when we picked up Mr Justice from school, he made this big point of saying “Why do you think my hands look so strange in my pockets?”. Turns out he had his trousers the wrong way round, which quite possibly serves him right for letting his mother dress him at aged 6.

Still, I might have taken all that on the chin, if it hadn’t been hot on the tails of the Bad Trousers Day the day before. And don’t pretend you don’t know what a Bad Trouser Day is. We all have them every now and again, thanks to the Bad Trousers themselves. Ooh, those naughty naughty ill-fitting trousers.  I’d paddle their bottom, if my own wasn’t inside them. 

I have one pair whose bad behaviour seems to be linked to how much fluid I’m retaining – which either could be enough to make me look 8 months pregnant, or as little to make me look, well, seven and a half months pregnant. And there is a difference – at least as far as my trousers are concerned. In the former case, they fit me Just Fine, Thank You Very Much. And in the latter… well, the trousers become more slippery than a post-bath Tiddles McGee trying to dodge a good toweling.

This particular day, I had already set off on the school run when it became apparent that a BTD was upon me and I that I’d have to hold up my trousers oh-so-very-casually with one hand, while pushing the Valco Mobile Home with the other. Which was manageable until I came to a corner and this man in a car came up behind me wanting to turn into the street I was about to cross. I stopped to wait for him to turn, but he waved me across. I then panicked because I knew I would have to push the pram with two hands to get it over the curb and that my trousers WOULD and in fact DID fall completely down, revealing my polka-dotted backside to the neighbourhood at large. And that male motorist, who had a ring-side seat, must have thought all of his Benny Hill or “Zapped”-inspired fantasies had come true. I would have shaken my fist at him and shouted “Pervert!” except, well, I had to pull my trousers up. 

However, I should just add that it was lucky for all concerned that this incident didn’t coincide with a Bad Underpants Day or even just a Temperamental Elastic Day. If it had, that male motorist might have experienced a whole different type of “Brown Out” with a “ring-side” seat indeed.

You’ve got to love it when a good arse joke comes together.

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The other day, I was waiting at the supermarket check-out and felt this little frisson when I looked in my shopping basket. I had realised that its contents  – with 1 litre of no-fat milk, a block of chocolate, cat food and an impulse copy of “NW” magazine – represented a “Single Girl Shop”. I felt all footloose and fancy-free as I walked out to the carpark – there was almost a little skip in my step – but by the time I had climbed up into my 1986 Tarago, noticed the snot streaks on my black tracksuit pants and then the strains of Angela Lansbury singing “Beauty and The Beast” on the car-stereo, the spell was broken and I drove back home with a heavy heart.

It took me back to about a year ago, when my friend JS (she who star-jumped off the wagon with such glee – see “Kicking the Habit“) persuaded me to come into the CBD to meet her and a few girlfriends for a drink or two. It started off badly: I caught the bus in, I couldn’t find the bar because it was too cool to be clearly signposted, and the bouncer looked young enough to be a child of my loins. And then, when I finally located JS and her friends, I saw that they were all fabulously frocked up and drinking exotic cocktails, while little old me (old being the operative word) stood awkwardly with my glass of cheap fizz, in three-quarter length trousers and a large floral hand-bag over one shoulder like some kind of poster girl for Miller’s Fashion Club. As I caught the bus home (which, upon reflection, was even more tragic than catching the bus there), I concluded that I probably would have felt more comfortable wearing a garbage bag held together with gaffer tape and was grateful that nobody had had me escorted from the premises for looking like Somebody’s Aunt.

In my own habitat, I still feel just a little bit cool. I wear vintage cardigans! I’ve never owned a pair of white trainers! I wear “New Media” glasses! My hair is interesting and well-cut by a funky lady! (No-one needs to know that she comes to my house to do it). I had the first pair of Crocs out of everyone I knew and even before Meg Mathews (ex-wife of rumoured ex-member of ex-It band “Oasis”, Noel Gallagher) was featured wearing them in UK “Heat” magazine!! (Okay, so strike that last one). Listen, goddammit: I’m a cool mum!!

I guess the telling sign in that proclamation is that I can’t honestly just say “I’m cool” – I have to put the word “Mum” in there, which is a little like saying you’re an “uproarious funeral director” – both words kind of cancel each other out. Some people like to use the term “Yummy Mummy” but that just rubs me the wrong way whenever I hear it applied to anyone who’s not all laid out on Hannibal Lecter’s dining table. I don’t know why it drives me so crazy – but it does. It’s almost as bad as people saying “It’s All Good” when, clearly, it isn’t *all* good, nothing ever is, and to pretend that it is “All Good” is to be walking around in a state of perpetual delusion.

But anyway, I digress. Last night, when I was still musing on this post and my own state of “Mumsiness”, I found myself walking into the local supermarket with my bicycle helmet still on, a stained t-shirt which kept riding up and an old pair of pregnancy trousers that kept falling down. To protect the public from the Horror That Is My Midriff, I promptly pulled the trousers as high as they would go, so the stunning result was as bad as Simon “Harry Highpants” Cowell would look like if he wasn’t surrounded by American Idol stylists 24/7.  Much to my delight, I ran into a fellow mother-of-three wearing her netball skirt and a heavy metal tshirt from a band her brother was in during the 80s. We regarded each other with the respect we deserved – after all, nothing we were wearing was inside out or could be classified as nightwear and – here’s the most impressive thing – there we were, both chillin’ in the dairy section of Coles, without our children while our husbands were at home doing the childwrangling. Now that’s cool.

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