I’ve never been one for glamour in the office. I’ve always dressed smartly and my working wardrobe consists of lots of functional dresses that just need a cardi and a pair of tights on a cold day. I tended to invest in good quality dresses that will last a long time which in hindsight was an excellent plan because most of them owe me nothing at this stage they’ve been worn so often and there’s life in the old dogs yet, thank God, due to an embargo on shopping for a long, long time. Back in the day, I managed to blowdry my hair – a passing blowdry mind, none of your fancy bounciness – and of course the face went on because, honestly, I look sick without it. My favourite winter wardrobe item was my long black wool coat with its gorgeous hood that saw me through many’s a winter. It finally fell apart on me at the end of the big snow of winter 2010, which incidentally turned out to be perfect timing because I was just reaching the end of my first trimester and the shapely cut of the coat would cut it no more.
Flash forward a couple of years, it’s winter again and I’m back at work nearly eight months now and black wool coats have absolutely no place in my life. The dresses are still here of course because they’re still in good nick and I can’t afford new ones anyway. This has been good for my waistline because they HAVE TO fit me. I have, however, had to re-evaluate how seriously I take the phrase “dry clean only” because in all honesty, if I had to dry clean my clothes every time they got dirty, I’d be naked.
Or broker than broke already is.
Although you know, naked is probably the way to go. At least skin is waterproof and wipe clean. What I really need is a collection of vinyl jumpsuits in a selection of colours that have no fear of a snotty nose being wiped on a shoulder, or lumps of porridge drying onto every surface, or little puke stains in my lap, or sticky finger marks created by toast crumbs bonded in butter.
If I get to blowdry my hair these days, it’s a blue moon. Luckily for me, I have reasonably curly hair which is passable when dried naturally so I think I’m getting away with it. If you’ve seen my hair and you disagree with me, I don’t want to know about it because it’s just not going to get blowdried any more frequently. The full face is a permanent fixture of course and I worship daily at the altar of Yves Saint Laurent and his miraculous Touche Eclat to disguise those dark circles.
I’ve swopped my wool coat for a full length, “shower-proof” (!), belted, hooded puffa with massive pockets. Stylish it ain’t. But truth be told, I LOVE it!
- has a hood so I don’t have to carry around a broken umbrella in my already burdened handbag AND I don’t have to wear a hat that, yes, keeps my head warm but doesn’t keep it dry and leaves a line across my forehead for the day
- does appear indeed to be “shower proof” and it’s extremely snuggly because its fleece lined – including the pockets!
- has a belt that nips me in at the waist to stop me from looking like the shape of a duvet
- goes right down to my ankles so I’m nice and dry on those oh-so-frequent rainy evenings stuck at a bus stop as overloaded bus after overloaded bus goes whizzing by
- can be wiped down easily and thrown in the washing machine so no worrying about getting it dirty or the ring of make-up around the collar
- is essentially a shiny duvet so I have no preciousness about protecting the integrity of my lovely coat
- has gigantic pockets that together can hold at least two packets of tissues (an essential tool in the mother kit, right?) my phone, my Blackberry (I know! It’s for work. And I have strict rules about mixing business and pleasure), my keys, my headphones, my bus pass and my work ID. This means that I have a seamless transition from front door, to bus stop, to office without having to rummage fruitlessly in my hand bag once.
It’s the simple things in life.
I’ve just written a blog post about how much I love a fashionably-questionable, zip up duvet.
This is who I am now.