Clothes do not a girlie girl make.

One couldn’t say that my dress sense is inspiring. I am not a dedicated follower of fashion in any sense of the word. The closest I get to fashion is running my tongue along the window of New Look.

I can usually be seen wearing jeans and up until the time I had my children, trainers. Adidas usually, Mr Oliver style, which my husband says are a bit ‘Pikey’ but I love them.
Since the children came along though I feel it only befitting and appropriate that I now wear Clarks comfy shoes. The ones with the very slight wedge and laces that look like a throwback from the Kickers that were in fashion about 30 years ago. They are a deep red, giving me what I like to think of as ‘an edge’.

In my very infrequent visits to clothes shops I feel drawn towards the casual clothes – tee shirts, usually green with no frills or bows, military style jackets, whether or not in fashion, and boot cut jeans, extra long. I also like a scarf or two and I actually spend more money of scarves than I do on make up, shoes and handbags put together. My compulsion for scarves is based upon the assumption that it doesn’t matter what tat you wear, sticking a scarf over it in a nonchalant, I-Just-threw-this-on styley will immediately transform my look from ‘slummy’ to ‘yummy’. Maybe I’m deluded.

Despite preferring the casual, boy-next-door look, I wont be in the same room as a pair of skinny jeans or those ‘boyfriend’ type that hang around the bum, exposing a little bit too much buttock flesh. I think anyone over 15 years old would agree that they look just ridiculous! Whoever made these things fashionable must have had a fetish for fat builders’ lower bodily functions and quite frankly should be shot!

So you’ll have gathered that I am a steadfast casual girl and therefore I found myself totally at odds when faced with the prospect of a local Round Table black tie event. What on earth does one wear to such an event and how on earth does one try to begin to add a casual air to it so I don’t look like some trussed up hog roast with an apple up my backside? I’m not the kind of person to open my wardrobe and whip out a beautiful Emanuel dress, with perfect colour co-ordinated matching shoes, bag and accessories. That’s just not me. I do not do Chic.

The main issue of course is the dress. Having checked out the internet for help I discovered that the majority of people wear long floor length dresses with pretty hair up-dos and they accessorise with mini black silky bags and teeny tiny shoes with big spikey heels (not that they’d even show beneath the long dress). Not something I remember having ever worn, although I’m sure there was the odd occasion at university, but I fear my memory is forever fogged in a beer sodden haze so I don’t rightly recall.

After a few visits to my local style-deficient town which yields nothing, even after advice from a lovely Monsoon lady I decide that I am indeed in a pickle. The backless, sleeveless, held-up-by-pert-bosom-alone slinky numbers that abound on the high street are just not an option. They’re too revealing for my sensitivities and my thirty-five (PLUS a lot) year old body – I feel naked at the very thought!

This does nothing but get my knickers in a twist and I complain to my husband in the hope that his laterally thinking brain will have a wave. Suddenly, husband does have a brainwave. ‘Wear your wedding dress!’ He says. Now I’m not sure whether this is coming from his need for me to spend NO money or from his memory of our wedding when I looked, in my mind, every inch the perfect but not-too-stereotypical bride, but my face lights up at the idea.

When I say ‘wedding dress’ I don’t mean some big white fluffy number that looks as though it’s had a bit part in ‘Her 47 dresses’, but a long, deep purple silky number with not-too-thin straps. It skims delicately over all tummy flabbiness and has a beautiful ruffled detail at the front, accentuating diminishing boobage – perfect choice! Why didn’t I think of it? In fact, if I’d seen it in the shop I’d have bought it immediately! Yet there it was in my very own wardrobe – bonus! So now all I have to worry about is all the other paraphernalia that goes with being a proper woman – the shoes, the bag, the earrings, the hair, the nails…