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PM and still in PGs by Offshorewifeslife

PM and still in PGs by Offshorewifeslife

After a year out in the fashion wilderness, I have gone back to working part-time in the centre of town and realised that a revolution has occurred while I have been gone. One that hasn’t quite filtered out as far as my suburban high street, where it’s still OK to wear bootflares and trainers (actually I’m not sure skinnies ever made it out here to Zone 4 to begin with).

Skirts are now strange and difficult shapes: they bulge unflatteringly at the hips, and thighs, and are called ‘tulips’. Obviously its helps if you are incredibly young, thin or preferably both. ‘Treggings’ is apparently no longer a silly made-up term used only by fashion editors, but an actual item of clothing that women – lots of them – wear. For the uninitiated, treggings are incredibly tight jeans or trousers that are indistinguishable from leggings, and that show off every bump and lump. The young and thin thing obviously applies here, too. As does it with harem pants, miniskirts and any number of current trends designed to strike fear in the heart of thirtysomething women with real figures everywhere.
And don’t get me started on the shoes. I knew that ridiculously high heels were supposedly all the rage, because believe it or not they still have style magazines out here in fashion’s hinterland. But I hadn’t realised women were actually wearing them in such vast numbers. Yesterday I found myself wistfully eyeing up a shiny black pair with a particularly vicious heel in a shoe shop, the sort you could use to bludgeon a small rodent to death with if you were so inclined. However, as I spend half the week running manically past kebab shops and crazy men to get to the nursery before the doors shut and I get fined, I don’t think they fit into my new lifestyle somehow. Somebody should invent a pair where you can just slip the heel off and they become practical, rubber soled flats (there’s a Dragon’s Den idea, if ever there was one).

For now, I am a fashion martian, marvelling at how differently they do things here. The shops are full of mysterious items in strange colours and weird shapes, that I don’t recognise or understand. I have no idea how these could be put together to form a complete outfit that won’t make me look like I’m wearing fancy dress to a ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ party. For the first time, I relate to all those souls who have so desperately lost their mojo that they are prepared to undergo total humiliation on national TV, and consult Trinny and Susanna or Gok Wan as a last resort. And for the first time, I feel properly old. Still at least at home, I can pull on my pyjama bottoms, the ones with snot and baby puke all over them, and feel no shame, and know that across the land other new mothers are doing exactly the same thing.

Remember that rhyme that went round when you were at school? ‘Oh, let’s all go to Tesco’s/ Where [insert victim’s name] buys her best clothes/ La, la, la, la etc?’
Well, unfortunately for you, now that is the truth. Of course, supermarket clothes have come a long way since the 1980s, and we’re certainly not knocking the sartorial delights of Florence & Fred, George at Asda, Sainsbury’s Tu and other similar ranges. In fact, we like them a lot, especially the ones that don’t exploit developing world sweatshop labour too much.

It’s just that there is something a little sad, a little deflated and disappointing, about chucking a new blouse into the trolley alongside a bottle of ketchup and packet of smoked mackerel. Clothes shopping by its very nature should be an indulgent and uplifting experience, even during a credit crunch.
However on-trend and pretty the clothes are, the glaring lights, piped muzak and surly supermarket shop assistants guarantee that, as an experience, shopping in Selfridges this ain’t

Only thing is, if you don’t buy your clothes in the supermarket, you might just never find time to buy any at all. Supermarket clothes shopping enables you to multi-task, something we new mums are good at – and  let’s face it, even making it to a supermarket is a treat these days (see also our love affair with Ocado).
Yes, we know there is always or Ebay, both brilliant in their own way for those cheap and instant fashion fixes. And, yes, OK, every few weeks there is that obligatory trip to John Lewis/Bluewater, which you now look forward to in the same way you used to look forward to afternoon tea at the Wolesley.
But sometimes we want New Clothes Now, and we want to touch and see them in real-life not as a collection of pixels on a screen. Even if we have no chance of being able to actually try them on – have you ever seen a supermarket changing room that is actually open, even if you had the time to use it?
So. Best clothes. Tesco’s. You know it makes sense.

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This blog is currently dedicated to stuff new mummies like. As opposed to stuff mummies of teenagers like. That's because we don't have teenagers yet. Give us a few years though. We're told it goes pretty quickly...

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