Posts Tagged ‘clothes


Why the woman in black wears bright red knickers

I used to wear black on the outside because it was how I felt on the inside, now I wear it in the vain hope that it will somehow disguise the fact that my backside is used by astronauts as a homing device when they return to Planet Earth.

When I say I’m the Woman in Black, I mean it. I am the only person I know to whom getting dressed in the dark holds no fear.

My only concession to colour is my underwear, which is brightly coloured. This was a tip from a women’s magazine I once read that advised you should always aim for an element of surprise with your outfit. My element of surprise is saved for the ambulance service in the eventuality they might need to cut off my clothes after a hideous accident or the lucky few (if Mum is reading) who have been allowed access to my inner chambers.

My pathological hatred of fashion or clothes shopping means that as soon as I find a garment I can bear, I instantly buy six identical garments and then rotate them until I find something new that I like. Due to this fact, I shunned trousers for 15 years because I was working my way through dozens of totally identical skirts.

Flagrantly ignoring the Bible’s warning – “woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man…for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God” – I bought myself a pair of trousers and experienced a sense of liberation I had not felt since I discovered the mute button on my phone at work. I instantly went back to the shop and bought five identical pairs.

God’s vengeance was of no concern to me. I have seen the gentle BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley, I know that God allowed female clergy in Dibley to wear trousers without sending plagues of locusts or apocalyptic floods to punish their sins (more’s the pity).

For the first few days of trouser-wearing, I was irresistibly drawn towards sitting with my legs splayed like a leering uncle at a wedding and had to fight the urge to ostenatiously adjust myself whenever anyone was looking. And oh! the joy of being able to step out of my horseless carriage without showing even an inch of petticoat – I tell you ladies, I think these ‘trousers’ might catch on.

Having embraced a whole new world of sartorial possibility, it seemed time to readdress my hatred of fashion and give it a second chance. I was not far into my search for inspiration when I found this crock of shit from celebrated Danish designer Henrik Vibskov.

The police's new community support officers weren't entirely happy with their new uniform

I know I have been away for a long time, locked into a clothes hell of my own making, but is this really what the young people are wearing these days? Just look at those buffoons in the background; it’s like a New Order video for the colour blind. And then there’s this:

As Jared walked down the runway, he couldn't help wondering: how had it all gone so terribly wrong.

This is the kind of coat that the kids with fleas wore at my high school. At best, you could say the coathanger hat might come in handy if you needed to pop into the dry cleaners and didn’t have a spare hand to carry your freshly-laundered smoking jacket home, at worst, well, is absolutely everything else.

I need no further proof that black is the way forward. My calculations show that I need not shop for clothes again until 2012.


nips like tent pegs, nose like an icicle and I haven’t even left the house yet

Just as I am built for comfort, and not speed, I am also built for warmth and not this bone-pervading cold we are enduring here in the East of England this winter.

By bone-pervading, I mean it’s -2C. And before anyone starts getting uppity – especially all you readers living at the Russian Vostok Base in Antarctica which is currently enjoying invigorating temperatures of -89C, 40C colder than the average surface temperature of Mars – the ability to cope with the cold is all relative, I’ll have you know.

It doesn’t help that I’m living in a badly-insulated, draught-filled Victorian shambles of a house with an extension clearly thrown up by Roy Rogers and Co back in the 1970s with its own eco-system and wind-chill factor of -30C on the most temperate of days.

The extension is, of course, where the computer is housed. As I sit here, ice pick beside me in case I need to chip away at some of the less fashionable keys on the keyboard (§ for example. Or \) which haven’t thawed out, I feel as if I’m typing in a morgue. And for once it’s not a metaphorical morgue which signposts the graveyard of ambition, which is how Jeremy Clarkson describes working in Norfolk.

Critics, or my family as I like to call them, point out that it doesn’t help that I continually cover all the radiators in the house with wet clothes. When I point out that the alternative is that they have no clean clothes whatsoever, they remain impassive. I’m good, but I can’t work miracles (or when I do, I aim for a better class of miracle).

By Tuesday night, it’ll be -4C. Yes, mock us all you Canadians who don’t wave goodbye to snow until May, but remember: we are British. The only temperatures we can withstand are those which are the very definition of ‘average’. This is not average. I can’t feel my bloody nose.

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