My instinct would be to brush off women who spend a lot of time and money on their looks as shallow. But through my life I’ve met some fantastic, inspiring, intelligent women who spend a great deal of time and money on appearances. So, once again, I’ve had to re-evaluate my own viewpoint.
First, I have to be honest to myself about my own choices. I covet the shoes in this picture, but I know I’ll never buy them. They’re too expensive, the heels are too high for comfort (not least for my husband, who doesn’t like me to tower over him) and I don’t go out much, so how can I justify the purchase of such luxury?
Also, I think the older I get the more I become a slave to comfort… I really don’t like walking around with blisters on my feet, so much make-up that I can’t scratch my nose or a dress that makes me permanently self-conscious.
I own a few luxury items, purchased at a time when we were more affluent than we are now. And I admit that they are a source of constant and long-lasting joy. Whereas some of the stuff I’ve bought in desperation at M&S or H&M never give me that satisfaction.
I buy and use very little make-up but what I buy is good quality. Clinique and Dr. Hauschka are my favourite products. I refuse to put on make-up to sit at my desk and work at home and for the school run or a trip to the supermarket. However, I’ll always put on make-up for coffee with a friend or when attending events at son’s school, etc. And I do enjoy adding a few extra layers for special events like tomorrows party. I also love perfumes and wear one every day, solely for my own enjoyment. My current favourite is Paul Smith Woman.
When it comes to jewellery I’m a through and through bespoke girl. I own practically no custom jewellery and it has very little attraction to me. I used to own a ring by this jeweller – so, so fabulous (and left to me by my mother), but I left it by the sink in a restaurant toilet and it was gone when I realised! Now I own a pair of earrings by her – I wear them almost all the time and treasure that they are quite “discreet” but still very special.
My husband has always bought me bespoke and special jewellery. This ring was the first one he bought me – before we were even married. I rather adore him for that! I can recommend checking the museum shops at modern art museums – have found very special and unique jewellery there at tolerable prices because they often choose to promote young up-and-coming jewellers. The ring is from such a shop (in Denmark).
Funny thing is, however, that although I’m so NOT a fashion animal or sharp dresser myself, I have a great interest in others who are. I love to sit in a cafe, at Waterloo station or on the tube and watch people, how they’ve chosen their outfits, if things match or don’t match, whether this is a matter of negligence, carelessness or colour blindness. Or the interesting ones who’ve chosen not to match. I remember a black woman on the tube. She was about my own age, maybe even older. She was clearly not particularly well off, but I’m still picturing her hair and her outfit and so, so regretting that I couldn’t take her picture. So much effortless style!
When I see pictures of celebrities (women, mostly) I almost always think that they are trying too hard and that all too few of them have an eye for style. Which is very regrettable once you have the money to buy it! Vanity Fair recently had a picture series with Jackie Kennedy. Although I deeply admire the current first lady in the US,
and think she has considerable style, I can’t think of anyone with a style and grace quite like Jackie! But close contenders were Grace Kelly and Princess Diana in her later years. Also, the very much alive ex-wife of Danish Prince Joakim, Countess Alexandra.
I follow so many blogs and always lag behind in reading them all, so in spite of my interest in style (rather than fashion) I’m not following any style blogs other than this one, which I’ve plugged before. In this post she gives advice on what to wear when you’re in your 40s. If I could, I’d follow her advice. But that would require a rather substantial weight loss and that I get my career (ha!) going again, so I can make some money and have somewhere to go to show it all off. But oh, how I want that purple Mulberry bag!
I now realise that almost everything on this page is purple. One would think it’s my favourite colour. It isn’t. My favourite colour is bright green, but 90% of my clothes are brown, grey, black or beige. Go figure.