The new spring / summer clothing catalogues have started to arrive and I am feeling terribly grateful that I can sew!
First through the door (well... actually stuck under the windscreen wiper of my car as the farm road is still impassable for Mr Postie) was Boden.
OMG - so much ugliness! I used to love their clothes - what are they doing? A mustard coat with fuschia pink piping? Prints that look like they belong on polyester/nylon in the mustiest heap at a jumble sale? The only item I could imagine wearing drew the following comment from FL: "She looks like a farrowing sow in that dress!" Blimey - and I thought I was bitchy sometimes!
Oh look - me in a White Stuff skirt!
Next to arrive: White Stuff. I own three of their skirts, a cardigan, a tank top and couple of l/s tees from a few years back.
To my eye, they are "old-style Boden" and the skirts especially have that "crafty" edge to them. But on one page there are three tunics in similar prints in the same palette and I can hardly tell them apart - I imagine you might "just" buy all three if you liked one of them and had the cash to spare.
My daughter flicked through the catalogue with a curled lip: "Teachers' clothes!" she said.
And she is right, of course. 30-something "trendy teachers" will lap this stuff up - all the thinking has been done for them: the print skirts are already co-ordinated with the tees, with the little cardis, with the "funky" scarves, the hippy-style jewellery. You can buy a whole outfit from one page and know you look a bit arty and child-friendly, but nevertheless "professional".
It is a very middle-class look. It is a look I am perfectly capable of loving... but find myself kicking against. It feels like giving in to something, buying into a "type". Like wearing a badge that says "Guardian reader".
And yet, in Self-Stitched September, I looked most like "me" in this style of outfit!
OMG: you can take the girl out of teaching, but you can't stop the girl looking like a teacher!
So my question to you is: should I embrace my natural leaning towards dangling earrings and slouchy boots, with appliqued skirts and crochet edgings? Or fight against it with wiggle skirts and back-buttoned blouses and high heels?
Or is my analysis all wrong, and are the three outfits above actually ironic 70's-influenced vintage looks?
Or am I just over-thinking (again)? Should I just wear what I like and not try to stick a label on it?