posted on: Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I've been doing that thing; I do it every season, where I look at my wardrobe and reevaluate it, shift it around, relocate it from everyday cupboard to not-everyday cupboard. We live in a cottage, there are no palatial wall to ceiling wardrobes; it's like everything else here: higgeldy piggeldy. I don't mind. It's a useful exercise putting away summer lights and getting out winter knits, which are like old friends I haven't seen for a while, but nor have I missed. I am a warm weather girl and increasingly, as the October days draw in, I think back to the Floridian summer and wonder if it all actually did happen? Was I really standing in a Disney log flume queue in 98 degree heat? Did I really sip chilled beer on a boat through the Everglades, my legs sticking to the seat with humidity? Yes it did happen. Now it's more like morning mist and condensation-covered car windows when we leave for the school run each morning.

Autumn term is always a marathon and this one is no exception. The sports fixtures alone have me clocking up hundreds of miles as I ferry my hockey-playing daughter about. My son has decided to read Harry Potter from cover to cover from the first to the last book. We are one chapter in. I know all about the Muggles. And as for the lightning-shaped scar...

But back to wardrobe revolving. It got me thinking about how I have staples and how each year I think I need something new and then discover that in fact I am just coveting more of the same. I have to make a conscious choice to deviate the styles I buy. I have become set in my ways. Something about my current lifestyle has made this so. Limitations such as having to walk the dog (jeans and wellies) have made sartorial choices smaller. They have a common denominator: I need comfort and ease. This makes me a little sad as I have realised I have developed a Mummy Uniform. This is almost as bad as having Housewife Hair (see previous post).


I own 7 pairs of skinny jeans that are all the same style, just different colours.
I own 8 grey knitted jumpers, crew neck, V-neck, boat-neck all pretty much the same hue.
I own 4 striped Breton tops.
I own 2 satchel handbags (since when did hands-free become so important in life?)
I own a shameful number of coats, all required for the many nuances of British weather that we endure. Drizzle, slight chill, full-on rain, wind-cheater, sunny but cold, ice and snow and on and on.
If I put on heeled shoes I think my feet would revolt.


What happened to my originality?!!

I have realised how standardised I have become and it is freaking me out. Something has got to change. I have become so intent on looking 'appropriate' that I have morphed into Mrs Ordinary. When I was working I would dress up, often in a manner that, looking back, was to please myself rather than as a requirement of my job. I used to accessorise. I now shy away from wearing jewellery as it gets in the way when I clean the house.

WTF?? That's a quote you'll never see on a Pinterest wisdom board.

I am staging an intervention into my own wardrobe. I have set myself some objectives to get more outlandish, to embrace what's different, to stop trying to conform to the dreaded school-mum-judgement-gaze. In efforts to achieve Audrey Hepburn-esque elegance I think we sometimes forget that clothes should be fun. Slavish fashion-following is not for the rural 40-year old. I want the quirks, the style, the 'something different' that is so attractive when you you see it. But oh so rare.

 So - yea, that's my view on this Tuesday afternoon. Thoughts?


  1. I love your wardrobe "musings". Funny I have never really thought of myself as very "into" clothes, certainly I have never been a slave to a trend or fashion. When young my friends and I bought most of our clothes from vintage/secondhand shops, which we believed gave us a certain Je ne sais quoi! However I do know what you mean about suddenly losing your sense of individual style and feeling rather ordinary. Maybe it is something to do with living in country, it just isn't practical to wear heels! Recently I have discovered jackets....I have numerous waxed coats, shooting type coats and winter coats, but not little, fitted jackets. However, for some reason I have always admired these on other women, they seem to throw them on and instantly look, chic, interesting, and stylish. I bought one the other day as a birthday treat to myself ( actually went in search of boots, but hey....) I now can't imagine how I managed without a fitted jacket for so long. Your comment re the Breton tops made me laugh, I have too many of these. Happy Week Lou x

  2. Three thoughts from me
    1. I too love your wardrobe musings...your awareness of what you wear/wore x number of years ago & what others wear, your hunting down of the perfect item & your understanding & mental catalogueing of it all.
    2. You will NEVER be Mrs Ordinary. Ever.
    3. I think your wardrobe sounds fab, LOL! All those grey jumpers = bliss!


  3. PS I am the only one in my family who hasn't read a Harry Potter book, I did start the first book after some persuading/pleading from my son :) They're still his favourite books ever!

  4. Hi Lou,
    Well, I have learnt over the years that we all just buy the same things over and over again …. I know I do. We like a certain something and then anything that comes near it, we buy !! I am obsessed with coats and jackets and they are all very similar ! …. I can't help it …. it's an illness ….. I need professional help !! XXXX

  5. I love Jacqueline's comment! X

  6. hahah i don't think you need a wardrobe intervention at all! look at emmanuelle alt - pure uniform and it includes skinny jeans! so stylish! and i agree with simone - you'll never be Mrs Ordinary! :) xx

  7. My sister tells me that I dress 'Amercian' now. I'm not sure what that means, but I do know that I am more aware that I must dress for the seasons. Whether it be the harsh winters or the hot humid summers. Outfits have to functional for the sheer sake of comfort. My friend has just moved here from the UK and I'm always in awe of her ability to accessorize. She always has the most amazing jewellery which always add that extra oomph to her outfits. I tried one day to wear something similar and, like you, found it just got in the way. Currently, I'm a matter of days away from giving birth and I'm already spying outfits for my post pregnancy body... Whenever I get that back :-/

  8. I could totally live with your wardrobe. In fact, I almost do. At least when it comes to the grey jumpers. Grey cashmere is my favourite - Gap does a small cashmere collection every winter, and I just can't help but buying one very time. They are just sooooo soft. Thanks to the yoga thing, I am found slouching around in lycra almost every day. I don't dare to think what the other school gate mums most make of that... xxx

  9. Happy to be checking in here! I enjoy your wardrobe musings as well. I actually feel the same way, surprisingly enough. I hate shopping and simply never learned how to put an outfit together or how to wear jewelry, but I do appreciate a fun style on other people. (The girl in the picture above - I would never know how to put on all that jewelry, but I love it!) I've been spending the past few weeks making some additions to my own wardrobe, and I've made a conscious effort to buy items that are not exactly like every other thing I already own. Silk blouses, skinny pants, a chunky-knit wrap-around sweater that is already my favorite thing in my closet... I must admit, it's fun. I have to stop now, because I am not working just so I can buy clothes! But I do agree it's nice to step out of the same-old, same-old every now and then.

    My son just started Harry Potter. He's two chapters in and has decided he wants to read it with me. I have a feeling I'm going to be reading the series for the next several years! I don't mind, though - I've actually been looking forward to it for a long time. I'll be happy to revisit Hogwarts with my boys. :-)

  10. I certainly went through a phase where I was a little bit of a stepfordwife in terms of my clothes. I have always loved colour and being different in how I dress. I do have many skinny jeans/ cords in different colours but I think I am a summer person at heart so put me in front of summer clothes and I have a skip in my step but boring old winter clothes do not have the same impact. They are heavier, darker in colour usually much more I probably am guilty of the mum uniform at the side of the rugby pitch but I do add a little sparke for the evening outfit