Palm trees vs normcore...

posted on: Friday, 24 April 2015

Whilst in an attempt to persuade my husband that we need to cover a single wall of our house with tropical palm tree wallpaper, he patiently turned to me and said: 'Lou, we don't live in the tropics, can we go for something a little more rural?'. He's right, of course, and I acknowledge that my longing for palm trees must now be relegated to photographing them when we are on holiday, not adorning my walls with them. There's a thing in me (I put it down to a childhood spent in Florida) where I love all things tropical. I can get with the Britishness of wellies and wool but deep down, I yearn for something more exotic.

Meanwhile an absolute truth of my life at the moment: I am governed by the sartorial constraints of my lifestyle. We live in a farmhouse, often surrounded by tractors ploughing the fields. Not a palm tree in sight! I notice that British people go through this seasonal shift at this time of year, where the shops are suddenly flooded with white linen and bikinis, even though the British summer can be somewhat unpredictable. It's rarely warm enough for white linen and even when it is, it seems slightly incongruous when worn; like we are children playing house.

My lifestyle doesn't really allow for the following items:

Silk kimonos - although I have three.
Slinky evening jumpsuits - oh, to have the occasion to wear one.
Flowing maxi dresses.
Stiletto heels.

The staples instead are:

Trench coats
More jeans.

I often ponder whether I should throw caution to the wind and disregard these protocols and wear whatever the hell I like? Can anyone recommend that approach? I realised that without even planning it, I am a proponent of 'normcore'. It's taken me a while to work out that 'normcore' looks fabulous on very pretty women who are, on the whole, very slim. If you see a beautiful woman wearing a white T-shirt and cutoffs on Pinterest, chances are she has those wonderful toned, brown legs and ombre, tousled hair. There's often a jaunty hat. There will usually be a palm tree in the background! Whereas the average British housewife....subliminally we all think we look like the Pinterest woman. I am sticking to that. It's all about inner beauty and a big smile, right?!

So I lust after retro wallpaper. I secretly inject random, ironical nods to a more exotic life in to my choices, but ultimately it's all pretty staid. But can I just say I really want some leopard ankle boots? And some electric blue Nike Air Max. And a pink sofa. And neon wall art. And a high-waisted bikini in corals and blues. Oh and a bright neon bra, ideally with a racer back. And a white blazer. Oh and these really cool Chloe sunglasses I saw somewhere. And really long hair. And a full-length, backless gown that drapes. Yep. ;-)


  1. Ha!!! I hear you Lou. I still buy things that are really only meant for my dreams ;-)

  2. Welcome back Lou! Enjoy wearing whatever makes you feel good and comfortable..I do agree that unless one has great natural looks in terms of being young, tall, etc.. normcore does not work because most everyday women would look more attractive by wearing attractive clothes (not normcore). With regard to your relapse, view it as an opportunity for growth. Without your stress, you would probably never be prompted to do yoga and eat healthier and stick to this routine. It is a blessing in disguise. That is how I view mine.

  3. Quick additional comment. I think normcore can work if we spike it up with one thing: awesome accessories such yours on pinterest. That would add a whole new dimension to the outfit . But why must the nice ones cost an arm and a leg?!

  4. Before moving to the States, I would annually purchase my 'Summer' wardrobe. Which, invariably, would only see the light of day during my two weeks annual vacation to warmer climes... On touching down on British soil, I would attempt to drag out my Summery garb (so as to show off any tan I'd garnished), only to be bloody freezing and looking more like a goosebumped cooked chicken, than golden goddess.
    Thankfully, now in NJ, I am treated to long hot summer days, where flowing maxi dresses and sun hats are a must... Although the humidity, means I look less like summer goddess and more hot sweaty mess! I guess you can't have it all :-/

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  7. One of the main reasons I don't mind my office dress code is because of the stilettos. I wouldn't have a need to wear them if it weren't for my job.