In the rumpus room of my childhood home there used to be a pair of matching cane chairs. They were high-backed and circular with a large storage compartment beneath the scratchy worn seats. Inside was a treasure trove of clothes, cast offs from my mother and grandmother.
When the mood took us, my sister and I would dive in and break all the sartorial rules. The red platform sandals were too big. We tripped over the hems of long polyester dresses and denim midi-skirts. We tied ourselves into old bras, double knotting the back and stuffing the cups full of oranges or tissues. We layered on strings of fake pearls and plastic beads and begged for lipstick and eye shadow and blush and nail polish and powder and perfume to match. This, after all, is what dressing up is all about – trying out different looks in the hopes that one day, somehow, you might eventually grow into them.
It was with this sentiment and those fond memories in mind (and not the YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME. I DON’T WANT TO STEP OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE WITH A WHOLE BUNCH OF MUCH YOUNGER AND VERY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN AND HAVE MY PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN. NO, I DON’T CARE THAT I MIGHT GET THE CHANCE TO WEDGE MYSELF INTO A £4,000 ALEXANDER MCQUEEN DRESS. NO. I’M NOT DOING IT. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.) that I agreed to the Abi Marvel summer styling session at The Outnet HQ last week.
What ensued was a lot more rule flaunting. In addition to size still being a problem (though this time it was me who was too big), I wore short shorts (my legs were on display) and neon pink (BLEUCH morphed to AOK). I donned a blush – never-thought-it-would-go-with-my-skin-tone – Halston Heritage gown (and mucked around). And then there was the DVF culotte wrap concoction that nipped at my what-I-thought-to-be-non-existent waist. And, the shoes! Calvin Klein sandals. Alexander Wang heels. Belle Sigerson Morrison wedges. Cinders had nothing on me that day.
It was liberating, exciting and a whole lot of fun. And, now, with a brave face plastered, I present the results (no prizes for guessing my favourite)…
If you’d like to check out my favourite pieces on The Outnet, click here.
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All images via Abi Marvel.