Saturday, 4 August 2007

Needs must

I've been shopping.

I've been looking at what people are wearing and it's nothing like what I wear.

I don't like wearing black. It's for funerals and, frankly, I've been to enough of those.

However. If it's not some corporate uniform with labels and badges, then black business suits are all professional women seem to be wearing.

Black jackets usually with one button tied tightly under the bust, white shirt, long black trousers and either black ballet pumps or black courts.

It's like watching a Clone Army of human/polyester hybrids taking over the world. They're boring. They're unoriginal.

But they're employed.

Here's me doing what I think is smart but quirky. What's wrong with an electric blue striped blouse? A long maroon sequined skirt with maroon striped blouse? Something wrong with a purple blouse? Or, or , or - well, you get the picture.

They look like an interchangeable bunch of Barbie dolls and, by comparison, I look like a trainee bag lady at Beginner level.

So I went shopping. But I'm skint.

So I've been scouring the charity shops.

Today I went to Wednesbury. A small God forsaken High Street with a wide variety of charity shops to choose from including Beacon for the Blind, Scope, Help the Aged, Acorn Childrens' Hospice, British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research.

And I found a pair of size 18 Dorothy Perkins pinstripe trousers for £2.25 at Scope. A pair of size 20 George sateen black trousers with pink button detail for £2.50 and a Marks and Spencers denim skirt also for £2.50 at Acorn.

Also the Lawrence of Arabia soundtrack and a collection of other records including some South American and Hawaiian kitsch for the bargain price of £7.50.

I spent more on 33rpm records than I did on clothes. And I can't return them because it's charidee.

There's nothing like digging a hole for onself is there?

I now have to adjust the trousers to fit me. Properly.

The trouble is, the fashion for trousers is long - almost catching under the shoe heels.

I tend to keep my trousers short - stopping as they just start to "bag" on top of the shoes.

This means that when I dress, if i don't wear the same shoes as I was wearing when I adjusted the trousers, I end up with the jeans flapping around my ankles in the style of Alexsi Sayle.

If I don't wear shoes at all when I measure to adjust, the results vary alarmingly from waaaaay too short (I've thrown clothes into charity bins before now) to almost right.

I have only ever adjusted denim jeans before now, so I was nervous about lousing up on these even though they cost less that a fiver.

I found my highest heels and put them on to adjust the trousers. It didn't help when I realised that the previous wearers had also adjusted the trousers and badly.

The Dorothy Perkins were uneven and badly hand sewn without a proper seam. The George pair were also uneven and falling down with Wundaweb failing to hold them up.

I persevered. With my new record purchases playing on the record player, I measured, adjusted, measured again, cut, pinned and sewed. By the time I was ironing the seams, the Readers' Digest Sounds of South America was tangoing away.

Now, if I get to go to another interview, I can do the black trouser thing. I've got a black raincoat, a long dark navy skirt suit jacket and a short black boucle style coat. I'm set for all seasons.

But I still don't see what's wrong with the electric blue striped blouse.