Having spent weeks undertaking gruelling online research and having narrowed the selection down to shape, acceptable colours, length and fabric I was ready to set foot inside some shops. I say this, although the foot in question was itself neither willing nor especially able due to its pesky and painful condition [see last week’s post]. I took along my personal stylist [AKA Offspring] since I believe my own opinions as to what suits me are not to be trusted.
This was to be our initial foray, you understand. We were sheltering under no illusion of plucking the frock from the first rack inside the doorway of the first store in the first shopping centre we came to. Oh no. We had every expectation that further expeditions would be necessary; and in these expectations we were not disappointed. We had harboured the illusion that a certain, well known department store that offers a range of designer outlets would be an obvious early destination-might even negate the need to travel further. How wrong can you be?
After some confusion in locating the entrance we found ‘womenswear’, a floor offering [in no particular order] Hobbs, Whistles, Ted Baker, Mulberry, Coast, Alice Temperley, Ralph Lauren, Miss Selfridge, ‘Kin’ [Kin?], White Stuff and a number I do not recall. As Stylist and I made our way around the racks and displays our initial silence began to be broken by snorts of derision at the array of designs that designers have presented to us for their new spring ranges. I understand that they are under pressure to come up with something new, but really-dayglo orange crimplene? Digitally printed nylon?
Stylist insisted we try things, even though we might be repelled by them. We scooped random numbers from the racks, she snappishly scolding that I have body dysmorphia as we disputed my dress size. Bowing to her superior knowledge I accepted her advice and staggered into the changing cubicle under the weight of gowns selected for attempt. I followed my usual changing room technique of ‘back to the mirror until it’s on’, as each garment failed to do up, proving that Stylist, on this occasion, had it all wrong.
Later, after a restorative lunch we resumed, touring the remaining shops until at last, a Eureka moment-Stylist found the perfect frock-for herself.
Foot, in the meantime was demonstrating in no feeble way that it was done with walking. That was it for the day. ‘Tomorrow is another day’ seemed an apt quote.
Next day we went local, selecting another only slightly less well known department store and by some miraculous fluke contenders for the role of wedding outfit began, not only to present themselves, but to positively fling themselves into our arms. Unable to choose between two I bought both, with the intention of returning one. This, reader, has not happened.
The triumph lasted a day or two, until the realisation that shoes, jacket, hat and bag are still at large. Where’s Stylist when I need her?
Yes, husband, daughter and myself once spent a whole afternoon in Debenhams Southampton (after a morning wandering round John Lewis). I stayed in the cubicle, husband held coats and bags and daughter trotted dutifully back and forth till we had the perfect outfit. The next week I saw it half price in Debenhams, Bournemouth autumn sale! The shoes? Luckily a November wedding meant I could buy wide fitting court shoes.
I tend not to take Husband-as this poses a whole lot of problems all by itself, not least the fact that I come away with things bought in haste to alleviate his low boredom threshold! 😉