I left the building

As StyleStuff’s 90 day no spend challenge drew to a close, my own challenge grew taller and faster than a dandelion in spring. I was going to London. I was going to need something to wear.

First stop, StyleStuff’s very own wardrobe. Cue: triumphant music and a glittering sunrise.

Now, here’s the thing. Although I am slim and Madame is slim, we are slim in different ways. Whilst Madame has a defined waist, I have the shoulders of a 12 year old and the ribcage to match. Anything remotely fitted is going to deliver, on me, a heck of a lot more side boob than is seemly and will hang, depressed, from my non-hips. Not that the wardrobe didn’t deliver. But as the date drew nearer & the weather forecast became colder, the idea of being on a freezing station barelegged , four times in one day, seemed close to planning for a night in NHS care in preference to paying for an hotel.

No matter how cute the dress [and it was) I was going to need trousers. And I was going to need them from one place: Zara. And so it was that after two nights of intensive googling I headed out.

It would be a poor trip to Zara if I didn’t try on a few things. And I was wearing lipstick, so I wasn’t going to waste that.

The first thing I tried was the grey sequin tunic and as if to confirm, Kondo style, that it would be bringing me no joy I almost immediately came up in a rash. Although it wasn’t trousers and so I wasn’t getting it anyway, the grey sequins were nixed. The red dress confirmed what has been said, mainly by me, many times “for someone with a body, you sure can make clothes look odd”. I didn’t actually try the yellow, swirly, pleated skirt. I held it out. Swished it about. And put it back.  I don’t wear yellow. The checked “cardigan” is there by way of warning. Sweet, yes. But see that thread? That is your future look in this piece. If Miss. Haversham had shopped at Zara, she couldn’t do better than to get this freely fraying item.

But where are the trousers? Well there were three pairs in the running. The first were so tiny that although I got into them, they made my knees look so huge that I refused to take a picture. Forget bums; this season it’s all about knees. Then came a pair of plain black. The sizing was extremely generous but I could see beyond the fact that I’d pulled them straight on, as though leggings and they were a decent fabric. A good black with a good leg length and if I ever needed such a thing in my normal life, I’d have yelled “take my money” and headed straight to Pret. However, I don’t work on reception. Don’t worry about upskirting. And don’t need clothes that take me from day to night. Finally…. chinos. But not just any chinos. Zara chinos. Again, extremely generous sizing had me tucking a good 4 inches of fabric behind me for pictures to be Whatsapp’d to StyleStuff HQ. But I could see they were going to be the ones. Neat and flat across the tummy. A good length that would work with boots, flats or my precious wedge sandals.


Style Stuff tells me this is called a flatlay.


I went with an uber cute Lululemon jacket. Tried, trusted and much adored Chelsea boots that I know are still available at a Russell and Bromley near you. A couple of years old impulse purchase thin knit sweater from Gap. And the Zara chinos that are still available but if you know anything about Zara then you know that things don’t hang around for long.

I feel I need to apologise for there being no reveal picture of me twirling infront of Liberty. I’d intended any number of selfies but as sometimes happens, it’s not that I was photogenic in my 30s… I was pretty…. and young and thought nothing of lighting. Now, old enough to have a child of 30, I realise that no amount of concealer is going to make up for the feature spot lighting and ensuing shadows employed in Liberty and others. Great for highlighting a cute bag but…..  and you can finish that line yourself.


Covent Garden Hotel





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