I first noticed that something was wrong when I checked my bank balance. For the first time in four months, I wasn’t in my overdraft. Cheery about my financial state, I skipped home only to find that my washing basket had exploded. It had been a very long time since I’d bothered to do a clothes wash. As I left my room to find a bag for the smelly clothes, I decided I’d bring out my magazine pile for recycling. I was surprised to notice that my collection was devoid of fashion glossies, and instead was entirely compiled of respectable newspapers.
Aware that something fishy was going on, I donned a trilby and had a long hard think about life. I was about to dismiss my uneasy feeling as being a mild case of wind when I suddenly caught sight of myself in a mirror. “GOOD LORD!” I shrieked, “I’VE LOST MY FASHION SENSE!”
I instantly went to see my friend who works at Topshop, who is the closest thing I have to a style therapist. I lay down (somewhat awkwardly) on a changing room bench and ordered her to find out what was the matter. After some extensive questioning (and some odd stares from customers), she triumphantly claimed that my loss of style interest was a result of being forced to read Marx for a uni seminar.
I shook my head sadly. “I’ve known since I was eleven that the fashion world is a soulless vacant capitalist machine of absurdity, but it’s never stopped me from renewing my Vogue subscription.” She paused, and then suggested that perhaps I was just growing up. Money that I’d previously squandered on clothes was now being saved up to pay for bills, and the brain-power that I usually spent analysing sock trends now went towards working on my degree. “Well now you’re just being silly.” I snorted. “I haven’t paid a bill in six months and I’ve never analysed a sock trend. Besides, Anna Wintour is about 118 and she’s certainly hasn’t grown out of fashion.”
My friend gave up on finding the root of the problem, but assured me that I’d be back to my stylish self after a small period of rest.
For the sake of my peace of mind, I’m choosing to believe her. I’m sure I’ll be fine once I get a whiff of Christmas sequins, but until then I’ll take a break from the ever fluctuating world of clothes in order to concentrate on more important things, like how to make toast when I have no toaster.
But in the meantime, I must figure out a way of tricking my friends into thinking that everything is fine. My years of fashion excellence have lead people to expect certain standards from me, and I can’t let them down now by leaving the house in tracksuits and my Madonna T shirt. I must pretend that I’m still the shallow individual that I always was so the world order doesn’t get all messed up.
The first trick in my toolbox is the eclectic approach to clothes. Ever since my four year old self donned a pair of embroidered dungarees I’ve been convinced that ugly clothes are really just fashionable clothes. This morning I decided it was time to practice what I preach, so I grabbed the brightest things I could see in my closet without a seconds thinking time. I ended leaving the house wearing red patterned ankle swingers, pink socks, a pair of jelly shoes and a knee length jumper with a map embroidered onto it. In order to avoid looking like a drunken housemate had vomited on me in the night, I made the genius decision of adding a slick of dark red lipstick. The lipstick gave the outfit intent. It showed that I wasn’t insane, and that I knew what I was doing. Whether this is actually the case is debatable, but let’s not squabble over the details.
When I run out of clean ugly clothes, I intend to dip into plan B. This, in the words of Jay Z, is: ‘All black e’erything.” Never listen when fashion journalists that tell you that some ridiculous shade of orange is the new black. Black has never been out of style, and anyone that tells you otherwise is lying. If you don’t believe me, then compare the outfits at weddings and funerals. People always look a million times better at the latter, despite all the weeping and general bad vibes.
Of course, there is the issue of that chilly winter breeze. It’s all very well to say that black absorbs heat, but what’s a gal to do when there is no heat to absorb? Why, simply add a giant coat to the outfit! I couldn’t tell you what coats are in fashion this winter, but whenever a lady skulks past in something big enough to smuggle a hostage under, I give her automatic style kudos. For this reason I’ve started wearing my full-length fur coat absolutely everywhere. I got a few funny looks at the swimming pool the other day, but I think the lifeguard was just impressed by my ability to use my coat as a lilo. It must have been like seeing a young Henry the Eighth floating by. No wonder he fell off his chair.
Once I’m done from my long day of pretending I like clothes more than I do, I change into a pair of thermals and snuggle up in bed with a pile of books. This sudden disinterestedness in fashion has lead to a new enjoyment of my own company. What’s the fun in socialising if people aren’t giving you gushing compliments about your choice of winter hat?
Written by Phoebe Eccles