Getting Dressed......

Jane in the personal shopping suite

Jane in the personal shopping suite

I meander around shopsRarely do I have a solid agenda and my focus usually turns to clothes that would suit someone else, anyone apart from me. Shops have never catered for me which is why I have very loose expectations of actually buying something. My ‘go to’ activity when daydreaming is designing my own bespoke clothes collection……I own a perfect imaginary capsule wardrobe (probably along with millions of others who are insomniacs, stuck in traffic or queuing somewhere). 

Twelve years ago I agreed to go on ‘What Not To Wear’ with mixed feelings about entering into the sado-masochistic world of Trinny and Susannah, (they didn’t get famous by being nice to anyone). I was tempted onto the show by the dream of being professionally 'transformed'. I turned out to be, however, ‘the most difficult person we’ve ever had on our show’. Actually, I wear this label like a badge of honour…ha!

But they were dealing with my 6’ 1”, 9 stone body and size 9 feet and apparently (to them at least) my awkward personality.

So after my 30 minutes of TV fame, I was left with instructions to buy 'vintage clothes', 'lots of accessories' and 'printed fabrics'..…None of this suited my personality which is why I concluded that others telling you what to wear just isn’t a sustainable way to dress. Getting dressed isn’t simply about what looks good - it’s also an attempt to represent a person’s intricately woven web of thoughts, needs and ideas (or lack of ideas) about themselves. The whole activity should be sensitively nurtured surely, not used as an opportunity to knock someone into a Standardised Ship Shape Norm.

Forwarding 12 years to the present, I now have a double mastectomy to add to the above list and am more relaxed about the way I look. I consider myself liberated from the media idea of what it is to be female, and know that honestly my mood dictates my appearance not my clothes.

But, I still have to get dressed in the morning and consider variables like temperature and my mood. So my solution = jeans. I also wear a Loose Debra style top to avoid any bra discomfort. 

I don't think it's an ideal situation, so when someone told me about a free personal shopping service at Bentalls department store in Kingston, I rang them up immediately to book an appointment. Yes I would like to feel elitist and be treated like a celebrity…yes, please! 

My personal shopper was Becky, and in the time I spent with her, I felt thoroughly detoxed from my troubled dressing past. It was an eye opening two hours. Becky offered gentle, focussed, constructive advice. I bought jeans (my others were old!), a skirt and several tops.  It was a new experience for me: I felt a bit 'floaty' and a tiny bit 'deeply content' walking out the department store with a bag full of stuff.


Jane Anderson, Co-Founder and Arbiter of Taste (self-appointed)

DKNY top

DKNY top

Whistles Skirt in the sale

Whistles Skirt in the sale

Whistles Dress   Sign up below for Loosely Speaking, our newsletter, for more ideas about dressing and what to wear...

Whistles Dress

 

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