Thursday, 25 November 2010

I Put My New Shoes On...

When I was 7, my Mum bought me the coolest pair of Doc Martin – style boots I think I’ve ever seen. They were patent black, with tiny little flowers on. Of course, at the time I detested the things; I point blank refused to wear them, despite the fact my Mum had paid a fortune for them. As soon as I out-grew them, I wondered where they had vanished to; I’d buy a new dress, or a new pair of jeans, and think, ‘where the heck did those awesome flower power boots of mine go? They would look SWEET with this outfit!’

As I grew older, I’d see pictures of Agyness Deyn and Fearne Cotton at the latest music festivals, and wonder how fabulously they could work the boots with their quirky fashion tastes. They’d probably team them with worn denim shorts, long knee high socks and a cute little waistcoat...

Why I didn’t like those boots when I had them will drive me mad with infuriation. And I can think of plenty of other times it’s happened, too! One time, I remember begging my Mum to buy me these beautiful heeled boots as, “I don’t have heels, and besides, look how CHEAP they are, surely it’s an investment, and wouldn’t you like to see your money well spent by making your daughter the envy of her friends?” My Mum, tired and exasperated from the days shopping, eventually caved in, and shortly afterwards I was the lucky, grinning owner of a pair of stunning black leather knee-high boots...

I wore the boots once. To dress up as a female Zorro at a fancy dress costume party. They spent the rest of their lives in the bottom of my wardrobe, sadly neglected and gathering dust underneath another heap of discarded and unused items I’d more than likely begged for.

I’ve often pondered why I feel this intense desire for items that wouldn’t otherwise leave me breathless if for a series of particular factors, i.e. I’d been told I couldn’t have them, and everyone else wanted them. Yet more examples; trainers with wheels. Trainers with weird, accordion-like platforms. A white fluffy bag with matching purse, seen randomly in a shoe shop (unlike the other items, I used that bag until the fur practically disintegrated). It got to the point where my poor Mum hated to take me out for fear she would be bullied into yet more unnecessary purchases. But my thirst for fashion would not be quenched, even at that early age; once, in River Island, there was a sale on. As if I was magnetically attracted to those sale tags, I dragged my Mum in after me and stood, transfixed by the jumble-sale before us. Rack upon rack of inexpensive clothes... my heaven. Whilst perusing the hangers at my leisure, I saw what I thought were two lovely tops; one was a strange stretchy fabric with puff ball sleeves and ribbon plaited down the front; the other was a denim style corset top (it was buy one top, get one half price – genius!)

I think back now and cringe, but at the time I remember thinking that, despite the fact they really weren’t my style, I’d recently come back from a sleepover at a friend’s house where I had dutifully sat on the edge of her bed, watching in awe as she showed me the pile of new clothes she’d bought with her birthday money. I was not the only girl jealous of this friend – she was an early developer, and soon had a luscious, plump cleavage we were green with envy for. She was the first of our group to buy V-neck clothes, and it was her I thought of as I stood with these two bizarre tops in my hands. Surely, I thought to myself, surely I will look as good as her if I simply dress the same? It seemed such an obvious thing to do that I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before. And with that, I snapped up the two tops that, in all honesty, made me look like a young French hooker. Queue flash back of my lovely flowery boots.

As a 19 year old girl obsessed with the world of fashion, I’ve come a long way from my obsessive-must-have-because-everyone-else-has-it phase; and, as I think back to my younger self, dirty teddy bear t-shirts, pig tails, dodgy trainers and all, I reminisce at my dodgy tastes in clothes, and the amount of time it took for me to realise that, to dress ‘fashionably’, one must dress however he or she feels. Fashion is, after all, a matter of opinion; one Alexander McQueen dress may not suit the purposes of a person who adores Miu Miu platforms. And despite the fact that countless magazines gasp in horror at the atrocities in fashion committed by celebrities like Micha Barton going through her Goth phase, and Cheryl Cole in the hideous Melissa Odabash swimming costume, I think the most beautiful thing about fashion is that you must find your own way, your own path, your own clothes, and wear them to truly represent who you are; copying someone’s outfit is simply pretending to be someone you’re not; and sometimes it takes years for people to truly realise what suits them and why, but the journey to discovering it is a fashion ‘adventure’ in itself, and one that should be enjoyed no matter how many steps it takes. I undoubtedly have many years of fashion faux pas to enjoy, which I will look back upon, many years from now, with a grimace of horror on my face...

And this is why, whenever I feel like I’m having a bad fashion day, I simply think of my old black boots with the teeny flowers on, and I smile.

No comments:

Post a Comment