Of all my thoughts on how my life would change, on retirement, it is the one where I have made least progress. I am referring to my wardrobe.
have spent years working in an office, being in the public spotlight from time to time, and necessarily paying attention to a certain, unspoken "dress code" - what a marvellously liberating time retirement should be! I was full of plans. A whole new
look, that was what I was going for. Something casual but not scruffy; elegantly under-stated; youthful but definitely not Mutton-Dressed-As-Lamb. Think Twiggy - but not so, well, twig-like. Think Mary Berry
and that floral bomber jacket which made all the newspapers and which everyone raved about. A little bit of style, but relaxed with it.
It just hasn't gone to plan, I'm afraid. First
of all, there was the weather. Do you remember back in June / July? I thought my summer wardrobe could be based on smart shorts and jazzy tops - but it was so cold, and wet, and downright miserable that I just ended up wearing the clothes I
always wore at weekends. Only I wore them all week. It might have helped had we been jetting off on holiday to some 5 star hotel in an exotic island location requiring some serious clothes shopping beforehand - but the Family Holiday in Deepest
Devon (while much, much more pleasurable than any island getaway could be) didn't really require much "dressing-up".
I did treat myself to a rather wonderful pair of black boots the other day
- but then they are exactly the kind of boots I would have chosen before I retired. I fear that I am still playing safe and predictable. I am still drawn to anything in navy-blue, for heaven's sake...
The Middle of the Darling Daughters is more than keen to help. She itches to be my style guru, my Gok Wan but without the need to go naked. She suggests I set myself a budget and we hit the shops together. I will be transformed, she
promises. Mr B is alarmed at the proposal. Not at the element of transformation (which I suspect he doubts will ever happen) but at the word "budget". Mr B is not stingy (perish the thought!) but his idea of a meaningful budget and that
of the Middle of the Darling Daughters are poles apart...
Bless him, he did insist that I replace my old dressing-gown - do you remember, the one I washed in the doubtful company of a red paper
napkin so that it turned a violent pink colour? I think he found living with a strawberry was a trifle disconcerting. So I now have a beautiful, brand-new dressing-gown. It is pure white, it is long and soft and snuggly. Wearing it
I look, for all the world, like a rather cuddly polar bear.
Which is not EXACTLY the new look I was aiming for....