Dress your age, not your shoesize

Dressing for your age should be easy.

It’s like looking at those ‘what was she thinking’ articles in a gossip rag; surely, you think, they would have realised the outfit was atrocious. But clearly, it isn’t that simple.

Otherwise said gossip rags would have nothing to write about, Katie Price wouldn’t put make up on her toddler and Katie Holmes wouldn’t truss her little girl up in high heels.

Not to mention, you wouldn’t see middle aged women in mini-skirts, cellulite wobbling full throttle, or ten-year-olds in gear the Pussycat Dolls would consider racy.

Last month British retailer Primark came under fire for selling padded bikini tops to young girls, a range it subsequently withdrew, red faced. Not that they, or any other shop, will refrain from selling regular bikinis to pre-teens. Just the particularly inappropriate ones, you understand.

Evidently, age appropriate dressing remains a problematic area. But sensible sartorial style doesn’t have to be so difficult – it’s all about bearing in mind some simple home truths, which we are more than happy to deliver.

Tight fright

Today, women can get away with dressing younger or older far more than in previous fashion epochs. But there is still one tell tale sign of mutton dressed as lamb, and that’s a top stretched out so the layers of flesh are achingly visible, jeans leaving little to the imagination. Essentially, if your ribs or belly button are on show, and you’re not under voting age, lose the tight equals right equation and look for fitted but flowy.

Read the rest of this article on Running in Heels.

Love Sex and the City? See my verdict on the new Candice Bushnell prequel, the Carrie Diaries, here.

For richer or for poorer

Hey, good news guys. The recession is over, as of last night. Go back to big bonuses, flashing designer handbags without any embarrassment. Ignore the Tories and get the champagne flowing, buy a new house and an expensive car while you’re at it.

Oh, but sh**. It isn’t over at all. Back to a life of rations, misery and doom. Cut out fancy labels from your clothes and pretend they came from Primark. Only eat out when you have a 2-4-1 voucher, buy all food on a bogof basis (remember to return to Tesco to claim the second item next week). Staying in is still the new going out. Keep on munching on the credit crunch.

All nonsense really. As if a projection by a bank, the government, a think-tank or whoever is going to change the actual situation. Either you have money, or you don’t. Either you can find employment, or you can’t and have just printed out your 1000th CV to mail out (or would have until the postal service stopped doing their job).

For crying out loud, these predictions don’t do anything. It is meaningless to arbitrarily ‘decide’ Britain is rich, poor, or anything in between, and its a reflection of our soundbite culture that these things even get media coverage. Some say the credit crunch was made much worse because as soon as we heard the term ‘recession’ being waved about, we went into panic mood and consumer spending plummeted.

People stopped shopping, going out, spending disposable income. And of course, some people really were spending way beyond their means and needed a wake up call. But not everyone did, and by targeting those people, the ‘stop-spending’ crusaders did nothing to help the wider economy recover.

So what if Alistair Darling thinks economic confidence is returning. Has he seen the inside of your wallet?

Sustainable shopping (bags)

An observation that I made in my travel’s today (and boy have they been exciting: Stanmore – Islington – Dalston – Bond Street – Stanmore, globetrotter that I am). 

Paper bags to carry shopping in may be environmentally friendly, but when it rains, they spell disaster. 

Case in point, I braved the dreaded black hole that is the Oxford Street Primark today.  I’d recovered from the ordeal, was feeling smug about my new clothes and was trying to push the ‘do I really need that, really?’ sensation out my mind, when, catastrophe struck. 

The excessively full bag (who knew it was possible to spend that much there?) met the monsoon that blanketed London today.  Result was calamitous, bag split all over the floor of Marks and Sparks, shoppers pointing and laughing at idiotic rain-soaked student mournfully holding soggy bits of brown paper. 

Thanks go to the kind security man who smuggled me an illicit Bag For Life (one up on snooty sales lady who wanted to charge me for it, in my desperate state) to transfer the purchases into.  He probably had a good chuckle at my expense after, but I appreciated it.  Still, moral of the story – if we’re going green, it needs to be practical. 

If I’d got a better bag in the first place, I wouldn’t have required the extra bag.  As with anything, in politics, the environment, whatever, cutting corners doesn’t pay.

All about sustainable development, really.  Who would have though you could learn that from Primark.