My current sense of style can be described as.. DEFEATED.
I was never a slave to fashion but I liked to keep an eye on things.
Growing up in a small village like Rush in North County Dublin in the 90s, I was something of an enigma who eschewed the acceptable local GAA team tracksuit for tartan flared pants, backwards Kangol caps and tinted glasses.
I didn’t need glasses but I thought they were really cool and I got slagged off A LOT. I didn’t care though because I was ‘arty’ and a ‘rebel’ and anyway I would be a famous actress some day and they would have to make aprons out of their tracksuit top when they married the local farmer SO THERE.
An ex of mine once said that I could always rock a dress and I can. I do love wearing them but a lot of effort has to go into wearing a dress. One needs clean shaven bits, a bit of fake tan, heels and somewhere fabulous to go.
That ex and I didn’t have kids together.
Ass Monkey obviously had a good look at me in a dress or two back in the day or else I probably wouldn’t have gotten pregnant twice but he may not have seen me at my best since then.
I’ve had my moments, sure, my opportunities to get dolled up and hit the town but they are truly few and far between when one is raising two small kids, moving houses, organising weddings and changing careers.
At the end of 2016 we took the kids to Tenerife and we were tired going; we needed to lie by the pool and go for long walks and eat amazing fresh food and get to bed early with the comforting warmth of the day’s sun kisses on our skin.
On the first day I threw on my good ole trusted bikini, the one I’ve always worn when I get away anywhere and.. it didn’t fit.
In horror, I took a good look at myself in the mirror and realised that not only was my bikini a size too small for me it was also.. pretty old and tatty.
Not only did I look haggard and bloated at the end of a crazy busy year, I also hadn’t bought myself a single nice new thing for going on hols.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped making an effort.
The kids were all tricked out with sunhats, new leggings, shorts, t-shirts and swimwear and for me? Nada.
(I confess to self-indulgently wondering for a moment if I was pregnant as if THAT could be the only reason for this ‘inexplicable’ weight gain when in fact, I just hadn’t moved my ass off the couch for the previous month. I discovered on Day 4 that I am not, in fact, pregnant. Scarlet for moi).
We’re home now, home to no more house moves, no more wedding planning, no more honeymooning and slowly took all the Xmas decorations down before getting ready to get everyone back to work and school today.
I’m SO sad that all of that excitement is over but I’m trying to concentrate on this potential fresh start: so this year, I’m really going to try to focus on looking after myself a bit more.
This evening, I chucked out half of my wardrobe which was stuffed full with too-worn cardigans and jumpers, too-tight dresses, t-shirts with holes and/or paint on them (WHY? And WHY do I insist on continuing to wear them everywhere?!) and finally, more than one item that has 50 or more layers of tulle coming out of it.
And you thought Halloween was over.
This week, I’m determined to buy three things that not only fit me, but that are fashionable and that I will try not to let my children vomit on.
So watch this space, kiddos. I’m off to bed tightly wrapped in clingfilm with a couple of cucumber slices on my eyelids.
(PS: If you have any recommendations for your favourite shops that this late 30’s lady might like, jesus help me!)