I have a wardrobe full of clothes that belong in the life I used to live, but I still can’t quite bring myself to clear them out.
I have shoes that are impractical for the school run, the supermarket dash and for working from home. They belong in fancy Soho restaurants, glossy office spaces, and for stepping in and out of London taxis. I also have dresses to wear with these shoes. They are bold in colour, soft to touch, and require serious support worn underneath.
Every now and then, I run my hands over them and wonder if it is time to let them go, but that would be like saying there will never be an occasion for me to wear them again. I am not ready for that.
Those dresses, shoes, handbags and shiny accessories do still have a place in my life, just not as often as they once did.
But, much like London taxis, you wait ages for one event invite to come along and then three turn up at once.
Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the WI Centenary Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, which was being hosted by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. So, I went into my stash of formal frocks and found this navy blue silk dress from Jaeger that I bought to wear for my son’s christening 5-years ago. You can’t see it in the photo, but I accessorised with a Lulu Guinness handbag that was gifted to me by an ex-boss when I left the advertising agency we worked for at the time. The chain is by Stella & Dot and the ring on the end of it was a wedding present from 3 of my oldest friends. We all have one and they are each engraved with our names inside. The Greek God(zilla) got my ring size wrong when they asked, so it does not actually fit on the finger it was intended for, but I like wearing it close to my heart anyway.
A couple of days later, I attended a thanksgiving service for the late husband of another old friend. It was the saddest of days and as such, I do not have a photo. I wore a simple black sleeveless dress from Coast that ties up at the back with ribbon. My friend HPMcQ gave me the black beads from Cos for my birthday last year and the bag was donated by my Mother-in-Law a few years ago – I used it daily when I was still working in an office full-time. I didn’t have time to change before school pick-up later that afternoon and the big bow on the back of the dress was just too tempting for my son, who undid me in the middle of the playground.
I wasn’t sure about this grey dress by Label Lab when I first bought it, about a year ago. It has asymmetrical sleeves and sits just above the knee. I thought it might be better suited to someone a bit younger (ahem) but the Greek God(zilla) assured me it was ‘fine’, so I wore it to a friend’s 50th birthday party at the weekend. I wasn’t brave enough to go bare-legged with it, so as it was a bit chilly I wore thick black tights and my newish Chloé ankle boots. The bag is vintage and I picked it up 15-years ago when I lived in Australia.
And, yes that is a hair elastic I forgot to remove from around my wrist. You can take the girl off the school run…