Like Tutti Fruttis, they came in pinks, purples, oranges, greens, yellows and exotic blues, a Pucci–esque mish-mash of clashing brights. For once, all those oversized sunglasses so beloved of fashionistas must genuinely have come in handy.
Anna Wintour, queen of American Vogue, has only one hard and fast fashion rule: never wear top-to-toe black. Which, of course, is one of the reasons I do. All the time.
Winter, spring, summer and fall: black, black, black.
Not just to annoy, but also because it suits me.
Remember that fad a few years back for “colour analysis”?
None of us were wearing the shades that suited us, the experts said. Get it right and you can look younger, prettier, thinner.
It was a revelation. She concluded that black was, in fact, the colour that suited me most. The only useful piece of advice was that I should never wear brown.
So, my idea of colour is the occasional sequin or, perhaps, a little print. When it gets really hot, I might concede to a splash of khaki, or a white linen shirt. I own a few colourful scarves, and one or two striking handbags. but my default sartorial setting is black.
A wardrobe full of black is a
It absolutely relies on women to feel dissatisfied with their appearance, to crave something new and exciting.
If we all just declared ourselves happy with the way we look, they’d be out of business.
Hence their determination to show me, and the countless other women who go through life very happily dressed as Sicilian widows, the error of our ways.
But, this time, it’s they who are wrong. Any lingering suspicion this refusal to toe the fashion line might be my fault was blown away the moment my daughter walked through the door and snorted with laughter. My son looked slightly panicked.
My husband looked up and said, “Ooh, orange. Do you think that’s wise?”
“No”, was the obvious answer but, without time to change, I wore the whole damn thing to dinner with friends.
“Wow. You look… amazing,” said my hostess, as she opened her front door.
There followed one of the most uncomfortable evenings of my life. Far from feeling fabulous and fashion-forward, I felt horribly self-conscious.
Deprived of my normal camouflage, I couldn’t get comfortable, either.
I felt everyone was staring at me – and not in a good way. We left early. I couldn’t wait to kick off that skirt and change into my (dark-grey) pyjamas. Bliss.
Maybe if I lost weight and dropped a few years. But, for now, I fear, it’s back to black for me.