The girl who got on the bus wore 1940s glamour with a definite modern twist. From the top of her coiffed hair, complete with shock of pink, past denim hot pants and down to her peep toe shoes.
She looked amazing; like she was about to walk on stage or appear in a vintage film – although, in all likelihood, she was probably just off to college.
It came as a surprise when the older couple sat in front of me nudged one another and she said: “What does she look like, big girl like that?”
Wow. Really? Yes, she wasn’t a size 10 but surely that wasn’t the first thing they could think of to say about her?
Afterwards I was sad I didn’t tap them on the shoulder and defend her (how would I feel if someone spoke about Freya like that, even if she couldn’t hear?) but I was speechless.
Later, one of the lovely comments left on my post introducing this challenge came back to me. Rose (in her Aztec onesie) gave the following advice:
“Confidence is the key. Wear it. Own it. Strut it!”
This girl did all of those things and I don’t think for one minute she would have been bothered by what that couple thought about what she was wearing (or me either for that matter) – although I still wish I had said something.
Part of why she looked so good wasn’t just that she was put together but the confidence that was coming off her in waves.
When I decided to stop wearing my (many, many pairs of) jeans for five days, I hadn’t really questioned why I was so attached to them. I put it down to time and ease but, having done the challenge now, I know that putting on other clothes is just as easy.
I think it was more about confidence – or rather the lack of it. My body has changed so much in the last few years and I don’t feel confident any more, especially as my old clothes don’t fit properly.
I’ve enjoyed lots of things about this challenge, including sorting my wardrobe out. Two black bin liners of things that “I might get into one day” have gone to the charity shop because they were just making me miserable thinking about them.
I am determined to lose some weight for health reasons (and because I enjoy running *can’t believe I just typed that*) but squeezing into clothes at least a size too small is not going to help my confidence right now. In fact, if anything, it’s going to send me straight to the chocolate.
Here are some other things I have learned this week:
- I own a lot of black.
- I have a lot of navy and white striped items.
- The colour red makes me happy.
- Clothes can be fun.
- I miss my jeans but like wearing other things.
- I don’t like having my photo taken first thing in the morning.
- Freya doesn’t like me having my photo taken AT ALL.
So, how did I do? I’m sure this goes without saying but I’m not in any way trying to be fashionable or saying “this is what you should be wearing this season, dah-ling”. I’m just a mum who was bored of wearing jeans (and a t-shirt) all the time and wanted to see what other options I had in my wardrobe (actually quite a lot).
1. Patriotic clown – I sometimes buy things even though I know deep down that I won’t have the confidence to wear them. I’m looking at you bright red trousers. I can’t tell you how happy I was on the first day of the challenge when a) I got into them and b) I wore them outside of the house for the first time! (As an aside: That jumper is the most expensive thing I have ever bought from a charity shop, at £8 – although it’s not just a jumper, it’s an M&S jumper.)
2. A-level drama student – All black with colour in the kimono. A bit like jeans, I find wearing all black a really easy option. No worries about clashing colours or mismatched styles. Must not rely on this too much.
3. Park life – My lovely mum-in-law got me this top, which has little birds on it many Christmases ago. The wide-leg trousers are in fact navy but the light isn’t great. As you can just about see in the photo, Freya had other plans for me.
4. Floaty – I’ve cheated here because my husband bought me this shirt as a present for my birthday (in June) but let me have it early. Yay me! Let’s pretend we have forgotten all about it so he has to get me something else. The trousers are also navy.
5. A day in the office (my bedroom) – I’m wearing a skirt. My only skirt, as it turns out. Freya was so shocked that she randomly crawled underneath it throughout the day and pretended she was in a tent. I do love a maxi-skirt but I wonder whether my next charity shop purchase might be a different kind. I also want to get some dresses, especially for summer.
So there you have it. Five days, five different outfits. Day six? I’m in my jeans but it’s not a digression because I feel different even if what I am wearing is not. Plus tomorrow is another red trouser day!