>> It's Dick Van Dyke day again and I'm edging towards the wonderful precipice that is 30 and weirdly another year has gone by when I don't feel all that bothered about it. In fact, I'm relishing the day when I start to quiver over a good quality pestle and mortar in a department store.
Living the good life aside, there is a little niggle that has been festering in my head. I've turned 28 today and despite advocating free spirited dressing, there is a very silent clock ticking in my head that every now and again, whispers to me to say "Your obsession with cookery channels gives your age away and therefore you shouldn't be donning that feathered mini skirt/sequinned unitard/knitted onesie."
Five and a half years this blog has been plodding on and the signs of this ageing process have of course reared its ugly head. Every now and again, I'll get comments who have known me for that amount of time who say "You've toned it down A BIT…" Is that a BORING concession to the conventions of society? Or is it truly a genuine development of style that supposedly every woman goes through as women in their 30s write off their 20s as the 'lost years' and likewise, women in their 40s dismiss their 30s as a 'growing period'. This synonymises style with development of mind, lifestyle and interests which would be the practical way of thinking. Yet I'm never quite sure whether this graph line is fully foolproof - you settle down with life and thus you settle down with your style?
With every lessening degree in the "cray-cray" factor of my outfits, I used to feel an odd pang. Like I've done wrong by myself or I've not practised what I preached about making oneself happy with what you wear whenever I've avoided say a rainbow fringed cape or a host of bejazzled leggings. When I came to pick out clothes for this 10 magazine shoot in the current issue, shot by Frederike Helwig, it was clear that the results were clearly more polished and to some, more sophisticated than my current incarnation. This was me with a limitless budget, styling the A/W 11-12 collections in ways that I'd like to dress to some degree. And I relished it. A lot. More than I'd like to admit.
Throwing on one great Dries coat (that would inevitably cover up what's going on underneath) on felt awesome. Wearing two brilliant pieces rather than ten not so great ones was refreshing. Mixing prints that were all similar rather than purposely mis-matching was a piece of cake. Rather than seeing these slightly more well-mannered outfits as a predictable succumbing to the token style/age cliches that women's mags love spouting ("Your style becomes more refined in the 30s", "You feel more comfortable in your skin"), I felt like this was a "me" that has been bubbling (yes, I am entirely comfortable with using that as a verb) up for a while, evident in the fact that I probably buy a broader mix of things than I did five years ago. One could argue the relationship between finance and style – how fortunes might change what you buy – which is something I can't escape from and fully hold my hands up in admission.
The goal isn't of course to swathe myself in designer togs and after my mini clear-out, I'm glad to say that the vintage-high street-indie labels-designer stuff ratio is still fairly even. Hopefully I'll clutch on to that mix till I grow old and facial hair starts popping up in unwanted places. What I'm trying to say is that *deep breath*…. I'm ok with the mysterious ways of age welding its mystical powers over my outfits (and ergo, the blog). Boring is fine? Sensible is ok? Bland is the new crazy? Oh dear. It's already a slippery rabbit hole analysing this stuff on this birthday morn. The conclusion is still striking fear into me. I should have stuck on Fantasia and continued to console myself with the fact that the people at Tesco's still think I'm 17 and demand ID… even though I'm buying madeira to go home to cook up Nigel Slater's recipe for a pie.
(L: Wearing Mulberry vest, Stella McCartney dress, Alexander Wang sunglasses, Chanel shoes, Balenciaga bag, R: Wearing Dolce & Gabanna coat, Jil Sander knit vest, Danielle Scutt dress underneath, Versus shoes)