The other day I had a sobering experience. Trawling through Chaddy in search of some new clothes for Little Fashionista (thank you Seed Heritage and Witchery Kids!) I stumbled into one of the shops housed in the Chadstone Luxury Precinct, attracted by a divine little clutch (be still my beating heart!) I spied from the doorway. Granted, I was dressed a tad on the casual side - old jeans that may be losing their shape, a less than superb pair of ballet flats and a grey marle knit from what was probably Gorman's first few collections. As a result of my less than sartorial splendour on that particular day I experienced my own slice of Pretty Woman. No, I was not swept off my feet by a wealthy businessman due to my vivacious, carefree but firmly down-to-earth personality and heartbreakingly beautiful smile. I was however treated by two snobby and let me say not all that busy sales assistants as an impoverished leper whose very touch could turn their high-end goodies into leatherlike totes from Target.
Needless to say I left said shop as clutchless as when I entered. Tragic, isn't it? More importantly, I also left feeling like I should limit my shopping experiences to Best & Less and the local Salvos - both of which by the way have provided some truly fab bargains and should never be underestimated.
I came home (with the requisite bottle of Moet to cheer me up) and told hubby about the experience. He was at once thankful (that I didn't buy the clutch) and enlightening, bringing to my attention the disconnect which currently exists between what I wear to work and what I throw on most weekend morning. Like many working mums, I spend a fair amount of dosh to maintain the work wardrobe - the good stuff that I don't wear around grubby, Vegemite smeared faces and snotty noses. And so, as those of us on a fixed income would know, it is often the casual wardrobe that suffers. It is the jeans, the t-shirts, the singlets and the wear anywhere jumpers and jackets that fail to get the attention needed to ensure you look just as good shopping in Miu Miu as you do running a meeting. You spend on the killer pair of corporate heels but your trusty ballet flats are worn well past their use-by date. You don't see a point in dressing up only to find yourself at the end of the day crying over the peanut butter on the sleeve of your T by Alexander Wang. Our wear around the kids wardrobes reflect the motto we decorate our homes with: "Nothing nice till the kids are at least 16 years-old".
And so, I have come to the realisation that I need to put more effort into my wear to the shop basics, not for the snotty sales assistants but for me, to ensure I feel good about myself and the way I present to the world. I have thrown out anything that does not make me feel gorgeous, because it's just as important to feel fabulous in your jeans and boots as it is in your Leona Edmiston frock. Farewell slightly stained t-shirts I used to breastfeed in, au revoir shoes that have lost their shine and jeans that have lost their shape. And lastly, goodbye to anything in grey marle. You're really not my colour.