What my clothes have taught me in the last 32 years 
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What my clothes have taught me in the last 32 years 

It will be my birthday when you read this and I will officially be one year younger than Jesus was when he was crucified. It’s funny how time flies: my father always says that it takes forever to reach 18 but after that the years zoom by and as usual, he’s not wrong. I literally feel like the last 10 years happened in one long, wet weekend and I suppose it’s only when I sit down and try to extract what I’ve learnt from them that I realise how much time has truly passed. Today I want to talk about a few of the style lessons I’ve learnt in the last few years.

I don’t feel comfortable in mini-mini skirts anymore: I’m not sure how this happened but the minute I turned 30 something shifted and it wasn’t just the scales. While in the past my mother would be chasing me around the house demanding that I don’t leave the house in something that could be mistaken for a dishcloth, around the age of 30, I just no longer gravitated towards certain staples that I had been wearing since I was able to go shopping on my own. It was a sobering realisation and one that was unexpected. I find that for most of life I’ve been trying to navigate the unexpected with grace, and so I kept the leather and just added a few inches. We all change but that doesn’t mean we have to completely discard who we were yesterday.

The minute I turned 30 something shifted and it wasn’t just the scales

The right handbag and shoes will put the fear of God in people: I hate that things are this way but it is sadly inevitable that people who don’t know you will instantly size up the way you look and decide how to approach you based on that. On one memorable occasion, I entered a shop with a simple cloth bag, asked for something and got a rude and dismissive answer, whereas when I spoke to the same salesgirl a few days later, designer bag in hand, and posed the same question, I got a totally different reception. It is nothing short of disgusting that people are judged on such things but you might as well use it your advantage. Buy the best shoes and bag you can afford, you never know who you might meet.

Confidence in the way you look makes up for a lot: I have many friends who always held back from wearing certain things when they were younger because they didn’t feel they had the right body for it or because they didn’t want to stick out. Now, they look back at photos of us and say things like “I wish I had the mind frame then that I have now”. If we spent less time worrying about what people thought and more time acting on what we want for ourselves, I think all of us would be decidedly happier. The truth is that what others think of me is really none of my business and in the immortal words of Ru Paul: “If they’re not paying your bills then pay them no mind.”

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