As we all know Anna is a style guru, and with me being a small part of this elegant and stylish site I feel duty bound to try and find my inner fashionista. I’ve starting by looking for new items for my summer wardrobe. Sadly I’m less fashion guru and more fashion gnu, so I’m finding it rather hard. Mainly because I hate shopping for clothes. Which is a massive setback when shopping for clothes.
Shoes, yes. I can shop for shoes. And bags, I can shop for bags. I wanted a new man bag, a smaller one than my usual ‘about town’ accessory, but it’s for when we go to Oslo in a couple of weeks. I want to be able to fit in a notepad, laptop or Ipad, passports and boarding passes, contact lenses, toothbrush and a pair of pants and socks, just in case my luggage goes missing and that’s it. My larger, messenger style bag is bang tidy but I wanted something smaller because sometimes I put so much in it I feel like a packhorse. Man bags are the shizzle, and we’ve moved on from that whole ‘Joey from Friends’ man bag lampoonification. I think they’re just bags. Carried by men. If you want to carry stuff around, pockets aren’t always enough. You got stuff, put it in yo’ bag. Job. Done.
I’m also confident enough in my being that by carrying a bag around I won’t get asked if I’m holding it for my mum.
So, which bag to buy? I could’ve bought a bag with Marvel characters on it. I could’ve bought one that was brown. I could’ve bought a louche looking leather affair, but none of these felt right. They all, also, made me look like a tool. Then I found one. It was perfectly perfect in every way. The right size and shape, had enough storage… But I walked away. I looked around for ages, and even though the one I loved, I loved, I was reluctant to buy it. Because it was from M&S.
Now, I’ve got no problem with Marks and Spencers. For a start, the name says winner. Also, I love their sandwiches, although I’m gutted they no longer sell the Taw Valley cheddar and celery sandwich, which was my favourite. Their food is great and my gran used to buy everything from them… and… ach. I think that’s the hub of the nub of the problem I have with M&S. I associate it with my gran and therefore I’m not old enough to buy stuff from M&S.
I’m only 43.
Perhaps I just feel too young to shop there. After all, Euro 96 was only last week wasn’t it? I went to M&S recently and the mens section was filled with people like my dad. Not dead, but all in their late 60’s. They were buying hats, pyjamas, sandals. All the things I wanted. I wanted a hat, a pyjama, a sandal. Pair of, obvs.
Being surrounded by men like my dad, I ran. So I left. Hatless, pyjamaless and sans sandals.
But, dear reader, I thought about this and realised I was silly. So I went back to buy this bag I coveted yet was swithering about, and perhaps this has got me over the whole ‘M&S is for old people’ thang. Perhaps I should go back, and maybe dip a toe into shoes, so to speak. I should take my partner in with me and ask her for her opinion on things like jeans and shirts. As I said, I hate shopping for clothes so it won’t be a joyous experience for her, but, if anything she’ll enjoy waiting outside the changing room and looking at picture of David Gandy in his pants.
So this whole, finding my inner stylista thang, reminded me that I find this shopping mullarky a pain in my delicate but beautifully formed rear end.
But. Looking through The Times this weekend I saw an advert for something which made me think that, perhaps, I don’t need to do this going out and shopping thing. Perhaps I can do it all online.
I was thinking about new pyjamas and what should I see when I open the page?
Now, laughing yourself stupid aside because you can’t knock it until you’ve tried it, and for the purposes of trying something different, and to quell the need for some new night attire, I went ahead and ordered one.
The ordering process was fun. For a start, when registering with Peter Christian, Gentlemen’s Outfitters, I was asked for my title. I could choose Mr, Mrs, Sir, Lord, Baron, Lt Col, Wing Commander. Obviously this was the site for me!
While the nightshirt was very much what I wanted, I also looked at other items in their inventory like a very nice Prince of Wales check three piece suit, which would be good for the school run, a selection of caps, which might fit in well as I live in Yorkshire, and of course, the safari jacket.
It’s my birthday soon, so perhaps the birthday fairy can find it in it’s heart to whizz me this. I can see myself like Roger Moore in The Man With The Golden Gun, as I make my way through a children’s play area with some coffee and a Fruit Shoot.
Shaken, not stirred, obviously.
I can’t just wear black t-shirts and jeans all my life can I and one thing I’ve learned from being within Anna’s sphere of influence is that being stylish is darn hard work. But with a dedication and a tip or two from people like us, you too can look like this.
Thanks for reading.