Well, it’s been a long time since I took part in this but I thought I’d give it another whirl. This year I’ve had more than my fair share of stuff to talk about so… why not?
Fashion – not generally something I’m that interested in. When I was much younger, I used to wear make-up that (I thought) suited me. I started bleaching and dyeing my hair when I was 15. I thought it was pretty cool. At the time.
I loved hats too. My favourite one was a black felt Trilby. I wore that thing just about everywhere, even when I went grocery shopping with my Mum. If we ever went to a department store, I’d always make a beeline for the hat section and stand there for ages trying on all that was on offer. I came to discover that, no matter what hat I put on my head, at what rakish tilt, they all seemed to suit me. So I never bought any, simply because I couldn’t decide which ones I liked best! When I think back to those days, I wonder how on earth she didn’t die of embarrassment taking me anywhere! (Not much has changed really, I think I’m still an embarrassment to people, it’s just that now I don’t care what other people think!)
The clothes I wore were never really fashionable. My dad had died when I was 12 and Mum was left with me and my older sister to feed and clothe so things were really tough. I liked crafting although I wasn’t very good at it back then. I made many attempts at making my own clothes because I have always been fat so you couldn’t really buy anything nice to fit a child. I had to wear things meant for middle aged people so they were never going to be flattering on me.
In 1981, at the ripe old age of 15, I went with a group of friends to see Duran Duran at the Hammersmith Odeon. I was so impressed with them back then and I loved the whole New Romantic thing going on with the clothing, that I made myself a jacket which was a cross between the one Simon Le Bon wore and the one Roger Taylor wore. I cropped a paper pattern and tweaked it about a bit until it fitted me. Then I set about adding the embellishments. I hated the material but it was cheap (which was the most important thing at the time).
My hair was cut like John Taylor’s and coloured like Nick Rhodes (especially when he went red, loved that!) – but not to leave out Andy Taylor, his birthday is the same date as mine, just a few years older than me.
New Romantic was a lovely style, all the lace and frills, strings and ribbons, everything sparkling and dangling. Guys wore light make-up and the whole era was pretty cool, in my impressionable eyes.
After I grew up a bit (or rather, a lot!) I stopped dyeing my hair, not just because it was getting very expensive but because it was just too much hassle to keep up with. I can’t stand to see different coloured roots to the rest of the hair! My last hair dye was called Titian Red. I was 26 years old and single at the time but then I met someone. Then I got married, had my son and from then on fashion was, pretty much, a thing of the past.
It still is, to be honest. These days I just wear what fits. I don’t care much what it looks like. I’ve long since come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have the beautiful figure I’ve always wanted. It would take me from now until I’m 80 to get there and then there’d be sod all chance of anyone decent looking in my direction anyway.
I do try, where possible, to match shoes and handbag or other accessories. If I can’t match then I go for mega contrast. I wear a little jewellery every day, don’t feel dressed without that! But that’s about it really. Keeping up with fashions is okay if you have plenty of money, since they change at least twice a year. I’m really not that bothered. If people don’t want to look at me then they can just look the other way. Criticise all they want, it won’t affect me one jot. I’ve long since given up trying to be what other people want me to be. What’s important now is to enjoy my life and live it the way I want to!