My mother tells me she would fight me all the way through my childhood about what I would wear. She would dress me up for the day in a “proper outfit” and as soon as she turned her back I was back in my nightie and wellies. I had a style! No one was going to deny me being me. I admire my childhood self. When I was about 8 years old, my aunt bought me a red velvet hat which I lived in for literally years. I was obsessed with the thing and still remember it now. “You always could wear a hat,” my mother reminisces. Back then it would not have been a conscious fashion choice; it would purely have been about comfort and happiness within myself. My natural, true style shone through easily in those days. You can see from these old photos of me that my style has done a full loop and I find myself back in hideous cardigans and vintage style dresses.
Nowadays, I am a premature granny in the way that I dress sometimes, obsessing over vintage floral dresses. They just work for me and I love each and every one, even if some people think they look too similar. It is fair to say that my wardrobe looks like an explosion in patterned fabric factory. I am definitely sixty inside and was born in the wrong era. Of course, I do sometimes wonder if when I eventually do (and hopefully I will) reach sixty, that I do not look back and regret not wearing more skimpy, “young” clothes. However I am dressing for me now in what I love and staying true to myself. Having said that, my latest obsession is my fluffy blue fur coat which makes me look like Sulley from ‘Monster’s Inc’ which is not exactly traditional granny style. I also like to vamp up my granny chic taste with ridiculously tacky and garish accessories which I won’t be able to pull off (I am still going to try) when I reach the menopause.
I keep my style unique to myself by mostly only shopping charity shops (which has become an actual addiction, seriously I get the shakes just thinking about it). That way I know no one else is dressing like me! I also feel good spending much less and doing my bit for others. I have really honed my technique of sourcing amazing clothes and nothing delights me more than rooting through charity shops for vintage treasures. It may be ridiculously materialistic, but clothes and interior items mean so much to me – they are some of my true passions. If ever I am feeling down I simply head down to the local charity shop strip and lose myself amongst the rails. I do worry as I get withdrawal symptoms if I haven’t been charity shopping in a while, but there are worse things in life to be addicted to.
Ultimately, reminding myself of these old images, I know that little girl is still in here, rejecting society’s perfect ideals and rocking that nightie and Wellington boots.
Deep down I really am still this weird, little girl who adores frogs.
Words by Loo Loo Rose