I have never been a keen follower of fashion, preferring to stick to bland, familiar, tired but safe choices. Which is why you’ll never find high heels or leather pants or halter necks in my wardrobe. You’ll find me in salwar kameezes that would look good on a pillow, jeans two sizes too big, baggy tee shirts and basically anything that would make me blend with the background. In what I call, ‘wall paper clothes’. In fact, I even have a couple of shirts that match what’s on the wall. Anyway, one day my cosy world of sartorial dysfunction was rudely shaken awake by two women. Two straight-talking, no-nonsense and downright rude women.
Trinny and Susannah (of ’no last name’ fame), stars of the show ‘What Not To Wear’ on BBC1, pull any poor old, haggard lady off the street and give her a makeover that would put most plastic surgeons out of work. And this they would go about doing in the most outrageous manner. The twosome would strip their hapless victim to her underpants, shove inside a trial room fitted with mirrors on all sides and then go about systematically dissecting her. Then they’d make her wear a number of new outfits (some frankly, ridiculous) before deciding on a final look. While I do not agree with their modus operandi, the results that these women wrought were fantastic. Honestly, there was a world of difference in the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots with the participants walking away with a spring in their stilettoed step and a swing in their newly-coloured hair.
So when I had an important meeting coming up, I cast my beige coat aside and decided to put Susannah to the test. I bought their books, tried on clothes that I’d never dared to before and finally bought something that would have been as natural a choice for me as say, speaking Finnish.
The morning of my meeting was one of the coldest days this winter and my long cardigan was hopelessly inadequate. Still, I braved on. I hoped that no one would comment on how great my trousers were or ask where I bought my shoes or say anything that would make me confess to my sins. My fears were unfounded and the meeting went quite well. So well that they offered me the job. There’s just one small hitch, what do I do with my mountain of frumpy clothes?