Yesterday I was in town for work and I snuck in some clothes shopping.
I used to work in town and so visited the shops there regularly when (a) I was bored or (b) had time. But now days a trip 'in to town' is a irregular event and usually means a trip to a place with lots of escalators and people, sometimes with a kid in tow and usually by the third floor and the first change room I am over it already.
The other sort of clothes shopping I do falls into two categories the stores along the shopping street which is near where I live. There are lots of nice shops along there and a couple of really nice designers that I like. That shopping is usually done when I am desperate for something and they never seem to have my size or the colour that I like. The third kind of shopping is at the outlet stores for decent quality t-shirts etc. Which Gaye usually does in bulk once a season. Last years become the PJ t-shirts and then the gardening/painting gear and then off to cotton heaven.
Yesterday however I ventured - purposefully - into a designer store in the QVB building in town. On the weekend Gaye and I had seen some of this designers clothes when we had been away on Sunday and really liked the look of them.
It is worth noting at this point that I have struggled - since putting on weight in the last couple of years in particular - lately to 'find my style.' Every now and then I come across something that I like - I have a long wrap vest, a scant, a poncho and some linen things that I really love and so end up with multiple copies of - but it is rare. I like unstructured clothes, with yummy materials, largely in monochrome colours, linen and natural fabrics. I like things that are easy to look after and not to fussy in terms of ironing.
My 40th birthday is coming up - I have declared it the year of the accessory and glamour - and I want something that I feel comfy but also fabulous in to wear for that event. I also want clothes for work and casually that I feel comfy in but also stylish without being overdressed. I am not a heels girl (apart from boots). Really I want to look like Dianne Keaton always does in films...
Anyway, I was feeling particularly unstylish yesterday. I had my period my belly ached and my hair went flat. But something in me said 'do it' and so I did. I went upstairs to the cool quiet of the second floor of QVB and walked purposely into the store.
As soon as I walked in I knew I wouldn't walk out without something - there was the white shirt we had spotted on the weekend but also I felt like I had come to almost 40 and not skinny heaven. It was filled to the brim with clothes and accessories I loved. That were funky and had really clean lines. It was all layers and textures.
And then I met Liza. Liza has been working for the designer since he started up she told. She was so nice to me. And not in the nice sucky pressure way assistants often are. In an interested - lets work out what you want way. She asked me what I liked to wear, what occasion it was. She asked me how much of my body I liked to show and then she showed me some things. She was present without being pushy. She 'styled' me a couple of times - push your sleeves up with this or pop that over there etc. She understood my 'mumsie' complex right away. She told me about the designers desire that women not be having heart attacks when they get dressed in the morning. Sigh ... I had walked into heaven - all be it a rather expensive heaven...and I felt lushed.
I rang Gaye and said "oh my god I am in this shop and the clothes are fabulous but so expensive"(we are meant to be saving mind) "Don't hold back" I was told. I walked out with four beautiful things. Each one I love. Two of them I am wearing today and I feel completely fabulous ... very lush and stylish. All the (in my opinion) well dressed women at work have commented on my clothes... I am just dying to get back there...