I wear jeans.
Jeans and boots. Jeans and sandals.
Winged eyeliner and scruffy hair.
Flat shoes and denim.
Whether it’s a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon, I dress the same. Long gone are the days of spending a couple of hours getting ready to go out on a Saturday night, toying with eyelash glue and worrying about whether or not I’ve shaved my legs; I now take no longer than thirty minutes to leave the house, regardless of where I’m going. Granted, frequenting the likes of Peckham, Deptford and Brixton doesn’t really allow for anything other than comfy shoes and a rucksack, but I’m happy with this way of life. You know, the easier way, the less need for two make up wipes and fifteen Blister plasters way.
But I must admit: I sometimes miss the glamour.
When I was younger, I would have killed to go out in flats every weekend. My friends were staunch advocates for heels and dresses and I always felt as though I had to brave sore feet for a bit of height, better legs and to aid in my teenage attempts to look a little less like a foetus when trying to get served in Wetherspoons. Younger me would be oh so envious of older me and my endless opportunities to wear comfy clothes and have a good time, but twenty six year old me is starting to feel a bit samey. A bit blokey. A bit bogstandard. After years of yearning for everyone to convert to wearing converse on a Saturday night, I’m starting to question whether or not I should’ve been careful what I wished for.
When I picture the women I party with, I see boots. Trainers. Duster jackets. I see a lot of black. A lot of high necks. No glitz. No frills. And don’t get me wrong, I think they look great. But where did the femininity go? One of my favourite things about being a woman is watching other women experimenting with fashion, make up and style. I love that I have boobs, hips and a bum. In fact, I think they’re cause for celebration. But somewhere on the road to emancipation, we seem to have lost the glamour. Which I get, because we’re making a point, but can’t we have both? A friend of mine wore a backless top the other week and you’d have thought she had walked into the party butt naked from the reaction she got. She looked hot. But not because she was showing some skin. She just looked feminine. And there’s nothing wrong with celebrating that. Even if it is for just one night a month.
My friends and I were discussing this lack of glamour over dinner the other evening and we subsequently decided to arrange a night out where we drink expensive drinks, wear stilettos and style our hair with tongs in order to relive our seemingly more glamorous youth. We spoke – at great length – about sipping from straws and tanning our legs. It’s two weeks later and we’re yet to book in a night like that, but have managed to find the time to buy tickets to gigs, have dinner at a pop up and book a trip to a literature festival. None of these require too high high heels and a night bus home. They just require friends. And, ironically, flat shoes.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? The glamour hasn’t actually vacated my life, it has just shifted and looks a little different now, that’s all. As it happens, the glamour I used to know wasn’t actually so glamorous at all. In fact, I hated wearing heels and a dress and I was always really cold.
Although, from the outside, I might look increasingly like an extra from This is England and less like a pin up from the 1950s, the decadence of my late twenties is, in fact, immeasurable in comparison to my younger years. Being able to afford to drink drinks that I actually like and not worry about facing a night bus home due to the birth of the omnipotent Uber is the height of glamour in comparison to a sausage in batter on the N11 at 4am, I’m sure you’d agree.
Perhaps a glamorous lifestyle doesn’t have to look like a photoshopped still from Keeping up with the Kardashians? Perhaps I’m learning that the key to authentic glamour is finding out what suits you and then wearing it with a smile?
Marilyn suited low cut A line dresses, Gisele looks great in anything leggy and I suit jeans and a t shirt. Each to their own, I guess. So here’s to being glamorous, in whatever way that means to you.