Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Why I hate shopping. And dressing up......



Later this month, my mother in law is celebrating her 70th birthday. And we can't get away with simply going out for a nice meal or taking the old dear on a day trip. Oh no, because she has gone to enormous trouble and spent an absolute fortune on organising what we have dubbed the Three Day Event. Now I have absolutely no problem with a solid weekend of partying (although my liver would probably disagree these days) but it's all the other poncing about that she seems to expect that is causing me grief.

Friday night, the dressage phase, will be fairly simple, a meal at the village restaurant, catching up with the huge entourage of friends and relatives who are jetting in from the UK for the weekend. Should be fun actually, might have to put on a clean, horse-hair free t shirt, maybe even one with out a rock band or sci-fi show logo on the front, but we should be able to manage.

The final day of the event should be fine too, as it's a hog roast in the garden. So maybe a second tshirt will be required. And there really will be showjumping as we are hoping to slope off to a comp in the morning up at the club before the do starts at lunchtime......

No, it's the Saturday that, in true cross country style,  will be the real test of endurance and ability to overcome large obstacles. Due to the words "formal dress" on the invitation, two words guaranteed to strike fear into my heart. Not just for myself, as being fat and over forty means I never look good in anything, whatever I wear. Which means I might as well be comfortable, which is why I usually slob around in jodhpurs and the aforementioned t shirts. Why go to the trouble of getting some posh clothes on? Because posh just really means uncomfortable. Skirts and dresses are not comfortable, I don't care what anyone says. Shoes that aren't joddy boots or trainers are not comfortable. And also not suitable for wearing near horses so why would I bother? But OK, I can probably scare up something I wore to a wedding a few years ago that has been gathering dust in the back of the wardrobe ever since so job done.

No, the real problem is Aliénor. She is a true chip off the old block and likes to wear jodhs and tshirts. She never wears dresses or skirts either. In fact, she'd probably be happier in a tux. As would I, frankly. And anyway, what exactly does "formal" mean? Black tie? White tie? Tails? No idea. Friend of ours has an amazing Tuareg outfit he got in Niger, he was wondering if this would be formal enough...?


But I digress. It was with a feeling of dread that I took Ali shopping the other day to find some "formal wear". I rarely ever enter a French clothing shop, and here's why:

 And these are just a small sample. There is some serious crap out there at the moment. Florescent orange looks good on my hi viz "don't run me over" gilet but on a dress?  And why would anyone make a dress out of loud floral fabric then decide it isn't busy enough so add random buttons/embroidery/ribbons/sequins til it looks like a Christmas tree?  I mean, I thought the French were supposed to be fashion icons, so why are they wearing this stuff?

Anyway, after a couple of hours wandering around in a daze and totally failing to find anything Ali would be prepared to wear out in public, we happened on a boutique (that's just a posh word for dress shop) selling some vaguely decent stuff and she tried this one on, which met with approval. Because it's black and has studs! And were it floor length probably wouldn't look out of place in Servalan's wardrobe.......
It looks a lot better on, but she's not prepared to model it before the Big Day.....
So flushed with success, we returned home, feeling relieved. Until someone said "you'll have a job getting shoes to match". We have to get shoes as well? Aaaaarrrrgh.........

2 comments:

tailsfromprovence.com said...

Convers would go well with that. Dunno if you can get black ones. Or lace-up granny boots - go for the Goth look. A couple of facial piercings and she's all set.

English Rider said...

I have it on good authority (thanks to "what not to wear") nobody should be trying to match shoes or handbags, unless it's fancy dress and they are pretending to be Jackie O.
I also noticed that this years fashion shows were very "desert influenced" the Tuareg gear not out of place at all. I assumed they were catering to the only people with money left for expensive fashions.
I just subscribed to EQ (think GQ but for horse people). It's way out of my league but a way of connecting with clients and they show some custom built stables that are the cathedrals of the modern world and an editorial about Hermes saddle making. Cover shots of slender blond Hollywood star/Arabian breeder in Chino's, tailored shirt and amazing turquoise and silver belt. With riding boots.
Good luck with the party clothes.

Post a Comment

I like comments, please leave them, but have to moderate them because there are some strange people Out There.......thank you for your patience :-)