I am not much of a one for spending money on myself. I did once have an extensive wardrobe but I have learned since then what a waste of time, money, resources and personal energy it is. For a long time now, a very long time, I have worn a limited wardrobe and worn everything until it is completely worn out before repurposing or reclaiming parts for other use. Only last week I junked a cotton Polo shirt that even I had to admit was beyond the pale. It probably would have disintegrated on its next wash and was far too thin and full of holes to even make it as far as the duster cupboard. But, oh my, how I did love it. It had become so soft and fluid and was my goto item for daily wear. Another polo shirt is queuing up for disposal. I am fast running out. Edinburgh Woollen Mill, how I do miss thee!
Which is a load of waffle but does at least set the scene for what is coming,
We have established that I am a scruff in my daily habits. I have a few go-to-town pieces that I have picked up in recent years but all are showing signs of the campsite launderette treatment, Okay for the supermarket run but I was beginning to feel that they aren’t quite fit for “going out” occasions.
Fast Forward to the news that on our forthcoming long trip we have not one, not even two… but THREE three star restaurant bookings made. I found myself in sartorial crisis.
I asked around. I have very particular needs in addition to the uncertainties of climate when travelling far afield (and planning some way in advance.)
The essential requirements are:
- Comfort is paramount and therefore
- I favour natural fibres but
- I need dressy-enough for upscale dining and
- I need a cut that suits a curvaceous body.
- Packability is essential. We have no wardrobe in the van. Folded clothes need to either be crease-resistant or able to drop creases in a short hanging time (not many campsites offer ironing facilities and absolutely no aires provide them!)
- Styles must favour the wearing of flat shoes (my big toe will not flex and even a low heel is impossible)
The desirables are:
- Not matronly. I tend not to dress “age appropriately”. Why should I?
- Colourful is always good
- I am currently engaged in losing weight. I have no idea what size I currently am, nor what size I shall be when dining out in May, June and July. Up? Down? Who can tell?
My most excellent friend Roz Cawley of Autumn Cottage Diarist suggested that I take a look at Lagenlook, which I did. I found there clothes that might not be entirely to my taste but that do fit many of my criteria. Best all, their one-sizing takes care of the “will I lose weight by then? Or will I perhaps gain weights whilst travelling (again)?” issues. Hurrah!
I checked and they do deliver to France. Postage was affordable and so were the clothes. Amazingly, the average price is roughly £30 but the clothes don’t come from China, being made in Italy.)
I picked four items, and applied a discount code that I found on the web,
- A very funky wool-mix cardigan/coat hybrid which will be useful in Scandinavia, I think. Very stuffable for the van.
- A voluminous black tunic top of mainly cotton composition with some added stretch. Feels fabulous on my skin. Good for more casual outings and to wear with leggings (long now my favourite garb).
- A jersey dress that looked grey on the site but is a soft khaki green and I can attest to just how difficult a colour it is to photograph. I hope that it will dress up nicely but it will be too heavy in hot weather,
- A red print asymmetrical hem sundress in Linen. It will be fine to wear anywhere if I can get over the complex that I have regarding bare arms. I expect I shall wear it out with a white linen blouse on top. This item tells me what size I am now as it is one-size to fit 10-18. It fits but I should like a wee bit less bosom in there, to be honest,
Lagenlook sells items that are described as “Boho” which I think is short for Bohemian. I am unable to tell from them, or from other sites, just how Bohemian is defined. Not apparently by my long-held mental model but I guess that is a whole other blog post waiting to happen.
The characteristics of these garments include hem detail. Big, voluminous, asymmetrical… whatever. Perfect for taking away attention from an over-generously endowed frontage. I like that,
However… those hems need balancing with some big funky jewellery at neck and perhaps ears and/or wrist, I now need to search for something cheap and cheerful, that will go with all three items and doesn’t cost a lot. No big deal, eh?
Then there’s my feet to contend with. Where on this planet do I find affordable flat-but-dressy footwear that fits stupidly narrow feet? Boots are a good choice for me but it won’t be boot-wearing weather.
I do loathe shopping. I really do. *sigh*
What do you think? I think it’s crazy to spend more on the necklace than on the dress and I am going to sleep on it.
Well, this was a completely aberrant post for me. Not sure what came over me. Normal service will be resumed… sometime.