I loathe shopping. It is hands down my least favourite activity. I can never squeeze my chest into anything off the peg, nothing has sleeves, changing rooms have mirrors that make me want to never eat again, and there are PEOPLE everywhere. (Can you tell I am a little bit agoraphobic?)
But I needed (need being relative) some shoes for Ascot last week and, after asking you kind people which shoes I should buy, I went to Topshop Oxford Circus on Wednesday afternoon to try on the orange pointy toe stilettos. Unfortunately the cut wasn’t right on my feet, so no new shoes for me. (I wore my scarlet Kurt Geiger London Elliots instead.)
However somehow I managed to buy three dresses and two tops. In Topshop. TOPSHOP. Which of course I heart, but which has been sadly lacking in clothes that a woman in her thirties who wears a bra, eschews skin tight/waisted/pussy pelmets etc etc, and who doesn’t think it clever to flash her boobs or her knickers, could wear.
I spy the influence of Kate Phelan, Topshop’s Creative Director, and a grown up woman of immaculate taste, because all three of my dresses had SLEEVES. And the tops – which were the same, but in blue and in black, had a lovely drape-y front to hide my tummy, camouflage my chest, whilst still giving a peak of cleavage that wouldn’t scare the horses.
I loved this dress so much that I snapped it in the Topshop changing room (nice, roomy, good light and mirrors, and lots of pegs). The dress at top is the Aztec Print Shirtdress, £45. It is 100% meltable, but that also comes with the advantage of being uncrease-able, and scrunch up into a ball-able for travelling. It works because it is has sleeves, but they are sheer-ish so not too matronly, falls to exactly the right place above the knee, has a shirt opening so doesn’t look too puritan, is flippy, so feels summery, but comes with a slip so no accidental flesh on show.
(The shoes are my Pierre Hardy brown leather & wood shoes from his spring 2009 Limited Edition collection for Gap, which I wrote about here.)