Yes, that’s right readers, it’s the return of Casual Friday, the series in which I wear casual clothes. On a Friday. God, HOW do I come up with these things?
Actually, the main reason I started these posts was because back in January I made myself a promise to try and sort out my wardrobe basics, once and for all. The things is, although I have lot of clothes, I don’t actually have a lot of casual clothes: or not ones that I like, anyway. My closet is stuffed full of big skirts, 50s-inspired dresses and 5-inch stilettos: if I was invited to a wedding/christening/other fancy event tomorrow, I wouldn’t have the slightest issue finding something to wear, let’s put it that way. But casual events? Not so easy. For our recent trip to see The Kelpies, for instance, or the day we spent at New Lanark, I have to admit to being absolutely stumped about what to wear: in fact, on the day of the New Lanark trip I ended up throwing on jeans at the last minute, feeling really frumpy and horrible all day, and then heading straight to Zara, where I bought the jacket I wore in the Kelpies photos (and also a pair of trousers which are miles too big for me, but you know, panic buying). True story. Fascinating one, too, no?
The problem is mostly to do with the weather. Because it’s so often cold here, if I’m going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, I need something that will keep me warm, and which can also get rained on, or covered in mud, without getting ruined. Those kind of clothes don’t normally look very stylish, though, and my usual clothes, as well as being unsuitable, would also make me feel hopelessly over-dressed most of the time. I know there are lots of casual options out there that I’d be happy with, but I normally don’t bother buying them: I always INTEND to buy them, then I have my head turned by yet another fancy skirt or dress, and so I end with a wardrobe full of party clothes and nothing to wear for a casual walk or day out. It’s truly a first world problem.
(Related problem: SHOES. Stiletto heels aren’t very casual, or very warm/practical, but I absolutely hate the way I look in flats/sneakers/ankle boots/pretty much ANY “sensible” shoe. WOE.)
Anyway, before you all get out the violins for me, fear not: this year, as I said, I’ve decided to try to buy more of the “basics” and less of the “OMGIMUSTHAVETHATDRESS” pieces. I’m obviously not denying myself too many of the latter, because I am but human, and I WOULD decide to buy more basics right at a time when every fashion retailer in the world decides to start churning out dresses and skirts as if actually WAS 1953. Damn. Along with the dresses and skirts (and, OK, the shoes and the handbags…) though, I HAVE also been stocking up on more casual pieces: in fact, two pairs of jeans arrived yesterday, and miraculously enough, they both actually fit me, so I’m sure they’ll be appearing on a “Casual Friday” near you soon. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
In the meantime, country clothing brand Joules have very kindly come to my rescue in the sweater department, with this slouchy Breton knit, which is exactly the kind of basic I’m talking about. For me, stripey sweaters (and t-shirts, and tops…) are the ultimate wardrobe staple: I love the fact that they look casual and smart at the same time, and it would be an exaggeration to say I couldn’t live without them, but I’m going to say it anyway: I couldn’t live without them. No one should have to, should they?