A few weeks ago, I was complaining to Terry that I didn’t have anything to wear.
No, seriously. Not a thing. Not one single thing.
“No wonder you can’t find anything to wear,” said Terry, rolling his eyes. “You have more clothes than the mall. It would probably be easier for me to just pick something for you.”
Then his eyes lit up. “Actually, maybe I should do that!” he said. “Then I’d get to leave the house on time for once, and you could write about it for your blog.”
“Nah,” I said. “That’s been done before. “Also, you’d definitely dress me like a stripper: don’t even try to deny it.”
Terry DID try to deny it, though, and, well, its been raining for roughly three years now, so it wasn’t like I had anything else to do: why not see what he came up with?
So Terry headed off to the dressing room for what he thought would be the easy task of picking out an outfit. A few minutes later, he was back.
“I’m bored with this already,” he said. “Why do you have so many clothes? No wonder it takes you so long to find something to wear!”
“Aha!” I said, triumphantly. “Not as easy as you thought it would be, is it? I don’t get to give up, though, so you don’t either. Back you go!”
So back he went – and this time I went with him, to act as tour guide to the wonderful world of the dressing room. The following conversation then ensued:
TERRY: Where are all the glamorous dresses? Like, the ones Audrey Hepburn would wear?
AMBER: Well, there’s this…. [Holds up dress.]
TERRY: No, that’s too pin-up. I want Audrey Hepburn. And glamorous. And where are all the bodycon dresses?
AMBER: [Successfully hides her surprise that Terry knows the word ‘bodycon’.] Audrey Hepburn didn’t really wear bodycon stuff: fitted yes, skintight, not really. But here’s a bodycon dress… [Holds up dress]
TERRY: That doesn’t look like it would be very tight, though?
AMBER: [Starts to see where this is going.] Here’s one I never wear, because it shows every lump and bump: is that the kind of thing you mean?
TERRY: [Looks at dress suspiciously.] That’ll do. Where do you keep your bolly rolls?
AMBER: The hell? Where do I keep my what now?
TERRY: Your bolly rolls. Like shrugs, or whatever you call them.
TERRY: Yeah, that’s what I said: bolly rolls. Where are the bolly rolls?
AMBER: No, it’s “boleros”.
TERRY: Like Ravel’s Bolero?
AMBER: [Gives up.] I don’t really have a lot of bolly rolls – I mean boleros. Here’s a shrug, though.
TERRY: [Looks at proffered shrug with obvious disgust] Do you not have, like, a furry one?
AMBER: Er, no. Here’s a gold one, though?
TERRY: No, I need a furry one.
AMBER: Have you ever seen me wear a furry shrug?
TERRY: You wore one at our wedding?
AMBER: THAT WAS A WEDDING. AND IT WAS A CAPELET.
TERRY: So where is it?
AMBER: [Presents Terry with a box full of faux fur scarves, trusting that he will not know the difference between scarves and ‘bolly rolls’.]
TERRY: That’s what I was looking for!
AMBER: Those are scarves.
TERRY: No, they’re bolly rolls.
TERRY: Bolly rolls.
TERRY: So why do you always refer to that furry scarf you wore at the wedding as a shrug, then?
AMBER: Because that WAS a shrug! Well, actually, it was a capelet, but let’s not complicate things. I didn’t wear a furry scarf to get married, though!
TERRY: Yes you did.
AMBER: IT. WAS. A. CAPELET. These are scarves. But they can also be worn a bit like a capelet.
TERRY: Point proven. You wore a furry scarf to our wedding. How could you?
The “bolly roll” debate raged for quite some time, while Terry made me try on and then discard various outfits, occasionally stopping to express his frustration at my lack of certain items. Like mint green leather elbow-length gloves, for instance. And, well, all the bolly rolls, obviously.
“See,” I said at one point, after he’d made me try on every hat I owned, without finding any he was completely happy with. “NOW you know why I have so many clothes: because sometimes you put together an outfit, and it just needs that ONE little thing to make it perfect, and if you don’t have that ONE little thing…”
“You’re not getting those Louboutins,” Terry interrupted. “Although I have to admit, it’s amazing the difference a pair of shoes makes!”
Before I had the chance to get too excited by this revelation, however, it was time for the big reveal.
Now, the idea here was that Terry would choose an outfit for me to wear on a date or similar. He had to choose something he genuinely thought looked nice (as opposed to just deliberately trying to make me look stupid on the internet: I’m not saying I was confident that wouldn’t happen anyway, of course, but at least I’d know it wasn’t deliberate…), and there was no agenda other than curiosity to see what he would come up with.
As far as style goes, Terry is pretty good at identifying the kind of clothes I like, but he has no real interest in fashion at all – in fact, almost every item of clothing he owns was a Christmas or birthday gift, and when he DOES shop for himself, his guiding principle tends to be, “Well, I’ve never seen anyone wearing one like THAT before!” He also favours bright colours, bold patterns and anything he considers to be “quirky” or “unusual” – this is all, of course, the complete opposite of my own style, so yeah, I was a little bit worried about what he would come up with.
On the other hand, though, it wasn’t like he was going into a shop and coming out with something I’d never laid eyes on before: he was choosing from my own clothes, and, well, I happen to like my own clothes, obviously, so how bad could it be? Let’s find out…
Jacket: Dorothy Perkins*; Shoes: Topshop; hat & gloves : both gifts
First up: outerwear. Because the man likes to be thorough, and he said he “didn’t want me to be cold” – aawwww! (Yeah, I know my legs are bare: he did consider black tights, but decided against them. Good call, Terry…) As you can see, Terry is not the matchy-matchy type, and has gone for three different shades of green, which is something I’d never have done on my own, but surprisingly don’t completely hate. He was very insistent on the hat, which he felt provided the extra bit of interest the look needed: this one actually has huge ear flaps, finished off with faux-fur pom poms – I can’t describe how relieved I was when he tied the flaps behind my head. I mean, I’m sure it would’ve looked pretty … interesting… from the back, but not as interesting as the ear flaps would’ve been with the ladylike dress! Speaking of which:
Dress: River Island (old)
So, the main point of interest here is that I’m wearing two belts, one layered on top of the other (which I’m wearing back-to-front). Terry felt one belt wasn’t “funky” enough, and although I don’t totally hate it either, left to my own devices, I’d probably just have stuck to one. Other than that, though, I have to admit, I was pretty impressed: I mean, when I decided to do this, I was sure he’d have me looking like a cartoon character at the very least, but take away a belt, and I would totally wear this: oh, and it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to attack the brooch to the neck of the dress, but I quite a like it, so maybe you’ll be seeing that on a REAL outfit post, soon.
Conclusion? Well, I’m probably not going to let Terry start choosing my outfits from now on, but I gotta say, he did a much better job than I expected (I mean, I fully expected to be hiding my face for real in these photos…), and I think he deserves a huge pat on the back for being willing to give it a go – three cheers for Terry, everyone!
As for Terry himself, meanwhile, he has a new understanding of the intricacies of putting together an outfit – and of the vastness of my wardrobe. “I mean, you have something you think’s going to look great,” he said, “But then you put it on, and it’s just ALL WRONG. And it’s not just colours, either: it’s the shape of stuff, too. It’s a minefield!” Spoken like a true fashion blogger, I’m sure you’ll agree.
He’s still not totally clear what a “bolly roll” is for, though…