I think one of the most beautiful things about growing older is finding a serene self confidence and lack of fear of judgement about menial things. Don’t like my hair? My tattoo? My bright clothes? It’s a pretty nice place to get to, when you realise you have let go of caring about anyone else’s opinion about your fashion choices. To laugh along with them and know you feel fabulous, sod the rest!
As I approach the big 4-0, well in 2.5 years truth be told, the person life has made me has chilled out entirely about what she should be seen wearing. She loves what she loves and isn’t afraid to go for it with gusto.
A love of colour is nothing new – Just thinking back to my car choices in my twenties reflects who I was once upon a time; a sunshine yellow Saxo with multicoloured interior, a sparkly blue VW Beetle with a huge blue Gerbera in the dash, and of course that Suzuki Vitara convertible with the pink flash, but the less said about that the better…
A quick look through my photos of 2009, seeking the perfect ten years later image revealed about three thousand blurry photos of unidentifiable bands, and the odd shot of some purple pointy flat boots from topshop (which I’d give anything to have again!). Band Tee shirts, dress jewellery and the odd somewhat out there fashion choices.
I suppose as life becomes weighed down with responsibilities and practicalities, the hazy twenties gave way to the child bearing thirties, it’s easy for the greyness of life to creep in. Dressing for comfort, for practicality, to be in comfy shoes and have clothes you can easily wipe baby sick off.
Earrings became reserved for going out out, and ‘nice clothes’ gather dust in the wardrobe, waiting for their moment to be worn for best, which unlike when you’re in your twenties, is certainly not every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.
I’ve realised of late that part of me has got a little lost along the way. That girl who you’d see coming in that somewhat ridiculous car had dulled her shine and given way to a burgundy Nissan Qashqai family wagon in more ways than one. Thank goodness I had a last minute change of heart about binning this coat, and instead decided to store it in the loft, resurrected and dry cleaned in 2018 for a new lease of life.
So I had a quiet word with myself, and with the encouragement and influence of some people who I admire, I’ve dug deep and started reconnecting my external package with that fun Sarah on the inside. The one who had a penchant for red boots and dangly earrings. Who wasn’t into designer labels but who would die for a unique one off fashion statement.
She wore hats, her hair curly and she wasn’t afraid to try something different.
In fairness she has never been far away, but it’s time to celebrate who she is entirely, and give her a new lease of life. 2018 became the year of experimenting with coloured lipstick and headscarves, bolder prints and brighter colours.
So my kids have asked me why I’ve started dressing like a pop star, wearing more makeup and ‘Christmas clothes’. I’m sure a few people think I’m having a mid life crisis – perhaps I am! The sudden apparent make over combined with the decision to quit drinking probably set alarm bells ringing! But the beauty of it all is, it doesn’t even matter. I feel my best when I love what I’m wearing, and ill fitting skinny jeans and a baggy jumper doesn’t always have to do. (Although let’s just put it out there that some days were made for skinny jeans and baggy jumpers). Perhaps the two are linked, a new found appreciation for self care and treating myself a little better; it comes in all shapes and sizes.
I realise that being a stay at home Mum for four years has been a huge part of this transition. It’s hard to find the energy to make an effort in your appearance when you’re not seeing anyone other than the odd hello on the school run. What has become clear to me now however is that this disregard for your own appearance, putting yourself at the bottom of the list, day in, day out is not good for the soul. It was far easier to justify looking ‘nice’ when you had to be presentable at work, but we all deserve to feel lovely more than the odd ‘occasions’.
So there you have it, as Dad Muddling Through likes to describe it, crazy as ever Sarah is back in the room. And the house feels a better place for it already.