Mutton and Lamb

I may have mentioned that I am a charity shopper, and I may have mentioned that this has been acerbated by losing some weight ( not enough, but quite a bit.)

I may also have mentioned that Petersfield has a great selection of charity shops and I am practiced in a CSI-type fingertip search of them on a regular basis.

Surely, by now, anyone who is interested in this field of exploration will be au fait with the rules:

Don’t go looking for anything in particular – you can guarantee if you want a denim skirt, there won’t be one and in your rush to try and find one, you will miss the delightful duck-egg blue leather coat for £15 – and of course, dear reader, I did buy it.

If you can, think about altering the delightful find to fit or be jazzed up – I can’t do that so have to settle for what I can find/fit into.

Don’t buy cheap makes – look for the good stuff and so get quality materials cut, design etc. I have a wardrobe which has fistfuls of good makes in it, and all for a fraction of the price.

(And Oxfam has a great project in Senegal. The Senegalese are also onto the case – they would rather buy good quality second hand stuff than new cheap, shoddy stuff from China. Go online and see Frip Ethique. It is amazing.)

But there is another rule for people like me.

Don’t do mutton dressed as lamb.

It is a phrase taught me by my mother, and indeed grandmother, and one I have to mention now and then to close friends of a similar age.

Just because it is a great make and just because it fits you, it doesn’t mean you should be seen out wearing it.

The Germans have one of those compound words which translates roughly as 20 years old from behind, 70 from the front.

Even if you have the figure to wear mini-shorts with – and they were/are in fashion – black tights underneath, you really have to think about whether they are going to look like good, or very bad news, on you.

That being said, I do avoid elasticated trousers ( or slacks as my aunt would call them) whatever the make.

I do avoid any shoes with those heels/soles made of that compound which is supposed to look rather cork like….

There is mutton, and there is chic mutton.

My best friend has recently said she will give up on white jeans – but that will be the day.

I will have difficulty in giving up short, straight skirts with thick tights and jumpers – my style when Love Story set the fashion tone for young women, as I then was.

So, for all the vintage Jaeger jackets I have, for all the times my best beloved tells me I look very chic, there will be those times when I am walking around Petersfield looking rather too lamb than mutton.


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