Accidentally Dressed Like… Or, What Happens When Your Wardrobe Conspires To Make You Look Like A Tit.

Have you ever had one of those days where you get up, get dressed in whatever vaguely clean clothes you lay your hands on, and get on with your day, only to realise at lunchtime that your outfit makes you look like a waitress or a circus performer or a sexually repressed German teacher on a field trip? It happens to me all the goddamn time.
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Becca Day-Preston
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Have you ever had one of those days where you get up, get dressed in whatever vaguely clean clothes you lay your hands on, and get on with your day, only to realise at lunchtime that your outfit makes you look like a waitress or a circus performer or a sexually repressed German teacher on a field trip? It happens to me all the goddamn time.

Now, look, there’s nothing wrong with dressing like a sexually repressed German teacher, on purpose. Done right, I can imagine that Sexually Repressed German Teacher is actually quite the look, and I might see if I can’t find something that screams SRGT at me when I am next in Cos (seems like the kinda place a SRGT might shop, in the best possible way). My problem is that I find I accidentally dress like something, and it is almost wholly a shit version of whatever that thing is.

Becca dressed as a pillow. On purpose. It could be worse.

Becca dressed as a pillow. On purpose. It could be worse.

The other day, for example, I put on my new skirt with a chiffon leopard print blouse, and threw a vintage cashmere cardi on top. My hair was greasy so I dry shampooed it and shoved it into a rough approximation of a chignon before smearing on as much red lippie as possible because that’s what I do to make people not notice my need-a-threadin’ brows these days.

At work, I looked in the mirror and realised that, oh great, I had dressed like Joan Holloway from Mad Men. Or, to put it really specifically, hobo Joan Holloway. You see, my la-di-dah vintage cashmere cardi is full of holes (mouse problem in my third year uni houseshare), my hair was frankly scarecrow territory and my skirt, though technically ‘pencil’ is crafted from t-shirt fabric. Oh, and my lipstick had ‘gone somewhat awry’ from eating a Twix too ferociously. I was Joan Hoboway.

Then there was that time I got in from work and quickly got changed for drinks. I pulled on my trusty black mini, a cool new Aztec print t-shirt, one of my boyfriend’s hoodies and some Converse. And my eyeliner was smudged but I didn’t have time to fix it so I ‘artfully’ put a bit more on and smudged that, too. To the pub! It went a little like this:

Scene- Int- The Pub. Becca is meeting friends, and thinks she is working thrown-together indie movie chic.

Becca: Hi guys.

Friend (wearing head to toe classy shit): Becca. Becca. Becca, you look like a fucking teenager. At a Deathcab gig.

Ground swallows Becca up, whole.

End scene.

Of course, sometimes you’re forced to wear something because it’s necessary. Like the time I had what can only be described as a fucking massive insect bite just above my cleavage, but all my high-necked tops were dirty, or hiding from me in a fit of cruelty, so I had to wear a v-neck teamed with a silk Chanel scarf (to cover up the MONSTROSITY on my boob-valley). It was also fucking cold, so I put jeans on.

Becca 'channelling' school mum run style

Becca 'channelling' school mum run style

But then I couldn’t find my ankle boots and it was too cold for my Keds. So, knowing that what I was doing was wrong, I put my knee boots on over my jeans. Hey! Remember knee boots and jeans? Great in 2004, right? Yep, turns out the only people wearing them today are European tourists and school run mums. As I looked down at myself, I realised I looked like a school run mum.

My hair had Gone Big that morning, I was wearing that goddamn Chanel scarf and the only cardigan I could find, a slim-fitting Uniqlo number, was not doing anything to cool girl up my look. And those goddamn boots over jeans. Oh, and my shoulder hurt (sex injury! Who’s gon’ give me a high five? OW!) so I had to tote my handbag on my arm like Pazza Hilton transporting a Chihuahua.

I looked like I should be leaning out of a 4x4, sneaking a quick menthol in before Henry and India come out of the school gates. Except, because all my clothes are covered in bobbles, cat hair and regret, I was Shit Hungover School Run Mum.

So, I’ve decided that the only way to stop this happening again is to set fire to my clothes and just wear pillowcases from now on. Yes, I will be dressed as a pillow. But on purpose.