This bank holiday weekend, I decided it was time to revisit an old hobby that has somewhat fallen by the wayside since I had a baby.
Yes, I went shopping.
I arrived home, laden with shopping bags full of clothes, just like in the olden days when I used to spend every weekend admiring the wares all over Oxford Street, or pore over the vintage wares in the coolest parts of East London, searching for the perfect Pat Butcher-esque 1980s knits and 1970s evening dresses last worn by Margot from the Good Life for a spot of fondue over at Abigail’s Party.
The only difference was that this time, the clothes were not for me.
“Look what I bought!” I cried excitedly to my mother, conveniently forgetting the fact that she was likely to respond by bleating about ISAs and credit cards and aren’t-you-supposed-to-be-saving-up-to-buy-a-house solidly for the next three weeks at least. I began to pull the full range of adorable toddler-sized Breton tops from Joules out of the bags and fantasise about my probable future life as a lifestyle blogger with immaculate white furniture, posing coquettishly on the front of my coffee table book of photographs of me, beaming, and holding aloft various plates of courgetti and raw kale with a jus of blueberry and pomegranate made in the nutribullet; suddenly having perfect skin, and perfect hair with absolutely no visible greys. Maybe there would even be a perfect labrador at my heels, excited for his morning walk on the beach near where my perfect spotless white-furnished house will obviously be; and an immaculate Piglet, possibly with suddenly more hair, so that I can complete the look of general ruddy outdoor health by curling it and ruffling it a bit for the photos in that adorably middle-class way. Hell, while we’re at it maybe there would even be a perfect husband sat nearby, possibly behind the vintage oak rough-hewn table in the perfect kitchen, gazing at me adoringly, although obviously he would have to avert his eyes when I pulled the enormous M&S “thigh and tummy slimming” knickers out of the bag.
At last, having shown my mother both the fantasy-life wardrobe from Joules which I had purchased for Piglet, and the enormous knickers for me, courtesy of the need to hide certain aspects of reality in order to partake of this fantasy life, such as the increasing girth around my midsection, I pulled out the one thing I had allowed myself to have; the one remnant of my former life that lay within those bags…..
“OH MY GOD THOSE TROUSERS HAVE GOT AN ELASTICATED WAIST!” was my mother’s cry as I triumphantly removed that one item from the bag. “YOU’RE TURNING INTO ME!”
Suddenly deflated, I looked down at the trousers.
“No I’m not!” I wailed. “These are….these are…..THESE ARE FROM AMERICAN APPAREL!”
How had my mother failed to realise that I am, at thirty-five, (or “nearly thirty-six” as my mother cruelly likes to point out, despite the fact that there are still a full three months until my next birthday and I could totally, like, run a marathon before then. Or win the Nobel Peace Prize) still on the actual bleeding cutting edge of cool?
I looked down at the trousers. Sure enough, my mother was right. They did have an elasticated waist. They were a very dull shade of blue. The legs were tapered into the classic parsnip shape that flattered absolutely no one. In fact, they looked a bit like the sort of trousers that a woman of my mother’s age might buy, had they been in BHS instead of American Apparel. And had they been in BHS, I would not have bought them. I would not have seen them. I would not have even been within a hundred metre radius of the building they were in, let alone lifted them triumphantly and waved them under my mother’s nose expecting platitudes about how I had still got it, still down with the kids, still thinner than most teenagers, and definitely still rocking American Apparel.
Not only had I been taken in by the false glow of shiny marketing and the promise of instant hipster chic if I only purchased said overpriced old-person trousers, but I had been tragic enough to believe that I still do have it. That I still had the insouciant ironic granny style of some model-esque nineteen year old Hoxton hipster in Deirdre Barlow’s old glasses. Instead I just looked like Granny. Piglet’s granny, to be precise. My own mother. The very same mother who had just quite literally collapsed into fits of giggles at her middle-aged daughter’s folly at thinking she was still cool.
Cheers Mum, I get it. I’m old.
66 Comments Add yours
Please don’t say you’re old – you are only 4 months older than me by my maths! I AM NOT MIDDLE AGED AND NEITHER ARE YOU, WOMAN!!! #tribester #sorryfortheshoutycaps
I will obey your shouty caps. We are not old, we are fabulous!
Ahaha! I just don’t know how the lifestyle bloggers do it.
I was looking for some comfy trousers for the summer the other day, and I’m not a trouser person – I live in leggings and dresses or skirts. I had a look on m & s and all the reviews said the age of the person reviewing the item… Everybody was over 60. I couldn’t bring myself to buy any of the trousers as I felt that at age 26 I can’t face wearing something popular with those over 60! Think I might buy some maternity trousers from ASOS instead, they will be comfy! #puddinglove
Oh no! I’m not generally a trouser person either, mainly because I am so miniscule that they are always too long for me, so it is a miracle that the new ones actually fit. Elasticated waist or not, that is something to treasure!
Hahaha oh the shame! I feel so bad for you right now! There’s nothing worse, when your own mum laughs at your lack of style! ?? xxx
Yep, that was pretty much the situation. Thanks for commenting!
Haha, I hope you took those trousers back!! I also have similar dreams of being a lifestyle blogger with immaculate children and house! Ain’t gonna happen for me though!
Ah, don’t we all! I’m sure it’s all artifice though, even with the actual lifestyle bloggers. I have to say I kept the trousers-and I wore them to work the next day!
But were afore-mentioned elasticated blue trousers made of a polyester mix? Were you intending to wear them with a classic round-necked jumper from the M & S ladies range? Are all your jeans up to HERE? Answers on a postcard to IT’S ALREADY HAPPENED TO ME AND I EVEN HAVE A FUCKING V-NECKED GEORGETTE JUMPER FROM PER UNA THAT MY MOTHER BOUGHT ME COS SHE THOUGHT IT WOULD NOW SUIT ME.
PS Pictures next time!! x
I actually quite like the sound of that round-necked jumper. Is that bad? OH GOD MY LIFE IS OVER! My mother said to me the first time I expressed interest in American Apparel after Piglet was born, “Oh, so you’re still shopping in there then?” as though it was now banned.
love the post! I wouldn’t mind turing into my mum its my mother-in-law that frightens me!
thanks for linking with #puddinglove
Yes that does sound scary! Luckily I don’t have to put up with one of those.
Same here! Im ashamed to say my mum is more stylish then me!
Oh no! I wouldn’t go quite that far yet with mine. She might like to think she is, but I am still claiming it…for now at least!
So I am reading this post wearing my elasticated trousers…..
Haha! Thanks for commenting.
Love this! I feel the same, only it’s usually the other half who is commenting on my choice of clothing. I may be a cougar, but seriously I’m just trying to look vaguely elegant – not old. I’d probably consider those trousers myself! #PuddingLove
Oh no that’s worse-at least my mother isn’t supposed to find me attractive!
Ha ha I can definitely relate to this! Not that I ever particularly flew the fashion flag, but I was vaguely cool once, I think… Now I just totally go for function and comfort over fashion…I just can’t be doing with uncomfy. And is it just me or is fashion just weird these days? All those granny florals – I just know I’ll look like an ancient librarian if I wore them.
I can’t even remember the last time I bought clothes from anywhere other than a supermarket, picked up during the weekly food shop….god that’s depressing!
Oh no that is depressing! I have always been very into clothes, so I had a long way to fall-quite literally, as I had barely ever worn anything on my feet that wasn’t a six inch heel. I have come to the conclusion that fashion has come full circle and returned the the 90s-just as I am too old to wear crop tops and look as though I just never changed out of the clothes I have been wearing since the 90s if I try to wear anything resembling the latest styles. Boden it is then.
I can totally relate! But the funny thing is now her choices make more sense – elasticated trousers are comfortable!! ? and as for flat shoes…. Lovely post x
Thank you, and yes, the trousers were very comfortable. Instead of rushing back to the shop with them and demanding a refund, I wore them to work the next day!
Oh dear, I have to admit I feel the same, I am turning into my mother too 🙁 I always think of myself as young then I look in the mirror. #effitfriday
Argh me too!
This is brilliantly written. I think all of us woman who are around 30(ish!) have exactly the same imaginary lifestyle set up. And we all have that one awkward purchase that reminds us we might not be as hip as we were.
I think it is time we made being in our 30’s the new cool.
AGREED! I’m channelling Carrie Bradshaw and co, but with kids. Mum chic is the new cool. Thanks for commenting.
Forgot to add #fortheloveofBLOG to my comment, sorry!
Brilliant! Made me laugh out loud (literally). I don’t know how lifestyle bloggers do it, either. Surely it’s exhausting looking immaculate all the time? I feel like I get dressed and then my make-up has slid off and my clothes have got stained within about ten minutes of leaving the house. #effitfriday
Haha, mine are stained before I even leave the house! I reckon it’s all in the photo editing.
Argh no the elasticated waist pants! This truly a terrible realisation, but maybe just maybe we have missed something in vogue and they are in fact really trendy now? Perhaps they are breaking away from the old stereo type?! I look in the mirror every morning and realise that I look more and more like my grandmother (luckily with more teeth) it’s just a sad fact of life ? Still Piglet will look uber cool in the Joules kit! Thanks for linking up #PuddingLove
I think they are meant to be cool-just in an ironic hipster granny way, and probably teamed with the sort of crop tops I am too old to wear! Thanks for hosting and commenting.
I love this! It really made me laugh. You have a fab sense of humour and your ‘ideal lifestyle blogger stereotype’ was hilarious. Lovely to start getting to know some of the tribe. #Fortheloveofblog
Thank you! Thanks for commenting.
Lol – I hear ya! I have the “OMG I’M MY MOTHER” moment all the time, especially right after I explode at my children for having to tell them to put their clothes on for the fiftieth time!
Haha, it happens to us all!
OMG you are not old! I have a theory about this so please hear me out. I think that the reason you ended up getting the elasticated waist pants that are not trendy nor flattering was because you were too busy shopping for Piglet and in an attempt to do something for yourself (when really you had no patience left or energy to do so) you made a rushed decision. That’s ok. just take them back and try again 🙂
Loved reading this post and your description of a stereotypical lifestyle blogger. Sounds great, I want to be one 🙂
That theory might stand up to scrutiny if it weren’t for the fact that it was only the second shop I went in, haha! I think you might already be one of those amazing lifestyle bloggers. Today I totally wore an outfit inspired by the one in your flat lay from the other day, and was very pleased with myself. #Bloggergoals
Ha ha ha. It happens to everyone. I dread the day I turn into Mother – she has terrible fashion sense and is a bit heavy handed with the make-up. Plus, she doesn’t half go on. #KCACOLS
Sorry-it happens to us all! I’m sure you’ve got a good few years yet before that happens though.
I LOVE ELASTICATED WAISTS…oh god I didn’t mean to shout that…maybe my computer is trying to tell me something. Seriously though, I have spent the last three years in my topshop maternity jeans. Sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out…sometimes I open my mouth and mother-in-law comes out…even scarier. For me the clothes are the least of my concerns!! Very funny post Min #KCACOLS
Thank you! I am still wearing my Topshop maternity jeans. In fact, I wore them today. They rock!
Oh God don’t say you are old! If we are old in our mid-30s then that is seriously depressing. Return the trousers immediately though haha they sound awful! I’ve always been awful with fashion so I just stick with what suits me now and ignore everything else. This did make me giggle though! Thanks for linking up with us on #fortheloveofBLOG x
Thanks for hosting and commenting! I couldn’t bring myself to return the trousers. I wore them to work the next day!
Oh No! Thankfully I haven’t started dressing like my mother but I see myself in her a lot. Mannerisms etc. It’s quite scary because I often refer to her as mental! Thats a worry isn’t it!? #triballove #kcacols
I know-I think we all end up like them eventually! At least, we copy their best bits, I like to think.
Hahaha you always make me laugh. You are NOT old! I’m sure you still got that hipster chic going on, based on your writing, you are super cool in my book. ; ) Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy.
Haha, thank you! I am trying. Probably not hard enough, as today I went to the pub for dinner with Piglet and my mother (get us, in the pub on a school night!) in my work outfit of pencil skirt and blouse, teamed with a pair of wellies which I suddenly discovered had a huge rip down the side (well, it was raining!)
Ahh I really liked this as I have definitely noticed me sounding more and more like my mum recently when I’m talking to Mia or ‘trying’ to discipline her! Not that I don’t think my mum is a great mum but because I scare myself that I’m getting older! 🙂
Yep, it happens to us all! Thanks for commenting.
Haha brilliant post – ahh it creeps up on all of us doesn’t it?! I am definitely starting to sound like my mum when I mutter things angrily underneath my breath throughout the day…oh dear. #KCACOLS
It happens to us all!
Ugh I never shop for me anymore, always for the kiddo but I do enjoy it! Did you take the trousers back? You are not old – don’t worry! #stayclassy
I didn’t. I couldn’t have hated them that much as I wore them to work the next day. I decided that maybe I just had to accept my new style-free mum existence.
Aww… you are totally not old! I am near 40 (SHH!! don’t tell). I think your mother is very endearing that she has spotted a soft spot of you that resembles her.
Thanks for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost. xx
Lol! This is great. I find myself saying things to my son that my mom used to say to me and think about how I’m turning into my mother. She’s a pretty great lady so I guess I’m ok with it 😉 #KCACOLS
Yep, it happens to us all, but yes, my mum’s pretty fab too so I shouldn’t complain!
Now I want to see the trousers. You could also argue you’re channeling Piglet as toddler clothes are also all elasticated waist x thanks for linking to #effotfriday hopefully see you later
Yes that’s very true. I’m not sure how modelling my style on a toddler would go down with the cool brigade, but maybe I could start a new trend?
I love the fact that I can perfectly picture the trousers in my head! Also love the fact that, after reading the comments, it turned out you kept them and wore them, good for you! x #KCACOLS
Thanks-well, I would have been too embarrassed to return them on the grounds they were too elastic, and anyway nothing else in American Apparel suited my Mum Look!
Ha ha! My mum always adds a year to my age. Honestly, the other day she was saying “You are 40 soon.” I’ve only just turned 38. Leave me to have my two years of denial please! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics
Haha, must be a mum thing! Although my nan does the same. Thanks for hosting and commenting.
Love it! Yes, how weird that the same clothes can be ‘old person clothes’ in one shop and ‘ironically cool’ in another! & how depressing that at a certain point, we can no longer wear them in the latter manner! I’m in denial! #fridayfrolics
Haha, me too! And the ironically cool ones are always three times the price!
I got a cool short hair cut at Xmas time and my daughter came in and said “wow mum, you look like Boopy!” – that’s her grandmother, in case you hadn’t guessed. I’m 42 )-8
Oh no! I have to admit that made me laugh though. The things kids say!