Come On Eileen

Yes I have a new website.

That is not the most exciting thing to have happened today, however, as today was also the day that I bought my first pair of dungarees.

Well, the first that were for me as opposed to Piglet.  At least since the brief flourishing of a random children’s clothes shop that opened up the road from my parents’ house in 1989 (where I tragically once again live, in 2015, at the age of 35), which stocked nothing but endless pairs of short dungarees for children in attractive floral patterns.

My new pair of dungarees are mercifully not floral patterned.  They are plain denim, Dexy’s Midnight Runners Alexa Chung style.

I hadn’t planned on going out and buying a pair of dungarees but, well, we were out and Piglet was asleep, so I seized the opportunity to pop into a shop.  Not just any old shop, but BS8, a shop I remember from years gone by, when I last lived in Bristol, when it was so achingly cool that I didn’t even dare set foot in there for fear of being drummed out by marauding hipsters.

Now, however, shopping in places that consider themselves hip (hip? Ha!  What is it, like, 1970?) holds no fear for me.  Me, who has walked the hallowed halls of Dover Street Market on no less than two occasions and who once brought Victoria Beckham’s new London store to a standstill by walking in with a pushchair and getting the staff to carry it up the stairs (cheers Vicky).

In I popped.

Piglet, however, constantly vigilant and able to sense entry to shops despite being in the throes of deep sleep, immediately woke up and started howling.  People started leaping out of the way.  Perhaps it was Piglet’s squeals, or perhaps it was the fact that I had the rain cover draped over the pushchair and it was dripping rain over all the vintage clothes as I steered expertly through the store, trying not to barge into anyone.

My attention was immediately drawn to the denim dresses, but I sensibly steered away, remembering that I have already owned two denim dresses in my life.  One which I bought for £1.50 in a charity shop in Birmingham, wore once to a “bad taste” party and then promptly got rid of, and one which I bought in Primark, probably for less than £1.50, which was even more hideous than the first.  I then noticed something even more enticing than the dresses.  Yes, they had actual DUNGAREES.  Loads and loads of them!

This is brilliant, I thought.  I will be like Felicity Kendal in The Good Life, petite and pert in my practical dungarees, doing my gardening and raising my child in self-sufficient suburbia whilst being lusted after by the entire nation.

Or I will be Alexa Chung: low-maintenance, just showing up at New York Fashion Week looking effortlessly amazing, with no-fuss hair and perfect flicky eyeliner.

Or I will be like pregnant friends of my mother’s in the 1980s, with Deirdre Barlow glasses, looking like a humungous painter and decorator in maternity denim.

Or I will be one of Dexy’s Midnight Runners.  Need I say more.

“Hmm.”  I said brightly to the shop assistant, who looked like an ironic hipster version of one of the Thompson Twins,  “I’m not sure if this look is going to be more Alexa Chung or Dexy’s Midnight Runners on me.”

I could tell that Thompson Twin was thinking definitely not Alexa from the fact that I was wearing a pair of Joules wellies and a bright orange hiking jacket from the children’s section of Jack Wolfskin.

“I don’t always dress like this!” I wanted to wail.  “Back in the day-before the baby-I used to wear vintage all the time, you know!  And my shirt is vintage, I promise!  It’s just….well, this rain.  And motherhood makes you so….practical.”

I knew that it was folly indeed to buy something as patently ridiculous as a pair of dungarees without even trying them on, so I rushed into the changing room while Thompson Twin kept an eye on Piglet, who was sobbing by this point.  He hated this shop even more than he hates Wilko in Wembley High Road, and we’ve never been able to leave there without a full on meltdown in the checkout queue.

Or maybe he just hated the sight of Mummy squeezing herself into a too-small version of something he might wear.

“It isn’t meant to be like this.”  He must have been thinking.  “You’re my mother.  You should be dressing the part, not trying to look like mutton dressed as baby.  It’s like when you bought me those skintight houndstooth girls’ trousers in H&M just because they were exactly the same as a pair of yours.  Parents and children were not meant to dress the same!  Look at what you and your parents looked like in 1990 when you all wore those matching counterfeit England ’90 shell suits from Eastville Market!”

Alas, anyway, the dungarees were too small.  I sadly headed towards the exit-and picked up an infinitely superior pair in the next size up which I promptly took to the till without trying on.  “Well, they are practical!” I exclaimed as Thompson Twin swiped my card.

“Yes they are,” she agreed.  “I mean, look at all these pockets for storing your paintbrushes.  And there’s a bit here that would be really useful for a hammer, should you ever want to carry one around.”

I had been thinking practical for breastfeeding, 1980s maternity-wear style, but who knows when you might need a hammer?

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. I salute you and your Alexa Chung aspirations 😉 I have been known on several occasions to enter the hair salon armed with photos of that effortlessly undone hair asking them to make me look like her. I think for this blog to be complete we need to see a pic of the dungarees?! Great blog, look forward to reading more x MMT #brilliantblogposts

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! I did take a pic of me in the dungarees with the intention of posting it so that people could make their own minds up about whether or not it is The Look of the Future or just me looking like a painter and decorator, but I am still getting to grips with the whole photography thing (in other words, I am rubbish at it) so the photo looked like the worst selfie imaginable. I will keep working on it!

  2. I was about 10 when this song came out,I was mesmerized by it. My friends didn’t like it, glad to see it wasn’t me with bad music taste. I have a feeling they listened to it in secret. Scotty, the joke goes what’s grosser than grease on olivia newton john, come on eileen. Thank god for sirius satellite, there 80’s channel plays it often.

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