The last flowers of summer

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I am taking the last chance to be girly before wrapping up in fleece for winter.

I enjoyed the Guardian blog, The Vintage Years this morning. 

I’m not sure who the author, The Invisible Woman, is, but I think women of a certain age all face similar dilemmas, and I enjoyed her division of the over-50s brigade into:

* the elasticated waist and comfy knit tribe.

* the whip-thin, smart and sharply tailored but showing very little imagination tribe.

* the leggings knitted from nettles, dangly earrings, I’m creative, me, tribe and

* the flatly in denial tribe.

I’m guessing that from time to time, most of us are most of these.

Today, for instance, I’m firmly in the first camp. As I write, I am gorgeously attired in paint-splashed elastic-waist jeans with patch pockets, big thick furry socks, paint-covered fleece poloneck, and Crocs, on account of I’ll be up a ladder in half an hour, painting the bathroom.

Gallingly, even the Crocs now need my orthotic insoles inserted or the pain from my foot op is too much to bear, and during the day I increasingly find myself in trainers or walking shoes for the added support – this, girls, is NOT a good look with a skirt, so I also increasingly find myself in jeans. 

Vintage floral coat

On Tuesday, however, I had a rare chance to dress up, to meet fellow writers at our monthly group. Since I’m feeling girly lately, I chose pale pink cords, pink suede stiletto shoes (OK for car to bar), a lace-edged vest and a pale pink vintage cardi, covered with white beads, then topped the lot with this vintage coat, which I just adore.

I arrived to find everyone else in black – a useful and sometimes stylish colour, I admit, but which gave me a slight feeling of being a parakeet surrounded by crows. Luckily they didn’t pull my feathers off. 

"I can’t wear colours," muttered my friend K into her vest – a complete fib as she often wears scarlet, magenta and salmon pink and looks good in all of them. But there are days when, like The Invisible Woman, you just want to slip through life un-noticed, and black is a good way to do that. 

Floral stripe shirtFrank Usher jacket

However, I myself am in a flowery mood as the September roses produce their dying fall, and have indulged in all of these lately on Ebay at pennies a pop: a floral silk Boden dress, with silk lining (I now have this dress four times over, in different colourways); a few floral shirts to go with jeans, a vintage Frank Usher silk jacket and a floral camisole to brighten up a plain cardi.  

Boden silk tea dressFloral shirt


Oh well, can’t put it off any longer. Time to wash the stabiliser off the paintbrush and get going with the anti-mould paint. Oh, the glamour… 

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