The (Not Quite) Basics Of Fashion

By
When I was young, innocent and didn’t know my Marc by Marc Jacobs from my George at Asda, my Mother valianty instilled in me three, always-abide-by rules of fashion. These, she told me, were the foundations of everything stylish; the starting blocks of fashion and all I’d ever need to know about looking effortlessly chic (she may have put it in slightly simpler terms, what with me being approximately five years old and simply asking her opinion on whether or not to wear my sparkly jelly shoes).
“Bethany,” she said, “just listen.” And she proceeded to divulge her insider information as I curled my jelly-shoe clad feet in eager anticipation.
First off: never wear pink with red. This was a bit rich, really, seeing as she continually insisted on dressing me in some atrocious form of legging-shaped torture. Her particular favourite, if I remember rightly, was some sort of squidged lasagne pattern which contained more colours than an overzealous rainbow and probably blinded at least three unsuspecting victims out on their travels. Nevertheless, she would not budge on this rule: absolutely NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, wear pink with red. Any innocent move on my behalf, absent-mindedly tugging red t-shirts and pink cardigans from my wardrobe, would warrant a shriek of “NOOO! CLASH!!!!!” and an immediate confiscation of the offending items.
Rule number two was a little more debatable but still a no-no: dungarees. Nobody, my Mother informed me, could pull off dungarees. Did I want to look like a mini-farmer? No? Then put the dungarees back on the shelf. It did not matter how many of my five-year-old playmates were rocking the dungarees look; I was not allowed to join the fun. One time I actually managed to get my hands on a pair, presumably from some fashion backward friend, and my Mother was so distressed she handed me the scissors and let me make a crop-top-and-jeans set out of it, an outfit I wore religiously for a week and then discarded in favour of a puffa jacket and trainers combo.
Finally, rule number three, the icing on the fashion crime cake: socks with sandals.
This is quite possibly the most valuable piece of advice I have ever received. Socks sandals = WRONG. No, not even Barbie socks, and especially not with flip-flops. No, not even if your feet are cold. In fact, not even if your feet are suffering from a rare form of frostbite caused by repeated exposure to sub-zero temperatures. NEVER. This was a key piece of life advice, my mother told me, and whisked me away to buy some nice, filled-in shoes to satisfy my sock-wearing urges.
And, let me tell you now: I have never strayed from this advice, highly flawed as it may be. No matter what trend is streaming down the catwalks and pouring onto the high street, I always wince at the sight of clashing outfits, shudder at dungarees, and spit vehemently at sandal-and-sock clad feet. My Mum may be wrong about lots of things (curfews, allowance, school work, parties…), but with this, she has been graciously proved right.
And I shall be forever grateful.





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

JessB. said...
Jun. 15, 2009 at 4:57 pm
Love it! Funny and well-written. Keep writing!
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback