A Letter to Fashion

Dear Fashion,

I’m picturing you personified right now, sitting across from me, and my immediate image is bemusing and probably a little stereotypical. Sorry, we can blame the media bastards for that.

You are thin with shoulder length ombre’d hair that’s parted in the centre. Your outfit is effortlessly chic, obviously, and you’re sipping your macchiato while surreptitiously eyeing my outfit. Not in an admiring way. It’s Autumn so you’re hidden under one of those gorgeous floppy hats that I don’t know the name of and couldn’t pull off, myself. You look absolutely fabulous, even I know that.

I do know about you, by the way. I like pretty things as much as the next girl. I look at the magazines occasionally and admire the ‘fash-un’ girls on the streets of London, the ones that are your BFFs and you tell all your secrets to. I mean, you and I wouldn’t go for coffee together and you definitely wouldn’t waste your tips and inside info on me. It’s a fairly one way relationship. (I.e. You’re just another person I stalk on social media.)

I think you’re alright but I don’t love you because try as I might, I cannot understand you, keep up with you or afford you. You’re moving a little too fast for me and it definitely isn’t cheap to hang out with you. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t walk the streets in crocs and cargo pants. I like to look good and I even own a few items you would approve of. My best friend even thinks I’m super cool, but it’s part of her job role. So, there you go.

I just like to be comfortable… Which is what brought on the awkward track pants and hoodie phase a few years ago, that and my total lack of pride. Anyway that was before I realised that you can be comfortable AND look nice. Revelation of the century! But heels = no way. I wore them for my birthday last weekend and lasted the whole night (wooo), but those cute little boots probably won’t see the light until this time next year. The pain just isn’t worth the sexy calves and height. Plus I have bunions which you have probably never heard of, you lucky thing. Google them.

The problem is, dear Fashion, that you’re illusive to me and totally unattainable. I can generally tell what looks good, but when it comes to catwalk fashion I am 100 per cent lost. No one would ever wear half of that stuff on the street so what is the point? I’m into what I can wear day-to-day, anything else is just excess. I’m like a practical mother. Without the babies.

I don’t have the time or interest to spend hours trawling through markets, malls, websites, blogs and charity stores. So I will stick with the clothes that accentuate my ‘womanly waist’ and get on with it. I like what I like, that’s as far as it goes. If I happen to like anything ‘in trend’ then yay! We can wave at each other in the street and you can give me a nod of approval, kind of like the end scene in The Devil Wears Prada. I’d like that.


Pssttt – Do you like fashion or do you not quite get it either? Let me know I’m not alone in the comments! 


Dear 15-year-old Me

These letters are doing the rounds this week to celebrate the launch of Emily Freeman’s book Graceful, for teen girls. Check out her fantastic letter and some others here. Since it fit right in with my letter-writing-Friday, I wrote one too.

Hey young lady,

It’s me, your future self. Truth is that I’m not that much older than you but I’m a lot smarter. I want to reassure you of a few things to lighten the load that you burden yourself with. Your worrying keeps you up at night and it holds you back from enjoying these awesome and pain-in-the-arse teenage years, so I hope to allay some of your fears.

First things first, you will be relieved to know I’ve given up my endeavour to be perfect and I’m happier than ever. I’m kinder to myself and I laugh more. It’s so refreshing and I can’t wait for you to experience this. However you’ve got a few tough years ahead of you yet, which is how you will arrive to where I am now.

You have no idea what you are capable of. That frustration you feel with your seemingly talentless self? It will take years (sorry), but it will pass. You will grow, create and learn. You will discover your passions, flourish, and fall into your identity. The years to come of not knowing who you are, they are so important to your development. You will find your place eventually so don’t sweat it too much okay?

You are brave, smart and fun. Try to focus on these things instead of your faults. Like the attention seeking, which you will mostly grow out of. Though you will always be loud and that’s actually a good thing, so ignore the lies that whisper ‘you are too much to handle’. To some people you are too much, but they aren’t the right people for you. You are loved by your friends and people enjoy your energy. So quit wishing you were quiet and demure because that isn’t who you were born to be. And believe it or not, there are plenty of quiet girls that envy your social skills.

You think you’re fat but girrrrl, you ain’t. Enjoy those legs and that cute bum. Soon all that junk food you eat will take residence on your hot bod and you will miss what it is now. I have more confidence than you in my fuller and curvier figure, but you are way hotter.

You can be very melodramatic and self-involved, and it isn’t endearing in the slightest. Stop crying in the mirror for one second to gain some perspective. Your life isn’t that bad, and other people are facing hard times too. Look up and look out. While I’m taking you down a peg, I may as well also inform you that you don’t know everything. You could do with some humility. Wisdom and maturity come from experience, of which you have none. Yet.

The only thing that I deeply regret and wish you would do differently, is how you treat your sweet little sister. That kid adores you and asks you to play a board game with her most days. She is lonely and needs you, but you always say no. The age gap feels more of a chasm, but when she is still young you will go on the adventure of your life and be apart from her for too long. These days she and I are great friends from afar, and though she doesn’t hold it against me, I do. Your time with her is precious so play the damn games. Indulge her. If not for yourself, do it for me. I miss her.

On a final note, don’t take yourself so seriously for heavens sake! You think far too much and we both know how exhausting that is. You’ve had to grow up fast so cherish the naivety you still possess. Stop worrying. You will get your driving license, you will have enough money and you will do great things. You will see the world and find out where you fit into it. You will be happy and create a life that you love. I would know, I’m here waiting for you.

The Lord’s face is shining down on you, so look up and bask in His sunlight. Everything will be okay.

The future you

To Alfie the Cat

Today’s post is the first installment of a new feature I’m introducing: Open Letters to No-One. They will probably be written to someone I’ve encountered that week, but there’s no structure. It could be a stranger on the bus, a piece of furniture or an animal (ahem, like today). Some will be funny and some will be sombre, it depends. Today is a lighthearted look into the relationship I have with my house mate’s cat. If you’re a cat person, don’t be offended! Enjoy.

Dear Alfie the cat,

What a pair of flatmates we are. You, a small animal that moves stealthily and meows with contempt. And me, the girl who doesn’t like cats or find any joy in pictures of kittens. The girl who never had pets as a child and had never lived with an animal until she moved in with you.

It’s been an adjustment, living with a breathing animal that actually has a personality. I didn’t know it was possible. It’s those beady eyes, sometimes I feel like you can see right into my soul! I often talk aloud to you and tell you how utterly crazy you are. (That’s new for me, talking aloud to a cat and not feeling stupid for it. Progress, maybe?) I still haven’t adjusted to you hanging around my feet or leaping through the bathroom window while I am on the loo. Seriously, give a girl some peace!

I have a theory that there’s a feline drug dealer slumming around in the ghetto of Tooting, and that you regularly visit him. Your currency is dead mice and sometimes you smoke a cigar together after doing a deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if my name came up and you retold stories of my aloofness toward you. Like the time I accidentally shut the window on you while you were jumping through it. Mid-air. I am really sorry for that, I promise it was an accident. It was pretty funny for everyone who witnessed it but I felt really bad. No hard feelings, aye?

I hope you do see that I try sometimes. I put on that nice ‘cooey voice’ and will occasionally stroke you. Or what about when I feed you! You are very cuddly and, I admit, seeing you cosy up to Tom is quite cute. That’s when I know you’re alright. The rest of the time you seem to enjoy teasing me, or should I say taunt? Like when you stretch your front legs on my chest, really hard, and stare into my eyes? I try and give you cuddles and prove that I’m not a witch, but when you do that, I get creeped out and push you off. It hurts my boobs and I’m sure you’re doing it just to wind me up…

It’s coming up to our first anniversary of living together. I may buy you a treat, if I’m feeling really sentimental. I think we have come a long way and maybe, possibly, I do like having you around. I still dislike cats in general, but you my feline friend, are off the hook.

With a little bit of love,