Coco Chanel said that. I’m not, like, a slave to Chanel really. I’m sure she was a ghastly snob when she wasn’t being a Nazi spy. But she is spot-on with this.
I often struggle with motivation to dress nicely during the day. Who cares, really. What’s the point? The point is – you really might meet your worst enemy today. I recently for various circumstantial reasons have had my percentage chance of running into someone I don’t especially want to see upped by a significant factor. And it makes me think twice about putting on those baggies with the grease stain, let me tell you. As it ought to.
So next time you are considering putting on something you know to be just a gross outfit stop and think: maybe I will bump into my worst enemy today. And at the very least, put on some dark glasses.
Perfect timing. Just got dressed and I’m off to Downing Street this morning. This post has struck a big fat chord. X
I hope you nicked something
This happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Not my worst enemy by any means, but frenemy haven’t seen since I was massively pregnant last year. Me: miraculously made up and decently dressed with remains of treaty blow-out, her: post run, no make-up, and wearing terrible running stuff. I allowed myself a tiny inward gloat.
How exceedingly satisfying for you – I would have awarded myself fanfares, bunting and cake, with a celebratory lap of the house chanting ‘we are the champions’.
That’s because I’m likely to meet my enemy wearing too-short dog-walking trousers and a holey jumper. And indeed often have. When my grandmother died we moved into her half of my parents’ house (DON’T DO IT, PEOPLE); my mother had died the year before and we thought – I thought – my pa would be lonely. Ha. He promptly took up with a woman I dislike intensely and married her.
She wears sportswear all the time, and ugly shoes, and carries her belongings around in supermarket carrier bags. Puts the arse into class. She’s also seventy-ish, and a psychiatrist. Definitely enemy. Said ‘Oh how brave’ when I had a haircut. Thankfully they spend half their time at her house and half here, but I have recently started to deploy good dressing and more slap than usual when I know she’ll be here which does, to me, feel like a major victory when I do pull it off. Sadly I am often more in bag-lady attire (but even so, I have never carried my belongings around in a plastic bag). Enemy-dressing is brilliant.
Now I need to tips on how to look stylish when nose down in manure planting courgettes – Esther?
I will have a think Sophie
Get Le Chameau wellies. And some fancy gardening gloves.
In my case it is always my beautiful sister-in-law.
I got caught in a torrential downpour yesterday whilst on the school run. As my eldest daughter had no coat (at 10 she’s too cool to wear one apparently) I had to give her my regatta jacket, but forgot that underneath I had my slightly too snug skinny jeans and an old too short t-shirt which displayed too much muffin top. I couldn’t get away from the playground mafia mums quick enough!
You’re so on my wavelength this week (there was a coincidence with cauliflower-based recipes earlier but even I thought it was too boring to elaborate on)
I’ve been making more of an effort every day to think about what I’m wearing and be ready for something to happen even if nothing is. It does make you feel better and more people respond to you I’ve noticed (I may or may not have accidentally entered into an awkward flirtation with a local man of the cloth as a result)
I’ve not thought of it in terms of running into enemies, but I’m so misanthropic generally I think that’s implicit whenever I leave the house. There is one person who was so rude to me once when I tried to help her with something that I developed an implacable antipathy towards her, but I deal with that by being excessively, condescendingly polite to the face-ache. But, doing this in a nice outfit certainly wouldn’t hurt.
This is fantastic advice, life-changing even. I try and keep enemies to an absolute minimum but if you don’t have a few you haven’t lived.
Zoe I used to count my enemies as a badge of honour. Now I realise that they are heavy, they are baggage. I try my best never to make new ones
Yes so do I. ‘You don’t have to attend every fight you’re invited to’ was another life-changing phrase and something that had genuinely never occurred to me
UCK my god that is genuis
My friend got caught in the rain this week and decided to wear the buggy rain cover because she didn’t have a coat (she’d just dropped child off at nursery, she didn’t leave him to get soaked!) I wish I had her Couldn’t Give a Shit attitude to appearance, but I’ve had it drummed it into me that people will ALWAYS judge you by what you wear.
Caroline Kendal says
You are fantastic!!
We’ve relocated somewhere I don’t know anyone so I have to say I am revelling in wandering around looking scraggy, it’s very liberating. HOWEVER if enemies are around this is excellent advice, I’ve never got over switching to lunch time gym sessions many years ago and then bumping into an absolute sh*t of an ex boyfriend TWICE upon immediately leaving the gym. Suffice to day lunchtime sessions stopped after that.
I sadly too have a couple of people I DREAD bumping into but I never go out without my sunglasses, great for avoiding eye contact AND mobile phones very useful as you can pretend to be taking an urgent call. But I agree enemies are most definitely baggage and best to try not to make them in the first place but it can sometimes be unavoidable when you have 3 teenagers, have lived in the same place forever and lots of other parents are frankly NUTS and think they and their children can do no wrong X
Esther, have you noticed that there are more funny, witty, snarky (in the best way) commentors on your blog than anywhere else in the world? I always read your blog and the comments underneath and think ‘I would like to get drunk with those people’.
My readers are the best. Best, best, best ever
Ingramanna just read your comment and this reminded me of bumping into a very good looking ex boyfriend (who dumped me) when Id just had my first baby and was wearing a hideous tracksuit, covered in sick looking fat etc etc. Ex boyfriends (especially if they dumped you) are definitely ENEMIES you dont want to bump into looking shit!!!
I sort of lack the gene which cares what I look like (and not because I’m a super model/ very attractive. I’m a size 14, who looks likes she only just gave birth). I suffer from a slightly mad sort of reverse body dysmorphia and almost always think I look amazing (even when the evidence goes against it). I don’t like shopping or buying clothes. I have to bully myself into buying new clothes and putting make up on (although I like the effect).
There is an exception to this, which is that however good I (feel like I) look, bumping into cool girls from school (I know who they are, even if they didn’t go to my school), makes me instantly feel like an unattractive dork. it takes me back to school, wondering whether my life would ever start.* It is so unfair that school jerks could never make my husband (who at school was something of a nerd) feel shit but they still get to me aged 31… He says he knew the tide of history was on his side and that soon he’d have an awesome job, lots of money and a hot girlfriend** and that the best days were ahead whereas theirs (the rugby players’) were coming to a close. A girl does not know this. Being incredibly smart and successful will not make you more likely to meet some nice/ be attractive/ popular etc..
This is a long way of saying, I don’t have any enemies but I do care about the cool kids. Even now. Even though I’ve got everything they want. I revenged myself on one recently on Haverstock Hill. She was trying to park her stupid little car and was clearly flustered. Instead of waiting patiently (which I normally do because you should never be a dick whilst driving), I started hooting and got the whole line behind me riled up. One man shouting “hurry up” out of the window. Despite being a great space, she gave up and drove away. And then I felt bad.
*it did, and I owned the school reunion…
**he ended up with me. And i probably did fulfil that criteria before I became a broken down shell of a woman, whose only interest in life is SLEEP.
Elena I have that gene too. I think I look like Gisele and so never want to have my photo taken or look at photos of myself because then I realise that I AM NOT GISELE
two lovely gorgeous sisters, thinner and more elegant then me……………..I don’t even try, good job I love them dearly. I do wear sunglasses very well and they give me confidence, even when I wear them in the murk.