The having or not having of a personal style has bothered me for years. Why am I not one of those people who sort of looks basically the same every day? Why one day do I want to wear a tea dress and the next day want to dress like Evan Dando circa 1994? This is clearly not okay and I need to have a personal style and stick to it.
Then I came across a picture of Susie Bubble on her blog and she said “Today I am dressed like a 1930s heiress who’s been to the Caribbean and come back via Rio de Janiero” – or something. Not exactly those words. But what she was saying was: I’m dressing up. I am inhabiting fantasy creation of my own through my clothes.
“Yeah, god,” I thought. “Why the hell not?” And so I started fully inhabiting invented creations. Today I would be an Edwardian wild child stowaway who has been stranded on a desert island for two weeks, in a high-neck lace blouse and ratty cut-off denim bermudas. The next day I would be lesbian architect. The next, faintly Sloaney mum. The next, possible drug addict. You get the picture.
A brand that has always occupied that half-light in my mind’s eye of who I would like to be, a creation I would like to inhabit, is Three Graces London. I do not live the correct life for this brand – the dresses are voluminous and floaty and fragile. Not really dresses for shouting at your children in, or making kid’s tea or taking out the bins. They are also insanely expensive. I came across a Three Graces concession stand in Selfridges in 2017 and the material is like dreams. It’s like the feeling between sleeping and waking when you’ve woken up naturally and actually had some sleep. It was the material iteration of that.
But of course I am not going to spend £500 on a cotton nightie – not even I am that much of a credulous bone-head. But I have haunted the Three Graces website for years and always check for Three Graces in the sales and the other day !!! oh my god…. there is was. A single pale blue cotton Three Graces nightie in a size 10 on the Outnet. The very one I had stroked in wonder in Selfridges all those years ago. Still a whopping £160 at half price but hear me out: this isn’t just a nightie, it’s the physical representation of my best life – do you see?
Even now my children are older, and especially now here in the situation we find ourselves in, there is so little left for you, as a parent. I would say “as the mother” but I think dads have it rough, too, really.
And so if it’s only £160 for me to occasionally sit in my bed, wearing my hard-won nightie, sipping my first cup of tea and thinking “maybe I won’t run away today”, that’s got to be value for money.