No, me neither. However, we do all have to wear clothes, and for those of you like me who really can’t be arsed to make that kind of effort post-kids, this one’s for us.
Secretly, I still want to look half decent. Fact of the matter is though, my days of being half decent evaporated about 15 years back. Times have changed, as has fashion (for the better and worse, to be honest) and so it’s time to take a look into how to survive the trauma of 30’s motherhood without looking like a tramp’s pillowcase.
The other side of the coin is the indignity that is actually shopping for clothes on the high street. The noise. The people. The screeching fucking teenagers wrapping seriously inappropriate slogans across themselves. The heat. Those fuckers who cough near you. Those ultra-fuckers who smoke outside the shop doorway. The fucking price of everything. Rage.
I’m seriously not the right person to give advice of any fashion nature, but its WAY too easy to get sucked into the Insta-trap of image related expectations these days, so here goes. I even made a Pinterest board about how to try and look MILFy (not like that though, Christ). I tried to make sure the stuff that was in it was reasonably achievable, because we all know how things go with Pinterest:
Ooooh, that looks so easy, I’m going to try and do my hair like that!
– an actual quote from all women, everywhere.
That said, there’s bound to be a few bits in there that I’ve pinned because I think they look good, not because I could pull them off in a million years. Anyhow, back to the matter at hand.
Fashion for the skint bird
Basically, fashion isn’t cheap. Especially if you’re a tightarse like me. I’d much rather spend my tiny amount of cash on clothes for Small-Me to look cute in and ruin with various foodstuffs than actually buy myself something. Still, there are ways and means. Not all shops require £45, a blood donation and a small piece of your liver for an oversized shirt. Oh no.
But you’ve got to shop carefully. I’m a big fan of a George sale, or a bit of F&F at Tesco’s. Supermarket clothes have really upped their game in recent years. I got this pair of jeans from Asda a few years back called Wonderfit and they are seriously the best fitting and most comfortable pair I own. Couldn’t recommend enough and they didn’t even break £20 if I remember rightly.
H&M are also pretty mint for affordable fashion. I really rate their stuff for kids as well. A forewarning on the trouser front though, their sizing seems way, way off to me when it comes to the bottom half. Skirts and dresses are generally alright but anything with two legs that isn’t stretchy I’d definitely recommend trying on before you buy.
Anyway, before I bang on any more on this, I’ll break it down into digestible chunks. The hit list and a shit list, if you will.
- H&M (see above)
- George at Asda – although some of the prices on their jumpers are creeping a bit higher than I’d like, they’re still fairly reasonable on the clothes front and the quality is great too.
- TK Maxx – you’ve got to be in the mood to charge a few old nanas out of the way but if you’re feeling frisky you can’t beat a rummage through the UK’s greatest jumble sale. Bargains ahoy!
- Primark – the obvious choice for basic staples, but beware of the shrink in the wash quality of some of their stuff. Having said that their new range of workout gear with Alice Liveing is ace.
- Nutmeg at Morrison’s – little bit on the pricey side for supermarket clothes but top quality looking stuff.
- Matalan – a proper hidden gem, you can get some really nice kit in there and it’s way more affordable than a lot of other places.
- Next – I know, I know, everyone LOVES Next. So do I, but I do think a lot of it is massively overpriced for what it actually is. A generic top should never be pushing £50 unless it’s made of actual Egyptian cotton, for me like. And don’t get me started on the dresses.
- River Island – again, my experience is that the stuff is quite overpriced for what it actually is, and unless things have changed recently the stuff is often not that long lasting.
- Warehouse – SERIOUSLY. Who can actually spend £60 on a jumpsuit?
- French Connection – Oh you’d better believe I’m looking at you, £110 for a shirt. Fuck off.
I could go on, but to be honest, I think you already know what I’m talking about. I honestly don’t know where some of these shops do their customer analysis, but every single time I walk past a French Connection, there’s barely anyone in it. Maybe that’s just where I live, but I just can’t understand the logic of making clothes that expensive and then expecting a massive love for it on the high street.
For now, I’m staying true to my skint bird skills and living my best life in Primark leggings and a George jumper. And you know what, I look alright. For an old bird.
Which clothes shops boil your piss? Let me know in the box below, along with any tips you’ve got for fashion on a budget…cos God knows I need them.