Never mind what I'm wearing now. Just the same old slobbing about on Saturday gear. You're not interested. But tonight I'm going to the theatre. Stratford upon Avon, to see the Royal Shakespeare Company's latest production of Measure for Measure. I feel fat and useless. What shall I wear? Whatever shall I wear?
Well duh. Every woman knows the answer to this: black. When in doubt, wear black. That is the single most important fashion rule you will ever hear. This is something that Anglo-Catholics have grasped which still eludes Evangelical clergy in their navy Action Man trousers and their navy fleeces and their grey or navy clerical shirts. (Or in advanced cases of imbecility, their amusing Hawaiian clerical shirts.) Listen carefully: brown is never the new black. Navy is never the new black. Teal is never the new black. Black is the only black.
Tonight I will be wearing a black dress. I bought it in a charity shop in November for about £4. It was a case of instant recognition: that's me, that will work. Jersey, a bit drapey, not too low (a well-placed stitch in the cross-over neck prevents any wardrobe malfunctions), snug round the waist and rib cage, three-quarter length sleeves, mid calf length. Classy without being frumpy. In fact, a timeless classic. That, incidentally, is the phrase women usually apply to a garment which is hideously expensive and they know they shouldn't really have splurged on. It won't date, we tell ourselves. It's an investment, really. It will then be hidden in the wardrobe until we can say with truth that we've had it ages.
A bit of internet research has revealed that it was a bit of a designer bargain.
There we are, a nice blurry photo of the label. 'ARTIGIANO made in Italy.' Hah, no wonder I feel good in this frock. I could be a walk on part in the next series of Zen in this. I'll be teaming it with lacy tights (black) and playing safe with black shoes.
About this blog
This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.