I was asked, quite rightly, what it was I actually wore at the Grand Unveiling Ceremony of the new dean of Liverpool last week. Clearly I raised some expectations by calling my last post 'What to Wear in Liverpool'.
It took quite some time to decide, let me tell you. There were many clothes tried on then tossed pettishly on the floor. Tears were shed. Bitter words about stupid New Year's Resolutions were muttered. I had decided on my outfit a long time in advance. After all, we'd been keeping the dark secret of the chancellor's new job for 6 weeks until the official Downing Street announcement. Crown Appointments are like The One Ring. Gandalf sends you an official letter saying Keep it secret, keep it safe! Every week the Nazgul come and peer in your window to see if you are on the phone blabbing. So I had 6 weeks to ponder what to wear.
On the very day of heading off to Liverpool, right before packing, I decided to try it on, just to make sure. And by some evil hormonal machination, an outfit in which I have looked stunning on any number of occasions suddenly made me look CHUNKY. This catapulted me into a frenzy of trying-on, until finally I managed to feel happy in a pair of wide-legged jersey trousers, a slinky black top, and my magic black jacket. Here it is:
It's a Betty Barclay piece, from a charity shop, and I believe I went mad and shelled out £12 for it. It's made of black cotton and has a cool biker vibe to it, and most important of all, it looks nothing like the kind of thing a dean's wife ought to be wearing.
We all need magic garments that we simply have to put on in order to feel world-conquering. This jacket is one of mine. Even viewed through the evil prism of pre-menopausal self-loathing, this jacket is a winner. Conversely, there are other garments which look fabulous on the hanger, are bang on trend, the right size, colour and price, which tick every imaginable box, but which make you feel like a plate of cold mashed potato when you put them on. These should be given at once to a sister or dear friend.