When I was growing up my mother had a strict rule concerning plimsolls. They were for PE only, not for playing in the garden. Looking back I can understand this. There were four of us and money was tight. The kind of white plimsolls we all wore in the late 60s/early 70s wore out quickly if used to climb trees, play on railway lines or scramble onto conveyor belts in the local quarry. I merely pluck imaginary examples at random, you understand.
Given the choice, I would have lived in my plimsolls. I was a tomboy. I wanted to live in jeans as well, but ran into trouble at school over this one, where some teachers wouldn't allow girls to wear trousers. Is there any surprise that at 50 I am still paying off that deficit? Here's what I'm wearing today:
This is merely one pair from my plimsoll collection. I also have a traditional white pair, a shocking pink pair, a purple pair, a navy pair and a silver pair. None of them is actual genuine Converse. Most came from the late lamented T. J.Hughes.
My real anxiety is that David Cameron has delivered the kiss of death to my favourite footwear, just as Jeremy Clarkson killed off Levi 501s. I swore as a teenager that I would never wear crimplene dresses like the old women all seemed to. Little did I know that last-chance-trendy Tory politicians would transform my own wardrobe choice into something equally frumpy.
Ah, know thyself, Catherine! You are a 50 year old woman clinging to the sartorial tastes of your childhood. You are contributing to the climate change that will bring funky coloured plimsolls to the brink of extinction. There is, however, a quiet satisfaction in the thought that we are driving young people off this patch of sartorial turf. Next, the hoodie, mwa ha ha! But low-slung jeans? They're all yours, dudes.
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