“I can’t believe you’re wearing Crocs,” says my mother, who is far too chic a woman to ever think of so doing herself.
I am indeed. They are blue. They are a whopping size 9. And they officially belong to my son who, incidentally, wouldn’t be seen dead in them, either.
They’re finishing my look, obviously, which otherwise consists of an also blue Theory sundress. My hair is tied on top of my head where it looks, I believe, not unlike a curly pineapple.
This is by no means the only time I have been seen in clothing that no less than two generations – one older, one younger than mine – believe should be consigned to the bottom drawer, or even the dustbin.
Let me think… My favourite vests are from Muji and I seem to have owned them since the late 1990s. I daren’t throw them away, as not only are they – unbelievably – still quite nice, but also the indestructible nature of the fibres they are made from would be bad for the planet, surely. I’ve got ripped, faded blue jeans, too, which are overly reminiscent of denim circa Club Tropicana for anyone old enough to remember it to consider fashionable. It’s just that they’re so soft. They’re like tracksuit bottoms, in fact, which only makes me want to hang onto them more, carefully folded alongside all my other tracksuit bottoms… What am I saying?
And what of leggings, the 100 per cent Lycra kind: no new-fangled jeggings for me. Mine are cropped just below the knee and finished with a row of three white buttons that are, debatably, a detail too far (thank you, American Apparel). I look like Louie Spence in them, I’m told, and I don’t think that’s meant as a compliment.
Dressing to impress, at least some might think, is something that goes hand in hand with a lifetime spent thinking and writing about fashion. In fact, more often than not – and for me at least – when off duty quite the opposite is the case. No, I don’t sleep with a Celine handbag tucked under my pillow or wearing a vintage 1930s petticoat.
“Actually, if I say Crocs with a sundress are fashionable then maybe that means they are,” I duly inform my mum, who remains sceptical. As indeed, when Monday morning comes around again, and I unthinkingly actually go out of my front door to buy the papers in them, do I.