I bought some red trousers recently. It’s not a big deal perhaps in the grand scheme of things, but for me it was a monumentous occasion. I’d had a yearning for a pair of coloured trousers for a while, they’re all over the High Street, so Hillary and I went to try some on just for fun. I don’t really wear the kind of clothes that might make me stand out. I’m more of a one-of-the-crowd kind of dresser. You know, safe colours, lots of black and denim. Nothing that shouts ‘look at ME”. So I thought we were really going to try them on for a bit of a giggle and that would be it.
However, after a few pretty ridiculous colours, I tried on the red ones and against all expectations, they looked ok. Good, in fact. So, urged on by my usual Twitter accomplices, I bought them. It took me a good few days to pluck up the courage to wear them but I did in the end. On the school run. Now, if you believe the press, the school run is a daily fashion parade. However, unless you’re the rich, yet unfortunate folk who have Claudia Schiffer or Elle MacPherson on your school run (in which case, you should accept graceful defeat) it’s not. It’s mostly just harrassed parents wearing whatever they happened to grab, or whatever they’re wearing to work. It’s not really a natural red trouser habitat.
As I’m always late on the school run, once the fatal decision was made, I just had to go with it. There is no time in my morning ‘schedule’ for spending ages in front of my tiny wardrobe making choices. First outfit I put on, I go with. Even if it’s red trousers.
And it was fine. Despite the fact that, accompanied by my beloved brown knee length boots, I was veering dangerously close to Dick Whittington territory. Or, as a work colleague put it, a cross between highway-woman and pirate. I quite like that though. One of my lovely Twitter friends said that red trousers make everyone smile at you. Or snigger behind your back, I suppose. I didn’t really notice too much sniggering, which I think is a good sign. That, and the fact that my daughter’s much younger and cooler teacher told me she liked them. Without laughing or any prompting on my part!
What I’ve realised about this experience is that if you wear something with confidence (even if that’s feigned to start with) people will accept it as being fine. The other thing is, that really, people don’t care. We all like to think we’re really important, but honestly, everyone is so worried about themselves and what is going on in their own life, they’re barely going to register you. And if, for the few seconds I walk past them, my red trousers make them smile, then that’s ok. It’s even ok if they tell their friends later and have a laugh at my expense. I don’t care. Life is too short to be scared of your trousers…
Sadly this post is something of a eulogy for my red trousers. Having got over my initial fear, I literally wore them out. The downside of buying cheap trousers because you don’t think you’ll ever dare wear them. So the hunt for a replacement pair begins. Now I’ve tasted the joy of being braver (even just a tiny bit) with my clothing, I am hooked.