Friday, April 13, 2007


You know that feeling you get when you are out somewhere, you feel well-dressed and attractive, and then you see someone so well-groomed, and so seemingly effortlessly put-together, that you feel positively shabby by comparison? Suddenly your nice clothes seem cheap and ill-fitting, and a quick glance in a shop-window makes you realise your mascara has smudged, and your knickers have created an unattractive arse version of the double-chin? You hate that woman a little, but you hate yourself a little more.

My sincere apologies, ladies, I don’t mean to make you feel that way. But really. Some of you could try a little harder.

Women do dress to impress other women, it’s quite true. If women dressed to impress men, Karen Walker would be out of a job, and the shops would sell nothing but mini-skirts and see-through blouses. I have seen women look at me, then half-heartedly straighten their clothes and their posture. Some small part of me feels a bit sorry for them, but mostly I feel a satisfying sense of power. Ha ha.

However, I am sure you’ll be pleased to know I got a taste of my own bitter medicine today.

Early this morning, I caught a train to Rotterdam. It was cold, so I wore wintery layers – jersey, coat, scarf, gloves. The day warmed substantially, and my poor map-reading skills meant I inadvertently wandered the entire length and breadth of the city (I circled the train station twice before I eventually found it), so I was feeling very hot and fatigued by the time I got back to the hotel. I got into the lift at the same time as another guest. She was tall, naturally gazelle-thin, and was wearing jeans, and a light, drapey top that accentuated her model-form. She smelled like flowers. So simple, yet so chic.

I looked in the lift mirror. I was hopelessly overdressed for the spring weather, mascara smudged, and my hair was a mess (why didn’t I get my roots done before I left for this trip!). I also realised I smelled rather sweaty.

I looked back at the Gazelle. She smiled, in a sympathetic way, as if she was sorry for me.

Oh dear. Thank goodness for the mini-bar.


Cactus Kate said...

It did not count.

You were not in public. You were in a lift.

Mrs Smith said...

Sigh. Okay, I believe you. Although, thanks to the rapid consumption of several cognac miniatures, I don't care so much now.

unPC lesbian said...

Don't panic, you are in Europe where they are born looking elegantly stylish. They have no concept of how harrowing it is to come from NZ where one has to toil ever so hard to just look good, and looking stylish and chic is a lifetime career.

Go to London, you will immediately look glam again.

Mrs Smith said...

UnPC - I am terribly offended. You have implied that my standards of grooming are equal to that of the average NZ woman. NO! and again, NO! I am always the Gazelle, never the pitiful clothes-straightener, which is why this once it was such a painful experience. I shall be much kinder to lesser mortals in future.

Agree with you about London women. Their sense of style is appalling. They either dress like whores or nanas.

stef said...

you forgot the important part of dressing for men - high heels with knee socks *shudder*

unPC lesbian said...

Oh no Mrs Smith you know how hard it is to look effortlessly good with NZ resources and hence you achieve against all odds. Transplant the Euro gazelle to here and watch her suffer.