I’m no fashionista. And I don’t look to celebs for guidance either…
I’m more likely to follow the tastefully put together outfits on the assistants in American Apparel and stallholders on Brick Lane than the folk on TV. That silly attitude paired with my own fashion sense equals wardrobe dyslexia.
I dress for comfort; soft denims, leggings, hoodies, oversized knits, just about anything made from jersey cotton, and trainers. That sounds quite Jack Wills, I know, but I don’t mean it to be. See, I just wouldn’t spend silly amounts of money on clothes. That is why I’m a mess. But my mum and dad love me.
However! A month ago, I was watching something quite awful on TV with Cheryl Cole in when the camera panned down to her feet and, well, I guess it was a case of BAM! Like a bolt from the blue, I was in love. She was wearing the bitchiest heels I ever did saw. They were hiking boots but with a heel. And after some research, I discovered that they are indeed, in the fashion world, referred to as heeled hiking boots.
So on Christmas Eve Eve when it was freezing cold and I should have been at home packing my going-away bag. I was in Topshop’s shoe parlour clutching hold of some rather aggressive looking boots. The exact ones Cheryl was wearing, the last pair in my size (that’s 4).
As I waited for my receipt, I realised I was one of the only people left in the store and, for a second, imagined Topshop was The Big Brother house and I was the winner. Then I thought, you really are such a loser, no wonder you’ve never owned a nice pair of shoes. Then I thought, hey, don’t be so hard on yourself, there are worse things than dressing like Justin Bieber.
The next morning I woke up and locked eyes with my new boots. FIERCE, I told myself, and decided to wear them to work. Putting them on was easy, the laces were soft and the leather willingly made way for my eager little foot. But, as I wobbled to full height taking a few moments to gain my balance, I asked myself , did I try walking in these? And I hadn’t.
Descending the stairs wasn’t quite so easy, so I strode down the banister and clumsily disembarked like a whore off a Harley. These are FIERCE, I muttered self-assuredly.
As I shut the front door, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was kidding myself. That it might not be that great an idea to wear them. But it was too late, I was already late for work, I had to get to the station. After a few stops and starts, I eventually limped all the way to the tube, but the prognosis wasn’t good. My toes had already piled on top of each other like natural disaster victims and my heels felt like they’d been soldered to a couple of metronomes. This was bad.
I’d used up a fair bit of energy trying to stay upright and could manage little more than a meagre hunch as I slapped my oyster on the turnstile’s pad. This was not fierce. Not fierce at all.
On the train, I gave myself a pep talk:
“Get into role. Why did you buy them? Never mind that, just, get into role. OK. What role? Cheryl Cole. Be Cheryl Cole.”
So I found a Cole-esq facial expression and a strut and used both to get me out the station. But it was no good. After negotiating the morning crowd up a relentless hill (bump in the road) followed by what I refuse to believe was anything less than 1600 steps, I realised people were laughing at me. Men. Men who ought to have been wolf whistling, checking out my new fierce boots as I tottered past them. They were laughing. I’d have laughed myself if I hadn’t been,well, crying.
But there was New Look, my LIFELINE. If I could just make it through the doors of New Look, I could buy a pair of fake UGGS. UGGS!… oooh sweet soft UGGS! The very idea sent a tremble down my right leg causing it to spasm, leaving me dangling from the handle of one of the store’s doors.
I’m here! I’m here! …I’m … heeeere.
After all that, to be just a staircase away from a floor full of softer, more forgiving shoes. Well, it was heaven. I could have broken into the Fight For This Love dance there and then, that’s how happy I was. How on earth had I got there without so much as a twisted ankle or a broken toe? I congratulated myself as if I’d been on stilts the entire way.
And as I tumbled face first down the stairs, reaching out for something, anything to stop this horrific turn of events, I thought of all the stupid things I’d done in my life; bartered for soggy oregano with a tramp, got chilli juice in my eyes, waged war with a 10-year-old Portuguese girl on ebay. ebay. Yes. That’s where my boots ended up. On ebay.
So, Cheryl, I’m afraid you’re going to have to carry on without me. I lost my ‘allouetta’ somewhere between Roman Road and the shoe section of New Look. I’ll be sticking to hi-tops from now on. No straying. Just mess.