This is a denim skirt from the M&S autumn 2010 range that I saw when I went to the press show last week. Only it’s not, it’s an exact replica of the Brutus denim skirt I wore almost constantly through out the summer of 1976 when I was 16. Seeing it made me dizzy with nostalgia and I had to stop myself from shouting at the other ladies of the press who were in the same room ‘look! it’s my denim skirt!’.
I wore my skirt with a checked cotton shirt (that I might have bought from Chelsea Girl but can’t be sure) and a truly hideous zip front waisted cardigan in chocolate acrylic with a wide ribbed collar. I was the very proud owner of a stonkingly high pair of cork wedged leather sandals that I cherished but wore with trepidation as they were banned as ‘dangerous’ by my school and could have been confiscated at any moment. My fashion-forward friend Charlie had been wearing her (much higher) platforms for over two terms and had not toppled over so we were allowed to proceed with caution until the first broken bone, even though our teachers were itching to ban them as unsuitable.
It was a summer of exams (when they were still ‘O’ levels), heat (it was the hottest summer on record), painful crushes on unavailable boys and KC and the Sunshine Band’s Shake Your Booty. I wore the denim skirt everywhere as my wardrobe was small, I think I only had about three skirts (one of which, a Laura Ashley patchwork maxi which I made myself, I still have tucked away in the garage). But I remember not caring because I LOVED that skirt, I wore it so tight I could hardly sit down in it (I was skinny, those were the days) and I thought I looked the bee’s knees.
Back in 2010, I know that denim skirts are back with force and are a good staple for our needs, this one is good because it’s got the length just right, hitting just a scrap below the knee -any longer and you’re in frumps-ville. It will look good with the oversized knits coming through for winter as well as more summery tops (ideal with all those stripy Breton tops, although word is we should be moving into polka dots).
But I can’t do it.
For me denim skirts are lovingly attached to the memories I have of my mid teenage years, of a look I thought I got right (and there were precious few of those!) and for the first item of clothing that I guess I really learned to love for the confidence it gave me each time I wore it. I can’t remember when I got rid if it, I think I must have worn it until it fell apart and my mum quietly threw it away. Perhaps I’ve blocked its demise from my mind, so tragic was the sartorial hole left by its passing. Whatever, I can’t go back. You’ll have to do this one without me.
I was so traumatised by the denim skirt encounter at M&S I forgot to take down any details, but the skirt will be out as part of the autumn range and there are lots available on the M&S website.