Middleagedmum.com: takes it to the maxi


Maxi dresses
I leave the house feeling 40% Margot Leadbetter, 50% Hattie Jacques and 10% Jo Wiley about to go to a festival. I am wearing a long black maxi dress, Clarks Jesus sandals and a cropped cardigan to cover my fat upper arms. I hate the word fat, but dear reader, I have to admit, that is sadly what they are. I have spent three weeks in America indulging in the biggest breakfasts, best burgers, and marvelous mac n cheese, all washed down with lashing of beer and wine. My maxi dress is covering a multitude of sins and then some.

It's my first day back at work and I'm ready to face the fashion world head on. Latest trends – I know them, hottest colours – I got them, how to re-invent pastel pink and make it look like something the average women on the street has never seen before – I'm your women. Look out British High St, here I come! 

I have been up since 5.30 am but strangely I still seem to be late, so I attempt to run for the bus. Mistake no 1 – do not run for a bus while while wearing low cut maxi dress, as you are in danger of a. giving yourself two black eyes if you have boobs the size of mine ( I am NOT boasting, I HATE having big boobs, they spoil the line of your clothes and make you look matronly) and b. falling over in old lady type way, as your skirt gets caught up in your legs, a bit like your nightie used to when you were a little girl.

I jump on the bus and realise that perhaps the maxi's first outing wasn't quite a real life experience, as I was on holiday and all I did was waft to the car, hop in, waft into a restaurant, sit and eat dinner (did I mention the holiday involved a lot of eating) and waft back to the car and then home. Perhaps in future all new new skirt lengths, shoe heights, major fashion trends should be wearer trialled on a inner London commute, in order to ensure maximum pain, therefore absolute fashionability.

I exit the bus and grab a coffee on my way into design studio of a large High St chain, to take my place as their colour consultant. I notice on the way I am having to hold up my skirt a lot, as the hem keeps getting caught in the buckle of my Jesus sandals. Undaunted, I waft into the office feeling fabulously fashionable, to find my meeting has been brought forward without anyone telling me and I have a whole room full of buyers waiting for me to wow them with my future colour predictions. In my absence (I only work there a couple of days a week), someone has taken all my colours boards and left them in one of the five buying floors dotted around W1, so not only am I late, I am also unprepared. Not a comfortable place to be, when you have just been on holiday for three weeks and would quite like to keep this particular job. I am now running, quite literally, round in circles trying to locate the boards and my dignity. Every time I try to move my hem gets caught in my sandals, causing me to hobble back into the room apologizing and swearing under my breath. 

My (very young) assistant turns up to save me, wearing a stunning animal print boob tube maxi dress, complete with denim jacket, 'it' sandals, perfect makeup and blunt cut fringe. She has the 'look' just right and I feel like a nan in her best outfit at a wedding, who would actually prefer to be at home in her slippers, with a cup of tea and Eastenders.

But hey ho, a girls got to try. I go out for lunch and try to heed to the advice of one of the other young designers 'hold up your dress on the escalator, the head of design is at home with a broken ankle because she tripped over her maxi dress ( I kid you not – it's true). So I wander round John Lewis like someone about to ride side saddle in the 1800's – and not in a good way.

The afternoon goes without a hitch, despite the fact my hem has now completely unraveled and I am trailing threads wherever I go. I leave for the day to find it's pouring with rain and stomp through the puddles with a soggy hem and slippery Jesus sandals. The final straw is attempting to get up and downstairs on the bus, with a wet dress, damp shoes and a paper carrier bag which is about to disintegrate. Oh, and my hair has gone super frizzy! 

I said when I first saw maxi dresses on the catwalk, that they weren't for me, but true to form, ridiculous or not, I just have to be in on a trend. 
But from now on the maxi is strictly for wafting around in at home, or maybe a trip to the farmers Market on a Saturday morning, but never ever again when I am trying my hardest to be a grown up!


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