A question of style

28 January 2012

I came across an article on stylish parents in the Zeit online magazine today. I’m afraid it’s all in German, but its title roughly translates to:
“Mama, I’d love to be as cool as you.”
This article was about websites such as my mum, the style icon
or Dads are the original hipsters. These websites feature photos of ordinary people looking stylish from the 1960s, 70s or 80s.
I browsed the websites a little and then some more today and boy, I’d be inclined to post some of my mum and dad (but my mum won’t give me the thumbs up for this, I am sure). On those old, sepia coloured photos back from the 60s the two also looked fabulous: My mum, much taller than me and really willowy, wearing well cut skirts and jackets, my dad sporting something akin to an Elvis haircut (before Elvis had massive sideburns)… And my dad used to ride around on a motorbike, cigarette in the corner of his mouth and no crash helmet in sight. Ultimate cool.
When I was a child, I remember flicking through the family album and admiring my parents for their good looks and the care with which my mum in particular used to dress (when she had the time, before she had kids… nowadays she once again puts a lot of thought into what she wears).
I, on the other hand, think that I will never gain ‘Style Icon Status’ with my kids, let alone with the general public.
I own photos of myself wearing something like an afro (this was unintentional, a home perm gone tragically wrong), terrible colour combinations and the most unflattering baggy clothes one can imagine in 1989: I don’t stand a chance. It’s a pity, really, because I guess I could have looked fab when I was 20, it’s just that the Zeitgeist wasn’t in favour. Yes, I shall blame it on the magazines, pop videos and growing up in the countryside.
I have only recently started to wear nicely cut dresses (occasionally) and acquired several pairs of high heeled shoes ranging from 70s plateau sandals to ‘sexy librarian’ shoes (those I adore). But in everyday life, it’s jeans, jeans or jeans, H&M-t-shirts and bad hair. I just can’t be bothered to straighten my frizzy hair every single day, or slap on make-up that you have to take off again in the evening, after it’s made your eyes itch all day long. Life’s too short. And I think it might be too late to pass on style to my daughter, who currently wears nothing but her brother’s old hoodies, tight jeans and trainers. All the pretty dresses and skirts, all the nice girly shoes have been banished.
I keep telling myself it’s just a phase for Lucy… because it was one for me, only it lasted for about 35 years and I am still not completely out of it. But if the trend continues I might make it into the book of style by the time I’m in my late 50s…
And if I don’t, I don’t think I really care that much.
Gosh, now that really gave it away… I really don’t stand a chance, do I?

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