It’s first thing in the work day and I, being me, have turned up to work wearing a shirt with a massive collar and puffed sleeves, under a black jumpsuit.
My colleague stared at me – not incredulously, they are used to my flexible interpretation of the corporate dress code – but like she recognised me. Bells were ringing, but only faintly. And then she realised where she’d seen me before. In the zoo.
I looked like a frill neck lizard.
A very chic frill neck lizard in my opinion, but there you go.
My concern, when I was staring at this challenge of a shirt in my wardrobe, was that there was just too much of it. So much collar (although I loved the “Queen Elizabeth smashing the Spanish” vibes it gave me), with the massive sleeves, the ruffled cuffs, and the all over stripe action – once on, it was basically all shirt and no Megan. Plus, standing in that shirt without any trousers on (ooo-er), I felt like a small boy in a Victorian nursery. It was a humbling moment in my fashion journey.
But! I shall never be defeated by a ridiculous fashion moment. I shall rise above, think of some combo that I feel good in, and wear that shirt with clown-like proportions. Clearly, I just needed to find a way to mute the shirt a bit, and give the collar an opportunity to be the key feature.
How to cover up a shirt without wearing a waistcoat and without trying to intricately fold the sleeves into the much tighter sleeves of a jumper (mysteriously much tighter than they were at the start of winter)? I wanted something that would erase the Victoria nursery vibes and help me stride about the office with my large sleeves billowing behind me. Power sleeves. It’s the next happening thing.
The answer was the now exceptionally trendy trend – the jumpsuit. Can we just pause, dear reader, and reflect on the fact we threw these in the trash heap of 80s fashion, when actually they are the greatest thing ever. They’re a dress with legs! Yes, they have some practical limitations (it’s not exactly conducive to some passionate, spontaneous love-making when you have to clamber out of an entire item of clothing, including your shoes) but they are everything that’s great about a dress – an entire outfit in one – without the most annoying thing – your skirt blowing up in the ceaseless springtime winds.
All it took was a humble elasticated belt to nip me in the tiniest bit more around the waist, creating a slightly better silhouette, and a pair of high heels, and I was on my merry and fairly eccentric way. Brimming with confidence, able to laugh at good-natured references to lizards (and, in fact, to correctly identify which lizard she meant) and filled with the spirit of Queen Liz. Ready to smash an invading armada/proof read a memorandum, filling men’s hearts with a confusing mixture of passion and fear/filling men’s minds with a general confusion about what women are up to. It was a great day.
Long live the statement shirt.