'Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences'

Gold catsuits and first boyfriends…my favourite fashion discovery

with 2 comments

I recently entered a writing competition on the fashion website ASOS ( I had to write 900 words on ‘My Favourite Fashion Discovery.’ There were some great entries and they clearly know a lot more about fashion than me, my talents lie in music – writing about, not playing I hasten to add! I thought you might like to have a read anyway… 

I used to absolutely detest clothes shopping; given the option I would have much preferred a day at the seaside or a day in bed watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The reason being that I was awful at picking out clothes: clothes that went together, clothes that were ‘on trend’, clothes that suited my shape and the list went on. I happened to believe that there were only two types of girls: those that could walk in to a shop and come out with an outfit that would make them look like Diane Kruger and those that would always somehow end up looking like Diane’s much less striking and much more terrifying namesake, Freddie.

The reason for this belief? Simple, I was of the mind that you either had it or you hadn’t… that ‘it’, of course, being fashion sense.

Enter my good self in the summer of 1997, the scene was thus; I’d been dragged kicking and screaming to our local ‘Under £10 Shop’, no, that’s not a cute local reference readers, that was the actual name of the establishment. I had a hot night out planned with my boyfriend of the hour, Bri. Now I could have walked out of my house wearing a pumpkin a la Ralph Macchio in Karate Kid and Bri would have still said I looked a million dollars (ah, where did all the good men go, I hear you muse…), but I decided that I needed, no, deserved a new outfit for such a romantic occasion as a trip to the nearby town of Warrington to mix it up with the cool young things, dancing to the hits of Livin’ Joy and Haddaway.

So I spent a good couple of hours perusing the wares of Widnes’s favourite clothing giant (again, not a local reference; the shop was owned by a man with the largest circumference to ever grace our cobbled streets), until I spotted it. Glowing like a heavenly angel in front of me, hung the most beautiful piece of attire I had ever laid eyes on. Quickly I grabbed it and dashed to the counter, convinced that a scuffle would surely erupt around the area where said item had hung once fellow shoppers realised I had taken the last one. Grinning like a northern monkey with a bunch of bananas, I exited the shop and set off for home, hardly able to contain my excitement at imagining Bri’s beaming face as I descended the stairs of my semi-detached abode.

When I did start my descent later that evening, his face was indeed beaming; not through love or lust you understand, no, this was more a simple case of pyrotechnics, after all, so would you be if you had a 5ft 5 vision of spun gold crushed velvet catsuit heading towards you. I remember his expression; much like those that you see in front of Seeing Eye pictures; “is it an eagle? a life-size golden retriever?, no wait… it’s only Shelley, alright babe?!” 

Needless to say, the catsuit has been a favourite memory to be recalled at those particularly special occasions such as birthdays, weddings…Tuesdays.

You see my point. I’ve never been able to see something in a shop or online and picture it in my mind’s eye looking great on me, or pairing it with an item I already own to coin a great outfit. And so to my favourite fashion discovery, drum roll please…

It doesn’t matter anymore.

Yes, it’s that simple and that wonderful. I no longer have to be concerned with such worries because in this day and age we have endless help and resources in the form of the internet, magazines, personal shoppers, celebrity blogs, social networking and the list goes on. Girls who are truly terrible at styling themselves need only open a copy of Heat, Glamour and the like, look what’s hot and what’s not, circle said hot items, jeez even take the cut-out down with you to your local high street and give it to the first assistant you see and point to it, you needn’t even utter a syllable! Alternatively, you could surf the net for celebrities who look a bit like you and blatantly steal their style (or an affordable equivalent) or simply Google search ‘I have blonde hair, blue eyes and am a size 10, what dress would suit me?’ However, if you find yourself on a Scandinavian website asking you for your log-in, password and telling you that ‘Rolf’ can’t wait to meet you for lucky lucky fun time; you’ve strayed too far.

I love this new equality in the frenetic world of fashion. No more high school politics were only the ‘top dogs’ had the best looks; the Blackpool rock jeans, the Naf Naf Co 54 raincoats and the Spice Girls-style satin dresses, whilst the ‘middle of the roads’ and the ‘geeks’ who were just always slightly behind the times, were left with United Colours of Naff. The name saying it all obviously.

I think it’s fairer this way; we each get to try different looks, to experiment, to get it right and to get it wrong and if you do get it wrong, it doesn’t matter because these days, anything goes!

But always remember readers; all that glitters isn’t gold, at least not fashion gold. Yes, even if it is a spun gold crushed velvet catsuit.


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

August 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. very funny, i needed a laugh today !!
    Livin joy eh? now theres a memory of me travelling to stay with my new girlfriend ,- 10 years later – she is me wife !!
    fashion sense , well I have none . If it can be worn with jeans then good !
    good blog !


    August 4, 2010 at 12:23 pm

  2. What a lovely story; clearly Livin’ Joy were responsible for bringing you together! I was majorly in to them at the time, and Scooter – what was I thinking?! I blame peer pressure and the DJ’s lack of records to spin at our local pub. I am a fashion fraud I have to admit; I spy things on people and then copy it, taking full credit for their ideas 🙂


    August 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm

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