I was suddenly hit by a shocking realisation the other day. My kids are much better dressed than I am. By that, I don’t mean to say that I go out with the buttons on my shirt all over the place or with my trousers on back to front, you understand, I’ve cracked those daily challenges. Mostly anyway. I do sometimes have to say “Pants before trousers, pants before trousers, pants before trousers” to myself of a morning. No, I’m talking about the actual clothes they wear.
While I’ve never been up to speed with fashion, I like to think that I wear good stuff and am, for the most part, well turned out. But put me next to Dylan and Xander in their threads and I look like a scarecrow. It’s my own fault in part, I suppose. I hate shopping and only go when I really need something or if there’s a sale on. The latter is a nightmare, of course; there’s one high street shop I tend to gravitate to more than others as I like the stuff it sells and it’s close to the station and a hasty retreat home from the Arndale’s finest. But come sale time, only about a third of the reduced items are for men. And every time, without fail, I get barged out of the way – usually by determined-looking women with arms full of men’s clothes. I hope they’re for the men in their lives, otherwise that’s just not fair. It’s not like I could go go round wearing a skirt without turning heads… and stomachs for that matter.
So that’s my excuse for my limited wardrobe, but what about the other side of the coin? Kids’ clothes, for example those from Debenhams, are way better than they once were aren’t they? I genuinely often find myself thinking “I wish I could find something like this in my size” when I’m helping Dylan into his attire and wrestling Xander into his. I saw a few pictures of myself as a young child at my parents’ house the other day; apart from the hilariously untamed mop of curls on top of my head, the things that caught my eye were the clothes I was gurning away in. Brown corduroy dungarees with a lion on them. Short shorts. Some decidedly odd grey boots. Dylan and Xander wear jeans, long-sleeved T-shirts, rugby shirts and the like. There are kid-friendly designs on many of them, of course, but the cut and colours are aesthetically pleasing – much more so than the stuff I wore as a child.
Of course, I wear similar stuff, but Dylan and Xander are definitely not ‘mini mes’ in terms of their clothing. They’re ‘mini much cooler versions of me’. Envious? Yes.