Clothes Do Not Maketh the Woman

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Inara HawleyI have never been a great follower of fashion. I buy what I like and what I need, and if I really like it, I often buy two of the same thing so I don’t have to shop again for a loooong time. That doesn’t mean I haven’t done the glamour thing or worn fabulous clothes. I have. I have even made the grand entrance wearing super long earrings and a low cut number, and I enjoyed every second of it. I looked fabulous, and it was loads of fun! But as far as fashion goes, the truth is I refuse to be a slave to it.

In the heady days of dinner parties (fortunately floaty caftans were all the rage so looking glam was very easy!), I recall a function with a group of women where one pouty beauty leaned in and asked me if what I was wearing was a ‘so and so label’. Well, stuffed if I knew ~ I hadn’t ever bothered to look at the label! Like all of my clothes, it was a department store purchase. But geez, it was a great feeling to know that I must have been wearing it so well that it elicited a comment! That being said, I have had my day buying up to my heart’s content in an exclusive boutique.

Like most girls when I was a young thing I loved my lippy, glossy nails, sassy clothes and had hair the colour of a flaming sunset one week and ruby highlights the next. I even used to paint my toenails, but oh how things have changed, and in looking back, it’s easy to see when and why they did. First to go was the makeup and nail polish ~ studying herbal medicine was more important but then I’ve always had good skin so it didn’t make much difference, then it was the sassy clothes ~ being a busy young Mum put paid to that and quite frankly I liked my hippy handmade clothes heaps better at the time, and then it was the hair ~ that was easy as I have no trouble cutting my own hair, and I’ve never been a big fan of going to the hairdresser!

So, as I walked my different paths I cared less and less about creating an impression with what I looked like and more and more with what I did … but back to my day in an exclusive boutique. In the early late 70’s and early 80’s Hubby and I travelled a great deal, and we would always stop over in Singapore on our way home for a bit of shopping ~ Hubby bought handmade shirts, and I bought shoes. On one such trip, which Hubby did alone, he rang from Sweden and in his expansive way, asked me to join him in Singapore for a week, but with one proviso ~ I was not to bring one item of old clothing with me … he wanted to see me in a whole new designer wardrobe!

Melbourne Cup OutfitYou see, it was a celebration as we had just sold a business and the trip was the handover, so I thought, right ~ I’m up for it! It’s something I’d never done before, but off I trotted to an exclusive boutique. And as was my way in those days, I got everything done in record time ~ I marched in and went to town! Everything, but everything I bought, was a designer label. And all of it was gorgeous! The sales girl couldn’t believe her luck … it was like the scene in Pretty Woman ~ I walked out with bags and bags of designer clothes.

It was the one and only time I ever did it, but I wore those clothes for years. It just goes to show, that well-made classic designs are forever, and really don’t have that much to do with what’s in fashion. And yes it was fun ~ all of it was fun. Even my hippy clothes were fun, and that’s what it’s really all about ~ enjoying yourself ~ something I’ve always seized with both hands and done with great gusto with all my heart, no matter what I was wearing!

Inara Hawley © 2013

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