"Fashion changes; style endures."

Or, “fashion: the only thing so bad it needs changing every six months”.

Alas, I can’t take credit for either of those.

As the last three weeks have involved two blocks of working 6 days straight, and one three-day migraine (whoa, so many numbers), I took yesterday off, so that I could have an actual two-day weekend. I know, it’s not easy being me. I’ve got so fed up of my clothes recently that I felt that a bit of a wardrobe overhaul was due, so I took myself to Guildford bright and early yesterday morning – because Horsham is God-awful for clothes shopping and Crawley is just God-awful all round.

I have a very on/off relationship with fashion – like most people, I should imagine. I can happily flick through Glamour/Elle/InStyle but when push comes to shove, I don’t actually give a shit about trends. There are some things I totally object to, sartorially speaking – why would anyone wear a tracksuit outside of their house/a sporting facility? Why, also, would anyone let their Uggs meet any flooring surface that wasn’t their bedroom carpet? Leather-look leggings – just why?

On the whole, I hate to look like I’m trying too hard. Indeed, I have to make a hell of amount of effort to look like I’ve made any effort whatsoever. I’m just not a fan of “too much”. Big hair, dramatic eye make-up, statement jewellery, dresses that are in themselves a talking point – all things that look cool on other people. Just not me. I am not, nor will I ever be, one of those effortlessly elegant women, who always look perfectly put together, even when buying mangoes in Sainsbury’s on a Sunday morning.

And traditionally, womankind as a whole is meant to love shopping. We’re meant to be good at it, we’re meant to be able to do it for hours. But I’m sure I can’t be the only one who finds it’s a lot like having your photo taken with Keira Knightley – you’re never going to come out of it feeling anything but momentarily suicidal. Maybe I’m just getting hugely fussy in my old age, but yesterday’s shopping attempt was about the opposite of successful. I just couldn’t find anything that made me go, “that is so nice, I need it. Now.” And that wasn’t for want of trying. I even went into shops I normally won’t go near, like Next (which is either too “officey” or too “harrassed-mother-on-the-school-run”).

My thought processes went something like this:

Topshop – you have to be a borderline-anorexic sixth-former to suit 97% of their stock. I tried on a big slouchy cardigan, that was quite nice, but they didn’t have my size.

Gap & Fat Face – nice enough stuff, but mainly casual. I need stuff that can do office and pub. One of my best friend keeps extolling the virtues of Gap-owned Banana Republic to me, but I think my nearest one would be in London.

Zara – I like the idea of Zara. I go in, and think, yeah, this is very me. Do I ever buy anything in there? No. Also, all the UK branches I’ve ever been to have been untidy, and I’m a neat freak, so this is a problem.

H & M – often good for basics like t-shirts, everything else is quite hit-and-miss, and I’m never totally convinced by the quality. That said, I have a couple of H & M tops that I wear a lot and they still look perfectly acceptable. If you ignore the odd hole and missing button and fraying seam… what? I wear my clothes hard.

River Island – Topshop on crack. Oddly, their jeans are great.

Oasis – very pretty and girlie, but edging towards too girlie.

Miss Selfridge – again, their jeans are pretty good. They have the occasional nice thing.

Primark – absolutely not. (Yes, I’m a snob, I know.)

New Look – good for inexpensive ballet flats. Everything else, nah, not really.

Dorothy Perkins – the rare flash of “that’s actually really nice” – I have a stripey dress that is incredibly flattering and comfortable but also looks like I’ve made some sort of effort. But it’s not often DP excites me that much.

Jack Wills – the only problem I have with their stuff is the price. The clothes are gorgeous.

Hollister/Abercrombie – see Topshop.

Argh. Who does a girl have to sleep with to get some decent clothes on the high street? (Probably a rich man, come to think of it. And then I could avoid the high street altogether. Wahey, a plan!)

Do guys have this problem? Is it just me being monstrously fussy? There is a chance I was slightly hormonal yesterday – I did text the Boy from a fitting room because I was having a hissy fit about feeling fat. Which only opens you up to ridicule when you’re mostly a size 8. I didn’t feel like a size 8, OK? There’s a reason the most fun I had all day was in Boots. You don’t have to be thin for make-up.

Right, that is more than enough from me. I was going to put this song up anyway, because it’s bloody good – but the first verse is oddly apt. And she’s just too talented.

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