Red shoes, No knickers

Saturday

13

October 2018

0

COMMENTS

Can’t afford ~ Made my own

I grew up with nothing. Literally nothing.

Totally untrue of course but that’s what my ‘deprived’ teenage brain told me. It told me that I was at a disadvantage in the, seemingly, third world country I was living in as I didn’t have access to the things I so desperately needed. By third world I now mean developing, by things I mean the coolest clothes and accessories and by needed I mean wanted. SO BADLY.

Luckily for me the internet was merely a newborn baby foul just learning to stand on it’s own four bandy legs and so hadn’t made it to our conscious yet let alone our homes. If it had I would have been in a permanent state of wanderlust and withdrawel, walking my neighbourhood heavyhearted in the knowledge that I didn’t have all the great things other people did. Oh wait?! Isn’t that my current state now as a nearly 40 year old?

In the early 90’s, on a tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean ocean, my want came solely from the Saturday morning magazine I saved my pocket money for and pawed over for hours. Just Seventeen {and sometimes More if I wanted to look at the position of the week and wonder when I’d be able to try that shit out} was what constantly gave me FOMO. Everything inside it was something I wanted. Everything was just so cool and so God Damn English. And England was the promised land. It had shops and adverts and concerts and rain and McDonalds and Monster Munch. These were things that I dreamt of and things I was dying to experience.

Lucky for me I went to England twice a year with my family. They were the highlights of my year and I would save those Cyprus cents {that my Father would exchange for us at a ratio of 1:1} so that I could head straight to Topshop, Miss Selfridge, New Look or Bay Trading Co {remember that old chestnut?}  and obtain the navy skinny rib scoop neck top I had coveted for months or the constantly asked for pair of black DM boots. My holidays in the UK where only Christmas and Summer though so if I wanted something in February I either had a very long and extremely painful wait or I had to do it myself, wouldn’t I?.

YES! I had to get creative and find a way to produce whatever it was that I wanted. One of my favourite examples of Did It Myself Didn’t I was when white Adidas shelltops became all the rage. Along with satin babydoll slips and pastel coloured mohair cardigans these pristine white trainers were the thing to have. Unless you took a flight out of the country to go and purchase these much sort after trainers they were not available to you. Well I REALLY wanted them so I found a way. I did have an old pair of Adidas trainers. Sadly they didn’t have the iconic shelltop but they did have the custom triple stripes on the side. In purple, green and yellow. No problem! I bought myself some black fabric paint and coloured those stripes in. I swapped out the laces for black ones {not sure why as shelltops had white laces?!} and voila! A new pair of trainers.

Another great example is when Take That burst onto our screens and into our pants. There was not a magazine going that Sister With Massive Laugh and her best friend didn’t buy that they were in. At the height of Relight my Fire one magazine photo shoot saw Mark doning an Antoni and Alison t-shirt. Antoni and Alison’s signature tops were {and still are} slogan t-shirts. We all wanted one. They were so frikkin’ cool. They were also so frikkin’ expensive and so frikkin’ far out of our reach. HEY! That didn’t stop us. No way, Josephine. I made three of my own Antoni and Alison style tops. I altered the necklines of old polonecks, chopped off their length, painted my own slogans and still to this day ~ 26 years later ~ wear one of them to bed. When I facetime Sister With Massive Laugh and Tiny Niece with one of my boobs hanging out the side of it she tells me I need to get rid of it and I ignore her. My Sister tells me, not Tiny. Tiny just points at my boob and says ‘Milk’

I am forever grateful for those lean clothing times of my life. Firstly I don’t believe that you should get everything you want because then we’d all be spoilt and it’s a known fact that spoilt people are bad in bed. Secondly it sparked my imagination. It made me creative and that Did It Myself Didn’t Istreak has never left me. I am still cutting up clothes and reworking them. I will not let a pair of shoes die on my watch unless I have exhausted all it’s potential possibilities. I have recently started wearing my Grandmother’s original Burberry trenchcoat {that I shortened years ago so that I would wear it more often} inside out. Ms.B Trench has a new lease of life and I have a new coat. Everyone’s a winner.

Don’t worry if you’re not an average to sometimes downright awful seamstress like my good self. You can always ask for help. If it’s too big a job for me I head to my local dry cleaners where I was lucky enough to find Moggi who is a seamstress superstar. When I needed to revive a pair of plain white open toe mules from Marks and Spencer my standard ‘superglue a pompom onto them’ wasn’t quite right. I turned to my friend Sophie Boustred of SGB Goods. She took my ideas and my screen shot collection of furry shoes. She cut up her varying colours of sample sheepskins and glued on strips to gave me my very own version of Rachel Comey style mules. Rachel’s cost over $300. Mine where the price of a two year old pair of faux leather M&S heels and £25 cash. BOOM. Mr. Tumnus eat your heart out! I’ve got a new pair of hooves.

  

The teenage days of longing and envy have sadly managed to stay with me just on a much larger, lifestyle stage as shown {off} to us on Instagram. I’m ok with that though because the Do It Yourself attitude has also stayed with me. The Make Do and Mend. The I’m Not Missing Out Just Because I Can’t Afford It.

I’ve recently bought a hot glue gun and the world is my stitched-together-from-an-old-pair-of-jeans oyster. I’m off to make an outfit for my 40th birthday party.

Posted in Beautiful shoes, Comfy chic, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Inspiration

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