Oxford and Adulthood: no place for rompers

So I was rereading one of my favourite fashion blogs Daddy Likey the other day (as I’m wont to do when nostalgia for the noughties hits; ah those halcyon Internet days when adult services advertising was less in your face, and Neopets was a thing!) and had a sudden flashback to the outfits I used to wear as an undergrad.

Perhaps the most heinous was the Karen Walker cream seersucker dress, which I styled with pink tights, pink scarf and a matching raspberry beret (thanks a bunch Prince – worst fashion advice ever!). Or the Alannah Hill romper made of parachute material that squeaked in protest when I walked. To add insult to nylon camel-toe injury, I’d occasionally layer it over a white Kookai singlet that had taffeta shoulder bits that looked like Libra nightpad wings.

My wardrobe is much more function and inoffensive now. It consists of:


  • 1 pair of black jeans, 1 pair of blue jeans, 1 pair of cropped leggings. The jeans aren’t identical to those in my hasty Polyvore effort. I never understood what knee slashes would be for except perhaps letting scabby knee grazes breathe.
  • Approximately 15 breton tops. Napoleon, Chanel and Mr. Smee would be proud.
  • 1 parka, 1 black wool coat, 1 puffer jacket. The cold weather is amazing because I can literally wear anything and just chuck these over the top. For example, today I shuffled out of my flat (on a yoghurt and Sharon fruit run) in pyjamas sans bra and just threw my parka over the top. Had it not been for the toothpaste dribble crust I’d have been vaguely presentable.
  • Black sneakers, black boots. Sensing a pattern? You shouldn’t be – everything I own is monochrome.
  • Jewellery. It imputes personality, right?

I call this a ‘capsule wardrobe’, if only because that sounds less like a collection of practical, colourless clothes, and more like something an astronaut would have. Nappy space and pockets for freeze-dried icecream – now that’s the sartorial dream!

The caveat?

  • Weird socks. No, I’m not like those slick investment bankers whose cashmere gecko/sailboat/whimsical pony-printed Pussyfoot or Paul Smith socks are their one nod to individuality. Rather, I’m the curmudgeonly relative who everyone ends up giving socks to for Christmas…and things tend to get colourful/seasonal. Why do I wear them? Well, you know how a lot of girls say they like to wear pretty lingerie because they feel like it’s a secret they have with themselves? That’s the way I feel about garish socks. Minus the self-empowered, sexy frisson.

3 thoughts on “Oxford and Adulthood: no place for rompers

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