I make the same mistake every time. Every. Time. I don't know quite why I do it, but whenever I go and meet a particular group of friends somewhere, I always talk to one of the boys beforehand to ascertain what kind of a place I'm going to, and whether I need to put on my fancy-shmancy clothes and my big girl shoes (high heels). Which I do have, by the way. Two pairs.
Okay, they're wedges, but that still counts, surely?
This boy always tells me the same thing. 'It's a pub. No big deal, Mo. Come as you are.'
'Hurrah', I think. 'No need to get changed.' I can be my usual, slightly-rough-around-the-edges-but-hey-ho-it's-just-a-pub self.'
Last night was a classic example. I turned up, hopelessly late and hopelessly lost, to my friend Ella's birthday party, but no-one really minded, because (1) I'm always lost outside of the Circle Line, and (2) I was carrying an enormous box of fresh from the oven cupcakes for the occasion, which always seems to appease people.
Upon arriving at the 'pub', I realised with sinking realisation that it was not actually a pub at all. Not even a little bit. Instead, it was one of those bar-restaurant-club affairs, where the cheapest drink that wasn't beer was £7 and girls in skyscraper stilettos bobbed on the dancefloor to Rihanna. Bodycon ahoy. You get the picture.
Well sorry Karl, usually I take your word as law and consider you to be an unchallengeable fountain of knowledge, but my dress last night was technically both little and black. However, the combination of the little sleeves, the flared skirt, the black ankle socks, the white slip-on shoes and the old head scarf, all of which was covered in icing sugar, left me feeling distinctly underdressed, and quite embarrassed.
The bouncers (you always know it's not just a pub night when there are bouncers) looked at me very dubiously. I'm pretty sure they only let me in because they thought I was just delivering the cakes.
Well, you know what they say. You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter. So I ran away to the loos, and tried to doll myself up as best I could. The tools at my disposal? A dark red lipstick, a comb, and my 'evening' perfume. Jo Malone, by the way. Blue Agava and Cacao. Sweet, playful, and dare I say it - I hesitate to use this word when talking about myself - a little bit sexy. It gets comments. Good comments. 'What is that amazing smell?', rather than 'Um, did you bathe in Impulse before you came out?'
It helped a little. Slightly back-combed hair with a scarf woven through, and wine coloured lips definitely made the whole think look like more of a 'look'. Not the right look for the location, but a look, all the same. The perfume certainly went a long way to making me feel better about the whole thing, too. So that's nice.
This I totally agree with. Which is why I never go anywhere without one of my Jo's. Today I'm wearing English Pear and Freesia, blended with Grapefruit. Mmm.
So the moral of the story is always have your comb, your lipstick, and you're perfume handy, so that you can make yourself look slightly more put together at a minute's notice.
Whoops, look at me go, not learning my lesson.
The actual moral of the story is just ask the girls where you're going, and if you need to put on your fancy-shmancy clothes and your big-girl shoes.
Sorry I don't have a picture of me looking really under-dressed and embarrassed, I wasn't very 'on it' with the camera last night. Too busy drowning my sorrows in £7.50 cocktails*, trying to negate the social awkwardness being so totally underdressed brings on in me, even though I should be used to it by now...
Next time, I'm putting on my fanciest wedges. And then we'll probably actually just go to the pub.
*Just kidding, kids - always drink responsibly