It’s taken me forty years to figure out why old ladies wear last decade’s bathers: it’s because that’s their only choice. When I left school I started working in a Department store and there were a few things that fascinated me about our “older” female clients.
- For one, they always BELIEVED they were at least a size smaller
- They could swear the sizes had changed since last season, especially metric sizes, definitely not the same as the old inches.
- There was something fishy about the mirrors
- The lighting was ghastly, had to see the item in daylight, at home of course
- They had no clue what their bust sizes were when buying lingerie
- Their husbands knew EXACTLY how much of a “hand-full” his "secretary/niece” was, who he was buying Christmas presents for, and I could swear he’d never been in a Church either.
- They had to have lounge wear when buying swimwear especially when it was Gottex.
- When last had we checked the tape measure, are we certain it’s in centimetres and not inches.
- They bought nothing, nonchalantly saying “oh they’ll just wear last year’s swimsuit or buy one in Mauritius in September” and flounced off to have another gin and tonic lunch with bubbles for dessert.
- As they slink off we tried one last time but they wave us off with “darling, the colours just don’t work for me I have a summer or winter or whatever complexion. Now who could argue with that?
Forty years later I know exactly how they felt, this realisation has been creeping up on me for at least 2 years now, but, true to type I gritted my teeth and soldiered on. Until this afternoon when reality bit.In a week’s time we’re off to Vietnam, and as you know it’s pretty hot in that neck of the woods, so I’ve been browsing through the new stock. I stood in the cubicle with a “matronly” bather, rouched along the waist, sensible legs, neck and back, tummy enforcers and falsies. Well, let me tell you I’ll be wearing last year’s bather too, to hell with the perished fabric, non-existent elastic in the legs, the drooping bust-line or the colour, at least it fits, I hope! I too have no idea what my “bust” size is and I’m telling you there’s something fishy about the sizing. To look reasonable in a bather this year I’ll have to wear stiletto’s.Now that my hair’s turning grey my autumn colours make me look sallow and black is definitely for Greek widows only. I wonder whether my Precious is buying lingerie for Christmas.
P.S If you see me on the beach, don't judge me too harshly, I still love a good tan and a surf, in fact with a little colour I get also get my healthy glow back, and after a medicinal gin and tonic my confidence returns too and I can sing "18 till I die"!
P.P.S if I should find the perfect bather and it's a tad frivolous or too bright or even tight I'll echo my Granny's words "to hell with mutton let's dress up as lamb"!