From comfort zone to catwalk
It’s that time of year again…time to de-clutter and think forward. I never leave this until the spring. By the time the blossom is on the trees I want to be out and about with a new view, a new look and a new attitude.
Which is why I headed down to White Hart Lane, SW13 to one of my favourite shops, the Truelove Lingerie boutique.
When it comes to fresh starts it pays to begin with the foundations and – to me – that means lingerie. I buy it twice a year: pre Spring and pre autumn. Marie Truelove (yes, that is her real name) is purveyor of all things perfect and pretty. Marie is an indomitable force. She is passionate about her business that she regards as being far more than skin deep.
She sells lingerie to women of all shapes, sizes and ages – and the support (figuratively and literally) she gives to women recovering from breast surgery is legendary in this part of the UK. In fact, that is how I know her. Every year Marie holds a fashion show to raise money for The Haven, the charity for those with breast cancer. For the past couple of years I have introduced the show.
Now I have decided to go one step further and actually model in the show.
I have to say that very slowly and very deliberately to all of my friends. Then I wait while they try to compute their response. Sometimes I have to wait quite a while because on one or two occasions I have noticed they have some difficulty speaking.
So why am I doing this? First and foremost is my utter respect for Marie as a dynamic and thoughtful retailer. She gets women and the restorative power of great underwear. She also gets men which is far easier. Secondly, it is for a good cause. Several of my friends have had breast cancer and I want to do all I can to help. Thirdly, I like to give myself a good scare every now and then.
I will be doing stand-up comedy and after that an Olympic triathlon both of which feeling nervous….but the prospect of walking down the runway at the lingerie show periodically leaves me in a cold sweat. I only have to look down at my legs when I get out of bed to remember, with startling clarity, the commitment I have made.
Let me be clear I am on the other side of 50. I have had three children and plenty of stress alleviated by red wine and late nights but I do love lingerie. It is all neatly filed – in colour order – in my closet. Bras, French knickers, basques, bias cut slips. You name it. I have it. Black, blue, green, red, pink, yellow. There is no colour I do not own. I fantasise about being that woman who manages to survive with half a drawer of black, nude and white underwear but it never becomes reality. The lure of the lace is too much for me.
At Christmas I bought two selections in red and black. I like to have a festive outlook. Prima Donna and Wacoal if you are interested. I can cut back on clothes (weirdly) but not on lingerie. I think it comes from having a big chest and only ever being able to buy the hideous white, Doreen bra by Triumph as a teenager.
So this morning Marie and I sat on her purple ottoman, in front of her gigantic antique mirror and ran through a few things. Like fear for example.
She seems pretty confident this will work. Easy for her….she’ll be on the front role in more clothes than me.
So I’ll be ramping up the training, buying a large supply of the best body lotion I can find and developing a bit more self-belief than I usually possess. My friends think I am mad but every so often I need to get out of my comfort zone. This should do the trick.