I'm a thoroughly independent shopper. This is due to a few good reasons. One, I normally pick stuff out that looks a lot better on, adapted or with a particular outfit. It's all about seeing potential where most people see dead people's hand-me-downs. Amongst the wrong crowd, this normally encourages such looks of disgust or terror that shopping becomes hugely destructive of any self-confidence. I'm better off checking the size of my arse in a mirror, sneaking the contents of the bag into the wardrobe without being seen and then whipping them out on a suitable occasion to applause.
Coming back to impress my lovable, but mainstream, fresher flatmates a couple years back with some early 90s stonewashed jeans, a pair of loafers and some jazz shoes after a successful charity shop raid, their looks of sheer horror deflated my retail buzz quicker than a chilled out puffer fish.
Number Two, such choices in attire invariably originate from stinky, messy jumbleholes. You need a certain stamina to put up with that. Any laggers get left behind.
Number Three, on the other hand, I get very sweaty in busy high street stores and waiting around for people in changing rooms nearly always ends in dehydration.
This is a shortened version of the list. Ultimately, I rarely rely on others to aid in style choices. Which probably explains a lot, but it's a risk I'm willing to take.
However, something funny happened the other night which really changed my mind on the whole affair. Chatting in the pub to a friend regarding my current indecision as to whether I should get my hair coloured in an extreme fashion or not, a small, but vital, interruption occurred.
An elderly Geordie chap - whose existence I wasn't even aware of prior to his contribution - cut me off halfway, announcing "ee leave yer hair alone, like." He went on to explain how I had a very "natral" look about me, and that my current mousy brown shouldn't be messed about with.
I've taken his advice.
Because really, maybe small old men are the way forward in the style stakes. Not understanding current trends, but the vital essentials of fashion - as in, what looks nice - makes for a pretty useful guide. I feel like hiring him to sit in my living room as I proceed to show him every item in my wardrobe to a show of cards judging wearability. A bit like Come Dine With Me.
He wouldn't do a Gok and shove me in a maxi dress, whilst rubbing his head in my boobs and giving me an over sized handbag.