Hello, we're Bertie and Charlotte and once a week we're going to teach you a valuable lesson about manners. Think of this column as a weekly trip to the finishing school you never went to, we're here to hold your hand and guide you along the path of polite enlightenment. Basically your grandma was right, manners can get you anywhere, so draw an imaginary halo around your head, roll your eyes back, relax and enjoy your passage into the divine. This week the ugly truth about white jeans, new underwear and cut-out swimsuits.
THE LIE: “Yes this cut-out swimsuit is totally practical.”
THE TRUTH: The problem with being a (sort of) grownup and going on holiday with people you aren’t related to means you get all these jumped-up ideas about what a swimsuit needs to be. Out goes the totally chic Speedo all in one you’ve been wearing to impress your mum for the last 18 years, and in come spangly, strappy variations, ones that peel off as soon as you start swimming, and even worse, the fashion cut-out. The fashion cut-out is something you’ll put on from the comfort of the changing room, decide looks 99% Rihanna and start imagining how well it’ll photograph coming out of a rubber ring in Ibiza next month. The reality is more like something a Kardashian’s dog chewed up and spit out. Seriously, dodgy tan lines are the least of your worries when you look like you’ve been attacked by a rabid Chihuahua.
THE LIE: “I absolutely need these white jeans.”
THE TRUTH: Once upon a time these were kind of ok. It was 2007, Johnny Borrell was on the cover of Vogue, you wore white jeans with a polka dot blouse from Topshop and thought you looked a bit like Vanessa Paradis. Fast forward seven years, and instead of the sulky French princess you imagined, it’s all just a bit Kimora Lee Simmons. I mean shopping for jeans is a minefield in its own right - distressed or not, tapered or skinny, to rip or not to rip, inertia ensues - why would you complicate it further?
THE LIE: “This underwear set will make me fancy him again.”
THE TRUTH: We’ve all been there, lightly sweating in the painted changing room of an expensive lingerie store trying to convince yourself that spending half a month’s rent on half an inch of fabric is totally necessary to save your relationship. Reconsider. I mean, it’s sort of obvious that if you’re having rubbish sex it’s probably not to do with your well-worn Marks and Sparks boy shorts.
THE LIE: “OMG this skirt length is the new me.”
THE TRUTH: The fact that you’ve been wearing kilted minis for as long as you can remember is probably because they suit you and you like them and they’re comfortable. Not that you shouldn’t go ham with that knee-length, slashed to the vagina, wool number that’s “totally practical with tights,” just think seriously about what you’ll wear it with. There was the time I accidentally bought a pair of jeans which only went with the Uggs I was wearing when I tried them on (don’t be jealous). Trying new shapes is totally exciting but once you get home and figure out it goes with approximately 0.5% of your wardrobe you’ll be 100% screwed.
THE LIE: “Buying new trainers will make me go to the gym every day.”
THE TRUTH: Even though you actually went and registered at the gym last week (hey, congrats, it’s only three months after you promised you’d do it!) chances are you’ve been putting off your first complimentary personal training session because oh shit you have nothing to wear. Stop kidding yourself that you’d ever remember to wash your top-to-toe breathable branded running outfit every night anyway, grab that T-shirt you bought at Cadbury World and quit whining!