…night-clothes, which for me include a collection of Malaysian Kaftans and flannelette pyjamas; going-out-clothes, which are basically anything you would be willing to wear in public, and in-between-clothes, which are those snugly-buggly favourites that you wear around the house but would really prefer not to be seen out in.
I am enormously fond of my in-between-clothes. They mostly consist of jogging bottoms (haven’t jogged for the best part of eight years), old baggy t-shirts and a very embarrassing collection of velour leisure wear. I kid you not. I love that velour is just so tactile, and I like to think that I look like Pammy Anderson in them. (I don’t. I look nothing like her at all. But she went through a period of being papped in velour leisure wear and Ugg boots and I took it as an excuse to delude myself that I don’t look anything other than ridiculous in them.) I am so keen these days to get straight into my in-between-clothes that I start undressing the minute I get through the door. The Husband must think that I have lost my sartorial mind, because he only ever sees me in my in-between outfits. (Occasionally we go out together, and he always looks at me fondly when I am scrubbed up. I must be such a disappointment to him most of the time.)
My in-between-clothes are currently exceeding my going-out-clothes in number, which is something of a worry. And now I have been caught out doing the unthinkable: going outdoors looking like a total loon.
It was Sunday morning, and I was nipping down to my local garage to buy a newspaper. I was wearing a pair of grey velour baggies, and an outsize pink fleece which had seen better days a decade ago. On my feet were my favourite pair of flowery fabric wedgey clogs and a beany hat on my head, as I hadn’t washed my hair. I looked like a bag lady who had forgotten her bags. As I queued for my newspaper I recognised the woman at the side of me, perusing the chocolate. I couldn’t quite place her, but I smiled anyway. She looked embarrassed because she clearly couldn’t place me either. I paid for my Observer and turned to leave, almost bumping into the woman whom I still hadn’t quite placed.
“Oh!” she said, with a look of incredulity. “It’s you!”
I placed her. She was an ex-client. I tried to say “hello” in a breezy and unconcerned way, but I don’t think she was convinced. She looked like she had just discovered the Queen going commando.
Note to self: in-between-clothes are not, and never will be, going-out-clothes.