I witter on about only buying items you need and love. About how it’s OK to stay with a formula or theme once you’ve established your style DNA. Well, this week whilst researching for the Look Books in London my very own style halo received a little polish and upgrade.
I was wearing the outfit I demonstrated on day 9 of my 30 Day Spring Challenge and not once, twice but three times in one day what I was wearing brought compliments. People approached me and wanted to know where I had bought my boots, my silver coat and my blue silk blouse as I was trying on a pair of boots. The question extended to 'was it expensive?' in relation to my coat – and when I told her it was Zara she was shocked! Alas, I disappointed all three ladies though because none of what I was wearing can actually be bought today, hence my point about buying what you love wearing and not because it’s “in fashion.”
I know it’s never what others think about your appearance that’s the most important factor choosing what to wear because truly, it’s what you wear means to you. But when you get validation from complete strangers, well, what can I say? It’s bloomin’ lovely!
I replayed the story to my friend over supper and they said, you always look great, and this made me think; when we see someone who is well dressed we rarely tell them so.
On another London trip last autumn I had a similar moment. In an overcrowded and increasingly unfriendly city, where people pass anonymously and strangers rarely engage, his words blew me away.
I was going down the stairs to the underground in High Street Kensington and a lady with a child in a pram and her young son by her side wasn’t struggling down the steps but it was awkward. People were just filing past her, myself included but on the other side of the central handrail. The train was pulling into the station as I reached the last few steps and I was intending to get on but instead looked up at the lady still only half way down. I turned went back up the steps on her side and offered her help to reach the bottom.
I stood on the platform alone, whilst I waited on the next train to pull in. The doors of the train slowly opened and I walked over to board. I felt a gentle tapping on my arm – it was the lady I had helped. “My son has something he wants to tell you. You are a beautiful lady, thank you.” My gesture of helping her took only seconds, her five or six-year-old son’s action to approach me and thank me so gracefully, is imprinted on my mind as of one of the most wonderful appreciations of helping someone.
On reflection, I was wearing my long pale gold coat so yes, I would have stood out in a sea of dark and more sombre colours of city life but his gesture equally stood out for me. In the spirit of sharing a little springtime kindness with a stranger, next time you see someone who stands out for you, be it what they are wearing or what they do for you, tell them! Make their day!