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Lindsay Clydesdale ...the last word.

THERE was a celebration at the weekend that you might have missed, amid the coverage of two rich people getting married.

On Calton Hill in Edinburgh, thousands turned out to cheer the Beltane Fire Festival.

No doubt it's great fun for the pagans among us, or just those who like fire-breathing acrobats and torchlight processions.

But fashionistas should also have been paying attention because the event marks the start of summer and means there really is no excuse now for wearing your winter wardrobe.

It's time to step away from the dark clothes and the heavy fabrics, put down the woollies and lighten up. Pity no one told Victoria Beckham, whose outfit for Kate and Wills's wedding was a poncho fit for a funeral. But then Posh, the self-styled fashion addict, should have realised herself that her get-up was as innappropriate for the sunshine as stilettos on the beach. Although she probably wears those, too.

La her Letting go of cosy clothes, after months of covering up in the sartorial equivalent of a comfort blanket, is not for the fainthearted.

But leaving the layers at home is often less to do with worrying the sky might cloud over and more about fear of revealing flesh for the first time in months. Can anyone even remember last summer? My 2010 diary might insist it happened but I've no memory of warm weather. Just an endless belter of a winter that was made bearable by swaddling myself in combinations of gorgeous cold weather fashions - soft scarves, tailored coats, lovely long boots.

Little wonder my complexion is peely-wally, while beneath the neck I'm getting close to the blue skin tone of the Avatar aliens. After months of neglect, it's not diamonds but 100 denier tights that are a girl's best friend.

I'd rather show off my birth certificate than my legs.

Clearly drastic action was needed, so I went cold-turkey at the weekend, wrenching myself away from my knee-high suede boots and cosy hosiery at the same time. It is May after all.

I also tried to look on the bright side. For every cardi and jumper that was banished to the back of the cupboard, there was a benefit - sunglasses to hide the hangovers, pretty sandals and the unexpected flattering effect of summery shades.

True, the baring of body parts also means waxing, fake tanning and pedicures. So if all this sounds too depressing, you could always carry on as you were. With more seasons in an average Scottish day than trends to dress it, our national weather could easily rain on summer's fashion parade.

But I'll persevere without the favourite cover-ups that camouflaged my figure and milk-bottle skin.

And next year, just to rid myself of temptation, I'll look up the fire festival in the capital and make my own bonfire from opaque tights.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 3, 2011
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