Black tie blues

Forgive me fashionistas, but I’m all of a fankle.

Being bang on trend just ain’t my bag, baby. Unless you count being hopelessly and happily stuck in some strange late 70s vortex where Fred Perry polos and Bass Weejun loafers are de rigeur, that is.

See, for me, getting all dressed up just don’t feel fine. Lord knows I’ve banged on about my self-imposed barriers when it comes to the smart suit, shoulder pads and dressing to impress in enterprise on these very fashion-free pages. But this week the appearance of the words “black tie” has taken me to a whole new level of entrepreneurial anxiety.

Of course I want to make a positive impression, and yes I want to be taken seriously in the business circles I find myself mingling in these days, but black tie? The thought of getting done up in a satin or chiffon number makes me come over all ornery. The very idea of stepping out in fancy flowing frock, high heels and Swarovski encrusted clutch bag makes me want to weep.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like clobber, mainly of the jeans and t-shirt variety. I’m kinda partial to brightly coloured training shoes and Harrington jackets, and I’ve even been known to stretch to a skirt from time to time. I’m not a midden and I do make an effort when occasion demands, but basically, I know nothing. Nothing about high fashion and dressing for success. I wouldn’t know a Dries van Noten from a Primark fashion faux pas.

So being required to do the full black tie bhoona for an upcoming business awards ceremony not only weighs heavy on my un-padded shoulders, but kinda makes me dig my Doc Martened heels in like a good ‘un too. It’s just not me.

I’ve always been adamant that I want to run my business on my own terms. For me, it simply could not be more important that I can be true to myself in enterprise, whether that’s in personality, public front or even in my individual dress code. But there are times when my version of best bib and tucker just might not cut it sartorially, or entrepreneurially. Maybe, just maybe, as a businesswoman in the running to receive a gong at a swanky event, I’ve simply got to play by the black tie rules.

Or do I? Surely there’s got to be some middle ground, some halfway house between ballgown and well worn skinny jeans and Converse? Yes, if I had a few hundred spare spondoolies floating about maybe I would clothe myself for the occasion in the garb of my spiritual fashion leader, Vivienne Westwood – tartan bondage trews, bum flap and all. Or maybe if there were enough spare hours in the average Word Up week (as if) I could trawl the West End’s vintage emporiums to find a suitably sartorial 60s number.

But nah, reckon I’ll do what I always do – scrub up as best I can in an LBD, some bright red lippy, and bags and bags of attitude.