What a difference 24 hours makes.
Yesterday, I was very much looking forward to a civilised Afternoon tea to celebrate my mother’s birthday. The dress code was ‘smart attire’ to fit the occasion so I stood staring at my wardrobe for some time before pulling out a selection of potential wears. 80% of my clothes have seen better days. I tend to wear things until they are borderline threadbare and it often takes someone pointing out that maybe a replacement is needed before I realise its time to dispose of said clothing.
First garment to try on was a beautiful River Island dress which rarely sees the light of day. As I slide it over my various lumps and bumps, I remember why it has a permanent home on my rail. It literally shows every imperfection going. I’m sure it even adds a few layers of cellulite too. So back it goes on the hanger until I repeat the same process all over again another day. Hey, you never know, the day might come when I put it on and I look like the smoking hot diva I visualised when I bought the damn dress.
My second option was an old favourite. I knew that my suck-it-all-in tights were a must with this particular ensemble. I was nearly ready for departing when it dawned on me that these tights really had no place at a, replenish as much as you like, Afternoon tea. I planned on eating an abnormal amount. I would be fuming if my clothing choice limited the volume of food I could consume.
If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid the need for strong hold shapewear, let me educate you on the effects it has on the body. Firstly, the struggle to get these undergarments on will usually result in a furious battle of body vs knickers/tights. My husband has often walked into the bedroom before a romantic evening out to witness me sweating profusely, in all sorts of unfavourable positions whilst desperately trying to yank my underwear on. Not the best way to set the desired seductive tone of a date night. It’s a wonderful feeling once the item is in situ; not only have you lost inches around your stomach and waist, but you feel like She-Ra for having finally won the battle. Wearing shapewear for a few hours is great as your body can handle the unnatural state you’ve forced it in for a short while. My approximate guess would be 6 hours max. After that, the miracle lingerie morphs into a pain inducing, respiratory restricting bitch that, due to the stretching and loosening of the firm support, occasionally rolls down to create disfiguring bulges on your midriff and back. This makes you look a thousand times worse than if you’d left the damn shapewear off. Next time you’re at an event, scan the room and if you see an uncomfortable looking lady, discreetly shifting around and pulling at her top, its more than likely she’s in Spanx hell. Poor girl. If all this isn’t enough to make you question the splendour of these undies, wearing them can also seriously downsize food intake. I’m not a human biologist but I imagine it is simply because your stomach is being crushed to a quarter of its normal size. Canapés, light bites, and soups can all be handled and enjoyed comfortably. Three course meals, Sunday roasts, and Afternoon teas are physically impossible to enjoy due to the fact you’ll be suffering from acute acid reflux which all the food being squeezed back up your oesophagus. This brings me back nicely to my clothing decision. I came to my senses and realised that to fully appreciate my abundance of sandwiches, scones and cakes I would have to opt for a much less intense style of shapewear.
I eventually settled on medium hold, high waist knickers under stretchy wide leg black trousers and a lace top under a kimono. Perfect.Bring on the pastry.
The table had been booked for 3:30pm at Greyfriars Hotel in Colchester; a new swanky joint I’ve been wanting to visit for months. It certainly lived up to expectations, the food was sensational; delicate yet filled with flavour. The venue was luxurious and very fitting for an elegant Afternoon tea. Admittedly not much tea was drunk. It was mainly prosecco, followed by more prosecco. By 6pm we were sated and a little tipsy. This led to the group decision of moving on to a bar so we could drink yet more prosecco. It’s not often I’m out for an evening so I thought it was a bloody brilliant idea.
And now it is today. I think this photo epitomises how I was feeling at 7am this morning.
#hungover. Not such a brilliant idea after all and the precise reason why ‘Mummy’s night out’ is a very rare occasion indeed.
*In case you were curious to know, the best shapewear I’ve found is by Maidenform. Flattering, comfortable and doesn’t do the aforementioned stretch and roll down manoeuvre. Matalan and M&S also sell great products too.