London - My five-year-old son has taken to looking me up and down each morning and asking: “Are you going to wear that to work. Really?” He stands at the bottom of the stairs critiquing my style.
Yesterday, when I asked him exactly what he thought was wrong with my navy blue trousers and blue blouse, he told me they didn’t match. “Different blues,” he added sagely.
Hmmm. I haven’t worked out yet how to respond to this new sartorial commentary. I’m tempted to reply sarcastically to our new in-house fashionista. Something along the lines of: “Darling, matchy-matchy is so last week. Clashing prints are the new black,” in the manner of Patsy from AbFab.
Or to take the lead from one of his older sisters and just yell “Listen, half-pint, I’ll wear what I want because I LIKE IT. So there.”
But that would be childish, and as I’m 43 while he’s five years and seven months, the mature path is to humour him and not take it personally.
It seems he’s transferred his personal obsession with wearing girls’ clothes (and referring to himself as Miss Argentina) to a growing interest in how I dress.
Which is confusing and unsettling, coming as it does first thing, just before I embark on our complicated school run.
However, it’s started to make me nervous and, worse still, question my outfit choices. The thing is, the little fella knows his stuff.
He’s got three sisters, and a mom who works on a fashion magazine. It’s unavoidable knowledge.
I suspect he probably knows more about women’s clothes than Match Attax football cards and that’s saying something, as he’s obsessed with them.
I’m either raising the most perfectly-rounded example of modern man (who’s a little bit on the short side) or tomorrow’s David Walliams.
What kind of boy would my son have been if he’d had three brothers, I wonder?
The last thing I need at 8am is a conversation about what I’m wearing. I can’t put a moment’s more thought into it because I don’t have the time, do I?
I’m up at 6am with baby Mabel most days, I don’t think getting up ten minutes earlier would improve my ability to accessorise. And in a “sleep versus fashion” competition, sleep wins heels down (see what I did there?).
Just as I’m getting to grips with my son’s enthusiastic involvement in what I wear to work, I notice some women are starting fashion blogs about what they wear for the school run. God help us all if this becomes popular, because when you put something on the worldwide web it lives for ever and everyone in the world can see it.
There’s no erasing pictures of badly co-ordinated separates thrown hastily together by a woman who has been up since dawn trying try to feed the smallest one while packing two school bags and filling three flasks - those pictures live for ever, ladies. I’m imploring you, as the editor of a fashion magazine (ironic, I know) not to create the “school runway”.
Let our private moments of rushed dressing remain among us. Don’t make me wonder if I should find a matching sock for my Friday pick-ups for fear of ending up on some daft blog!
I have to be smart for work, so when I drop-off the children I probably appear reasonably well dressed (despite my son’s views) but the days I don’t work I look more like Jack Nicholson from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by the time I leave the house (crazy hair and a furrowed brow are my only accessories).
A mom once came up to me in my daughter’s playground and said: ‘I’ve just found out what your job is.
“You can’t tell from looking at you that you work in fashion.”
I don’t know what she expected me to look like in the playground on a cold winter’s afternoon, chasing a small boy on his scooter with a baby strapped to my front.
I would challenge even Alexa Chung to dress stylishly for that kind of activity. Perhaps I should adopt my grandma’s fashion mantra: “Leopard-print - it goes with everything.” - Daily Mail
* Lorraine Candy is editor-in-chief of Elle magazine.