Not that you’d guess it to look at me, I am in fact a bit fashion obsessed. I can stand outside a designer shop and view the mannequins as works of art, I can read a fashion magazine for hours, poring over every stylish detail and I do try to make an effort when opportunity arises to leave the house. Therein lies the rub. I don’t leave the house, except to pick children up/drop children off, go to the supermarket, go to the pool/beach/park/countryside (with children) and very occasionally meet my business partner at her house (not much call for high fashion there then). Working from home has a myriad of benefits, not least the ability to clean floors, do the washing, look after sick kids etc whilst getting the job done and all without taking paid or unpaid leave. But I miss having a reason to pull on something more than shorts and a vest top of a morning.
Once a week I meet a friend for coffee – get me and my crazy social life – and this is the one chance I have to ditch the slob clothes and dab some concealer on. The last time I went for an evening out was back in May and the last time hubby and I ventured into the abyss of nightlife was in April, before that December. Oh. dear. me.
Finally after dabbling with trying to find a babysitter who can cope with our sleep walking, drink demanding, peeing in the hallway whilst asleep (yes really), children I have finally found a willing victim to sit for us on Friday night. Not to put too finer a point on it I am beyond excited. She works at the twin’s nursery so is in effect the perfect sitter, known to all 3, trustworthy and best of all available this week. Where we will actually go is still to be decided, the problem with never going out is being bombarded with possibilities once opportunity finally knocks. It would probably be unwise to pull out a party dress and heels though as I imagine an hour in a cinema or a beer in a local bar doesn’t really warrant the effort.
Luckily for me I have an alter ego I call Sadie who lives in a parallel online universe and basically means I can live vicariously through others, as detailed through their blogs. I have become a fashion blog junkie. Sadie can visit the States, the UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia at the touch of the button, she could (if she had the funds) recreate wardrobes as detailed by her favourite blog posters. In lieu of fashion magazines in English (we’ll get to Israeli fashion in a minute) she can peruse the photos, window shop online stores and enjoy days and nights out as described by the bloggers. Does this make Sadie a little strange? Possibly. Does it make Katie a happy and thrifty fashion victim? Abso-bloody-lutely.
Israel is not what I would call fashion forward (although I am sure the designers here would beg to differ). In 2004 when I moved here the fashion was for half mast flares with brightly coloured pockets on the thighs or weirdly below the kneee with flower patches sewn on for good measure. Muffin top was a must, too small was preferable and shoes were strange platform type sandals with unnecessary block heels making the wearers in their too tight clothes lean forward at an unnatural angle whilst walking. I kid you not. Luckily those days are gone and with the arrival of western fashion giants, H & M, Mango, Zara, American Eagle and Gap the fashion has become much more palatable if not a little identikit.
We basically dress like the rest of the western world now but more casual. Israel takes casual to a whole new level when, like me, you come from Europe. A man in a suit is either a lawyer or a politician or both. A woman in heels is either at a wedding (and is the bride) or works in an upmarket clothing store. Jeans are the basic work wear, whether you work for a high tech giant or a bank. Sandals can be spotted on just about everyone’s feet – possibly even the be-suited lawyers’ if they are over 45. It makes for a relaxed outlook to a job but boy do I miss the fashions of London. Just as I looked strange if I ordered more than 2 glasses of wine on a night out in a bar (Israelis think its strange to finish a bottle to yourself like us Brits are want to do), I also found myself in the early days woefully overdressed for every occasion.
Luckily for me I have Sadie and she can get dressed up just about as often as she likes. While Katie sports a clean t-shirt and the less worn out flip-flops for a night out, Sadie is tottering in a pair of Louboutins and a perfect fitted dress. Just like the cut out dress-up dolls I played with as a girl I can now mix and match outfits in my head.
If you also live overseas here are a few choice blogs for feeding your inner Anna Wintour, when you can’t rely on the local population to inspire your wardrobe:
and my favourite (because our taste is almost identical – my 2 year old thought a pic of her was me) www.doesmybumlook40.blogspot.com