Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Red or blue?

Every morning I look online at the front pages of all the newspapers, and while the majority of them have serious stories, the Daily Star always has something that makes me laugh. And I love it’s irreverence.

This morning this was it:

In that vein, please tolerate the following post - which I have delayed writing on account of its triviality, when there is a genocide currently being tolerated by the West, and which rarely leaves my mind.


I needed a new coat, a raincoat, as I live in England. I have had the same one - made by Seasalt - for nine years. It is a beautiful soft turquoise colour that really suits me, and I bought it because of the colour, not because I was looking for a coat at the time. But it was a terrific buy and is still 100% waterproof. The trouble is that the cuffs and edges are looking shabby. The fact that a man on a galloping horse wouldn’t notice this has kept me from replacing the coat. Regular readers know by now that I LOVE clothes but am beset by a Quaker bent towards simplicity and frugality. Also, my clothes budget is small.

I am going to see my brother Pete in Belgium for a long weekend and we will be spending a day in Brussels while I’m there, so I felt that it was time, finally, to buy a new coat. I could waltz down the Eurostar platform towards him looking chic and feel fully confident in the Grand Place.

Amazingly, our small town of Bakewell, which has lost all its useful shops except a supermarket and a cobbler, does have a branch of Seasalt. So I popped in on Sunday after Meeting to buy a new coat. Why would I want anything but Seasalt when they make such colourful coats that are 100% waterproof and last for years?

Another side to this story is that after years and years of having a wardrobe full of blue and turquoise clothes I have been yearning to wear bright red. I used to wear it a lot when my hair was brown. I even had a bright red coat when I was 40. And I still have a bright red Biba dress in the back of the wardrobe.

I immediately found the coat I wanted, but… which colour should I have? Bright red, because it’s different and because it’s fun? or the classy Prussian blue that I would normally go for because I love the colour and because it suits me so well?

When you have been wearing variations of the same colour for twenty years it feels exciting but risky to make a change. I had in my mind that THIS coat would also have to last me nine years, though Dave said yesterday “Nine years? We’ll be dead in five! We won’t make 80!” But you know Dave.

The lovely assistant took a photo of me in each so that I could text Het and my daughter Z. Neither responded. Hey ho. I took the red and went to the counter and asked the assistant if she could save the blue till the next day in case I changed my mind, and she said yes.

By the time I had left the shop and was packing the coat into my bike pannier I had two texts. 

Het said “I like you in ❤️”. 

Z said “Either.” Then she said “Blue is classier.” I texted back “Blue is classier and a very nice blue but I thought the red was more fun” and she responded “My thoughts exactly.”

When I got home Dave said “Why didn’t you ask me?”

“Maybe because you don’t have a mobile phone and because you’re colour blind?”

I didn’t say “because you have zero fashion sense,” because that would have been mean and also it would have led to him saying he had a fine sense of style and didn’t I remember his tartan tam o shanter when we were students, and I would have said yes, precisely, that tam o shanter was DREADFUL.

I was still dithering over the colour however so I emailed Pete. He said “the blue is more discreet and the red is really classy, a gorgeous red.”

So, friends, what do you think?


Anonymous said...

Be seen - wear red!
Thea xx

Lois said...

I vote for red! It's a current trend in outdoor wear but I have to confess that I have been looking for a showerproof jacket at M&S since last spring and ever since all they seemed to have were padded jackets. However, I spied light red jackets and behind them, navy. The jacket was perfect for me but sadly the red was not like yours - rather feeble - so I went for safe old navy. It's already proved very handy on a trip to Keswick and last week, London. BTW Seasalt now accept returns of their garments which are no longer needed but in good condition with the offer of £25 off a future purchase. The old garments are then re-sold on a site called Reskinned.

marmee said...

I like the blue but who cares what I like....have you forgotten: when I am old I will wear purple?? Wear the red if that is what makes your heart sing! You have earned it!

Lina said...

Sue, Although the blue is lovely, it's safe. I love the red. It's bright, fun, it gives you aa wonderful lift and it's you.

Sue Hepworth said...

I love you guys for responding so quickly!
Thank you. 😊
I finally removed the ticket and wore it today.
What next? A leopard skin pillbox hat?