It is only a little over two weeks until BritMums Live, a fabulous blogging conference attended by 500 plus parent bloggers. There is an array of esteemed speakers, and sessions on all kinds of topics.
One of the speakers is me. I am a tad nervous about it, but also really looking forward to it. I am part of a panel discussing ‘The New Feminism- Rebuild or rebrand?’. I am a feminist, not a particularly well read one, but one with an opinion, and I am actually feeling OK about sharing that opinion. I know the environment is going to be friendly, even if the views are opposing, and I love a good debate.
Oddly the thing I am now more nervous about is my presentation of myself. I am a natural scruff bag, rarely clean for more than 5 minutes, and normally wearing threadbare old favourites teamed with a holey pair of converse. But I want to portray a slightly more polished and professional version of myself at the conference, especially now I am not only panelist, but a finalist in the BiB awards (thank you, thank you, thank you – beyond thrilled about that, if slightly anxious about what one wears to an awards ceremony!!).
(my favourite shoes)
Where do women my age (verging on 40) shop? I am an eternal indie kid, and normally get by on a few new t-shirts a year, the odd ditsy dress, and some past their best high tops. I still want to feel like myself, just a slightly smarter version, but I cannot for the life of me find a shop that suits me.
New Look and Top Shop have a few bits that I can still just about carry off, but not for the smarter me. Marks and Spencers still feels too grown up, and I definitely don’t want a suit. I still want to look like me, just a little less ragged around the edges. So dear readers, tell me, where do I go?!? Where caters for the ageing punk/hippy/indie clientele who have a conference to attend and a minimal budget?!?
In a similar vein however, I have resolved one thing. My bag. I am not a bag freak. Nor a shoe freak. In fact I fail to be thrilled generally by any accouterments, but I do get excited by vinyl box sets, thus proving I am not completely made of stone.
My current bag is a large leopard print number, bought in the Peacocks sale for £6 a few months back, and along with many mothers of toddlers, it is a haven for all kinds of crap. It has half eaten snack bars, plastic toys, day out leaflets, receipts, and currently an emptied bag of cress seeds that I bought for a project, forgot about, and that subsequently made a successful bid for freedom in the bottom of my bag. (They haven’t yet sprouted, obviously not fans of crumbs as soil.)
This is not the bag I want to reach into to pluck out my notepad and pen at BritMums, and because I know nothing about stylishness, I asked Twitter where I could get a smart bag, big enough for conference essentials.
And I had lots of responses, and most of you said MiaTui.
So many of you said MiaTui that you couldn’t possibly be wrong. And you weren’t. After much internal debate and indecision I ordered a Minnie Amelie, on the basis that it will function as an overnight bag, as well as an occasional work bag. It is NEVER going near children.
It really is an ace bag, it did cost me £50, but I bet I will have it for years. It is my new confidence bag. It is my ‘yes, my shoes are holey, but someone with this bag clearly means business and knows her stuff’ bag. It is my 40th birthday present to myself. Love it. And I love the matching little Lottie bag that MiaTui popped in as a bonus gift, how smashing!!
I used it when I went to London the weekend just gone, and its array of extra little bags and pockets, and large interior made it the perfect weekend bag. I popped my tickets, purse etc in the Lottie bag, which I could keep packed inside its big sister when travelling, then whip out to use as my out and about bag once we had checked into the hotel. A perfect trial run for BritMums.
And now we are back on the subject of BritMums – what are you wearing? NOT NOW, not in a pervy what are you wearing heavy breathing phone call way….more, a if you are going to BritMums what are you wearing type thing. Clothes hopefully, or mascot costumes? Can we all dress as giant animals with huge heads? Or is that not the conference look this year?