Tag: fashion

What I Wore: 22 Dresses of Fall 2016

Yesterday was the last big day at the World’s Worst Company. By ‘big day’ I mean that I put on a flamboyant dress, get on a stage and address a large audience, at 9am and again at 3pm.

It was very emotional. I delivered two excellent performances. I am so good with large audiences. We had Mozart and Mendelssohn. My audiences, who have come to know me over three months, couldn’t get enough of me. At the end of the second performance, an actual queue formed of people who wanted to hug me. I must have hugged 20, maybe 30, people. It was incredible. I am a junkie for love and that was amazing, that was like an assault of love. It nearly knocked me off my feet. I cried. People told me I’d changed their lives.

So. It’s (almost) all over. Two more days of meetings, tomorrow and Friday, and then I’m on the payroll but not on the premises until 12 January, then I’m off the payroll as well.

I can probably best convey the fun parts of this job, which were totally amazing fun, by showing you what I wore. So here are my 12 favourite dresses that I wore this season, over the last 12 weeks, for the benefit and delight of all. Nearly all the dresses in this category are from lindybop.co.uk. They are very affordable and yes you do totally need gigantic tulle petticoats to make those skirts stand out.

12-favourite-dresses-of-2016And here are a further 10 honourable mentions, almost all by Phase Eight. All these dresses made me feel great and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to wear them. It might be the first time in my life that I felt like I actually had enough clothes.


As you can see, I looked the business for 12 weeks. It was an orgy of dresses and Dresses are what I am now known for, that and being bloody brilliant at my job.

It’s almost over.

I’m so ragey and tearful and I don’t think it’s all down to caffeine withdrawal.

This morning I had a phone call with someone at the World’s Worst Company about why I am leaving. I listened to myself talking. I listened to myself explaining how much it meant to me, to have the chance to return to an industry that I had been missing and wanting for 16 years. How much it meant to me to have the chance to revive a career that is what I was supposed to do with my life and had to turn my back on because of money.

Then I listened to myself explaining why I am about to turn my back on that career a second time. How I’ve taken 15 months of abuse from this company that I can no longer forgive. How I can’t wait any longer for it to get better, because it never gets any better. How we’ve abused our customers in a way that I can’t continue to be a part of. How the entire organisation seems to run on a tacit agreement that everyone should do as little work as possible. Everyone keeps quiet about it so that everyone can keep getting away with it. Everyone pays lip service to quality and customer satisfaction just as long as it means that nobody has to do any ACTUAL work. I can’t adjust to that and I am never going to adjust to that. I’m not retired and I couldn’t be that lazy and defeatist if I tried. I was born to work. And that’s why I can’t spend any more time with them or being required to represent them because they are professional work-avoiders.

I listened to myself talking and I am so angry. I am so angry and so bitterly disappointed. Then I ended the call and then I had another cry.

Let’s count how many more days until I am out of this nightmare.

  • I will down tools and stop being on the payroll at midnight on December 31st, that’s 7 weeks and 3 days away.
  • I can work from home and stop going to that horrible office in early December. My last day on the premises will be Friday 9 December, that’s 4 weeks and 2 days away.
  • Between now and then, I have to be physically on the premises 14 more times.

What do I have to show for this, 15 months of sweating blood for this company and sincerely doing everything I could for our customers?

  • It paid my bills for a few months while I was getting my business back on track.
  • I have a lot of clothes.
  • I met the Person who I’m not supposed to be in love with. My prize. If that’s all I take away with me, that’s enough. Plans are in place.

I looked for my career and it was not there and I have to accept that. I found love and I wore some nice dresses, and that is something. Now I need to get through the last few weeks and then I need to rest.

Life is a game of management.

  • I manage my time. Ruthlessly and without regard for my own health or comfort. I sure get a lot done. I work 7 days/week, I regularly get up before 5am and I am the most productive person I know.
  • I manage my health, very badly. I have toothache, yet I am still smoking. I just stopped eating instead, like that’s going to make a difference. So on the plus side at least I’m losing weight without really trying. Apparently I think smoking is a more foundational requirement for my survival than food and will ditch food without hesitation or regret if it means I can continue smoking for a bit longer.
  • I manage my emotions. Pretty well, actually. I’m working on developing a psychopathic level of detachment because it helps me cope with my day job. I’ve actually read a couple of books about psychopaths, looking for tips. One book said that psychopaths think of other people as furniture and I have found this very helpful for dealing with my so-called colleagues.
  • I manage my finances. Less said about that, the better. It has been the same story my whole life. I am good at making money. It needs me to be in a happy and confident mood, but given that condition, I can make money without trying too hard. I am not good at conserving it and I’m not good at paying my tax bills on time. I live hard and fast. Money oils the forward trajectory. I watch it coming in, and as long as it keeps arriving I don’t worry about it, even though I should.
  • I manage my house. Just about adequately. I do housework about once a fortnight and as I live alone that’s actually about enough to keep cholera from breaking out.
  • I manage my relationships. I am pleased how well. I am having a pretty happy and functional relationship with the Scandinavian Scientist. As for the Person who I’m not supposed to be in love with, who is a long term project, I venture to say that I have him transfixed. He looks at me and only at me. Long may it continue.
  • I manage my career. It’s an interesting one because as you know I work at the World’s Worst Company as well as running my own business. Life at the WWC is better than it was this time last year but the organisation itself continues to be a total shambles and I am embarrassed by it and the products we sell. My own commercial business is doing great. Every day I consider my options. Every day I consciously evaluate whether spending hours on the premises of the WWC is in my best interests. The jury is still out.

And now, let’s finish on a list of things that are making me happy by decorating my life.

  • Romance. Quite a bit of this. I am surprised. It’s good. It’s cute and fluffy and it puts me in a better mood. I need a bit of frothy romance in my life in the same way that I need speciality coffee.
  • Clothes. An ongoing pleasure. When we get to Xmas I’ll post a picture of my 12 favourite dresses that I wore to work this season, I’ve been wearing some outrageous retro outfits.
  • Because I am a creative genius, albeit a slightly unpredictable one, the WWC lets me try out experimental new things at work. As a result of this, I engineered things so that every week I get a set amount of time of (a) discussing art and (b) opportunities to dance if I feel like it and (c) music with accompanying singing. When I say music, I mainly mean DISCO.

Let’s have some. Get up and dance. This is the single best part of my working week and to be honest the main reason I keep going back there.

Jimmy Somerville: You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)

Things I am looking forward to.

I don’t think I’m moving to the US, I am a lot more expensive than he thought I was going to be. I think he was being a bit naive about the size of incentive I would require to disrupt a London-based business and move somewhere in the US that isn’t within 60 minutes of a major international airport. Anyway, it was nice of him to invite me, even if I cost more than he thought.

Here’s a list of things I am looking forward to, because it needs to go somewhere.

  • Getting over my cold. I have a dreadful cold and feel dizzy and light-headed, it needs to stop, I am busy.
  • The Scandinavian scientist returning to the UK following a science field trip. He’s been away for 2 weeks. One more week to go.
  • CLOTHES. I have a minimum of 11 more weeks at the world’s most horrible company. The list of reasons why I want to be there is almost completely extinguished now but what remains is my wardrobe. FASHION IS DANGER.

Flight of the Conchords: Fashion is Danger


Will you look at that. It has foxes on it, and snow. Come December, I am wearing that to work.


I started the big round of dental work today. I am taking antibiotics and all I want to do is sleep but I need to clean my house again, open the post, send some invoices and generally do some more work.

The first of the Big Dresses is tomorrow, it is a red and pink floral number, as you know, and I am going to wear a large pink tulle petticoat, like you see there, except frothier.


Fashion week

I have such a busy week ahead of me, I will be out every day, I start early, I have presentations and meetings all day and I have business meetings in the evening.

I am not meal planning, I am going to be eating out a lot. I am, however, planning my clothes. I just had to write ‘choose outfits for the week, iron as necessary’ on my already crammed task list because I will not have a fun time trying to pick out clothes at six in the morning when I was out the night before.

I’m not the slimmest I’ve ever been, currently tipping the scales at 156 pounds, up 9 pounds since I was in the US in July. This also requires careful dressing. So here’s what I’m thinking of wearing to work.


No meetings today. Dentist. I have just committed to another round of work to rehabilitate my teeth. My dentist is happy because I am single-handedly funding his future retirement. I am happy because he does a good job on my teeth and doesn’t judge me for drinking coffee and smoking.


A heavy work day involving 2 presentations to large audiences. First day of the new season. A good reason to dress up.


Action: needs ironing.


A lunch meeting and then later a business dinner with an old business associate who is shamelessly flirting with me (the Scandinavian scientist is away, she said, a propos of nothing). That’s a lot of food in one day. This silky viscose dress by Phase Eight is forgiving around the middle and gives me knockout cleavage.


Action: find dress, pick out shoes, accessories, outerwear.


Host and facilitate workshops all day. This Banana Republic dress is generously sized and is fun while being less theatrical than Tuesday outfits.

floral dress

Action: pick shoes, accessories, etc.

To-Do List

  • lay off the carbs NAO. In fact, stop eating outside of meetings.
  • start following the dentist’s instructions, work begins this week

Ooh, I am excited about my business date on Wednesday. Glad I bought that new bra.

You’ve really got to get up and dance to this. You know I don’t lie about these matters.

Suzanne Paul: Blue Monkey.


My day job at the horrible company starts next week. I just got a look at my client list, I’ll be working with these people for the next 3 months.

One of the projects I am running this season has attracted double the number of clients compared to when I inherited it this time last year. Why? Because my name is on it and I am a superstar. 90 people signed up for that project. 90 of them. I am so fucking flattered. I’d like to see anyone else in that company pull a crowd that large without trying.

All this makes the whole situation a lot better. I am ready for some client love. I’m also ready to wear some CLOTHES. Are you ready to rock 12 weeks of FASHIONS? You better be. I’m thinking of wearing this on the first day.