When the going gets tough and you wake up charting fevers as steamy as the hottest day of the year, and what can only be described as a sandpaper throat, I am a firm believer in dressing to deflect attention from puffy eyes, a runny nose, a hacking cough, and that gnarly sheen that comes with that same strain of virus that has been making the transeasonal rounds since 1997. At least, that was the first time I succumbed to its demons. There are few other reasons for which a twenty-one year old would invest their time in an all-encompassing, marigold yellow bear hug that could only draw eccentric compliments or comparisons to the banana emoji – both of which I welcome with equally enthused numbers of heart-eyed icons.
On any other day of good health and good weather, my usual mantra is to dress to enhance. Always dress for your body shape, not your best mate’s – build a go-to selection of fits that flatter your legs (for me, it’s boyfriend jeans and tailored chino styles), your shoulders and your abdominal region. Elongate what looks short, elevate where necessary (alternate between a 6ft personality and 6inch heels), and get a good haircut to frame your face.
But in such unforeseen circumstances as a red-nosed flu,* the effectiveness of the
aforementioned decays exponentially. I personally wouldn’t recommend resorting to make-up to mask a face and body drained. There is method in the madness of au naturel. Litres of water per hour, allowing clean skin to breathe, no artificial colours or additives and you’ll be on the mend before my Mother can make you that weird Chinese remedial broth of beans, grains and other cardboard flavours. But until then, we study the staples in the art of distraction.
The goal is to feel like you’re wearing pyjamas. Failing Gucci gowns (I swear to you, I wore this thing for ten minutes for a shoot, and the justifying factor for its price-tag is surely in its bed sheet feels) think dressing gowns – to which every damn oversized coat on the market at this point in time bears some resemblance. Opt for a colour far sunnier than your disposition – lime, cotton candy, or strawberry daiquiri for the optimists; seafoam, lavender or cornflower for the cynics (née fashion people). Button up to hide your sartorial sleepwear sins beneath its generous fabrication.
Add shredded jeans to extend the distraught chic of your brow to your ankles. Elevate for authority with the highest block heels you dare to teeter in, and elevate for Anna Wintour with the most luxurious accessory you own (or loan).
Over and out.
*In reality, my flu was probably not as unpredictable as I might complain of: look after yourselves people. This earache was a long time coming.