Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Slattern’s Guide to… The Wardrobe

Angie baby: über-slattern?
Newsflash: Angela Merkel is our sister.

Yes, you heard me.
Angela Merkel - German Chancellor,
über hausfrau and scourge of struggling EU economies - is a slattern.

It’s not a conclusion I arrived at easily, believe me. I certainly don’t feel much natural affiliation with the lady, her politics, her material conservatism or her fiscal housekeeping fetish. But a quick flick through her cuttings file will soon reveal why she belongs to the international sisterhood of slatterns.

No matter what’s she’s up to – having a go at Greece, irritating Italians, or trying to put Putin in his place – one thing never changes. Her clothes: smart trousers, neither tight or baggy, topped with a boxy jacket in a variety of fabrics, colours and finishes.She found what works for her and she's sticking to it.

It’s her go-to signature style, giving her a serious, presentable image suitable for the world stage, but ultimately comfortable and requiring minimum thought when opening the wardrobe door at the beginning of each new day.

The way of the slattern is born in our intolerance for the trivial and fundamental refusal to waste time and effort on fripperies (unless they're purely hedonistic and possibly hilarious). That’s why Merkel’s the ultimate ‘slattern-posing-as-highflying-professional’ solution is just the thing for us, circumventing our natural instincts to slouch around in shapeless t-shirts and baggy thousand-times-washed jeans and offering a rising world leader a sartorial entry to the corridors of power.

So, in this special edition of The Slattern’s Guide, we asked our unexpected soul sistah Angie to give us some of her style counsel tips:
  • Take a tip from the boys to get ahead by getting a suit. Even that snapped bustenhalten strap held in place with an aged nappy pin beneath your shirt will look smart when hidden under a jacket.
  • A jacket also gives you the freedom to wear a variety of shirts, blouses and tops, without worrying about the coffee stains and smears of strudel on the sleeve, the rip in the back or even about ironing anything but the front panel visible between your lapels.
  • Avoid linen like the plague – unless you want to look the state of the Greek economy in jacket form. Favour instead crease-resistant sturdy fabrics with the staying power of the Berlin Wall (erm, no, scratch that), I mean a Panzer tank or a top-of-the-line Mercedes.
  • Steppen out, slattern style – Eliminate the risk of falling over and making a fool of yourself by steering clear of vertiginous heels and going for a safe, smart and (above all) comfortable sensible shoes, a la Queen Elizabeth II. Believe me, lieblings, the last thing you need when you mean business is worrying about the risk of twisted ankles and crushed pinky toes.
  • Keep hair and make-up basic, simple and constant. Never give anyone reason to comment on your style and you’ll be able to carry on your no-thought, no-frills wardrobe choices ad infinitum. Tucking your hair behind your ears and adding a slick of lipstick also has the advantage of taking 1 minute every morning, tops.
  • Accessorise! Detract attention from the fact that you’re wearing the same trouser suit for the evening gala that you had on when ripping the opposition off a strip in the Reistag two days before, by replacing your standard string of pearls with a fancy or whimsical necklace. 
  • Don’t sweat the kilos – isn’t there enough to worry about without pinching an inch and stressing out about your BMI? In best EU style, what you can't streamline, cover up!
  • At the end of the day, when you’ve closed the doors behind you and kicked off your sensible shoes into the corner, let yourself go. Pull on those smelly sweat pants crumpled beneath your dispatch box, shrug on your favourite dressing gown and slump down with a bier and a wurst sandwich in front of the telly. No-one will ever know, I promise.
So there you have it, ladies. You too can be yourself and yet fool the world that you are totally im Kontrolle with a minimum of fuss.

Next step: World domination!

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