Written by Sadie Hasler


Styling It Out

There’s confusion and alarm ahoy in tit city as Sadie Hasler’s quest for personal style continues. There’s also some skiing. And a couple of really lovely lippies.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Packing to go away is quite a good test of a woman’s style. I think the truly stylish woman can pack light, taking a few carefully selected outfits away in a sleek, almost unnoticeable bag, each one being worn for the right occasion – usually to a round of applause as she enters the room. The stylish woman never falls over lugging her too-heavy case around like a dead body, and she never has to unpack; the clothes just fly back into the wardrobe because they want to please her. She is Mary Poppins in Coco Chanel.

The less stylish among us pack too much shit we never wear anyway, end up flinging it in every corner of the hotel room during a pre-dinner paddy in our pants, fretting that ‘nothing is right’. Then we come home loathing the contents so much we take a week to put it all away again, coldly regarding it in the hallway like a fox shit on the path we can’t bear to pick up.

I have just unpacked with such tardiness from a skiing trip to Austria last week. Because I’d never been before, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I took too many clothes because I didn’t know if I would be as freezy as Captain Scott’s toes or if I would be sweating myself out in an early menopause due to kick-arse Tyrolean central heating systems. I packed for both and luckily it just about came under EasyJet’s weight allowance.

I was on a press trip with other journalists, and because I was feeling a bit out of my comfort zone, I found myself dawdling through the airport, staring at stuff. And I’m not sure quite what came over me but I bought a lipstick. A coral one. From Mac. I don’t normally do lipstick. I always think I want to have feisty colourful lips, but once it’s on I always feel like one of those blow-up wife-dolls that housebound men buy online to stick their winky in.

Sadie wearing lipstick

Me in lipstick. Looking like a sex-doll Steve Pemberton in The League of Gentlemen. See?

Anyway. I bought it hurriedly without testing it first, ostensibly because the colour reminded me of Sebastian, the lobster in The Little Mermaid. I texted my wench to tell her of my purchase, and she told me that I had done very well because the coral lipstick from Mac had just been in some magazine or other and was very ‘on trend’, whatever that means. Well. I immediately felt like fucking Princess Grace of Monaco and put it in a zip compartment of my bag and forgot all about it.

Wench giving me the style thumbs-up. I’m nothing without it.

Wench giving me the style thumbs-up. I’m nothing without it.

My sass was soon put on hold for the donning of utility wear for a few days as I found myself dressed in pouffy waterproofs, trudging through snow and fearing for my life. I forgot to get anyone to take a picture of me in action, so here is a picture of me in my lounge wearing it, minus the helmet and the crippling boots.

ski gear

Holding: a silicon spatula (fucking love those bastards) and a daffodil instead of ski poles. Wearing: Chanel sunglasses I found on the floor of the pub once.

Now, I had borrowed this ski gear from a gal pal who had been skiing loads. I thought I would loathe myself in anything which made me feel like a pig stuck in an army tent but turns out I was too busy trying not to die and so barely gave it a second thought.

I made friends with two girls while I was away trying not to die: Sarah Harris, a fab reporter, and Dani Knapp, a bridal blogger. The first night at dinner I wore my new lipstick in the spirit of adventure, the girls remarked upon it, and we had the kind of conversation I would usually leg it to the lavs away from. I don’t fare well in such chat. I have no tips, nothing to add, and an attention span of about 20 seconds regarding beauty products. But when Dani came down the next morning and gave me a siren-red YSL lipstick she thought would suit me, I was so touched. I felt a part of something. It might only have been a lipstick, but the act of one woman giving another woman something she thought would suit her was something that has seldom happened to me, and I liked it. It made me feel warm. Until we went out into the snow.

Four days later I was home, with another couple of gal pals, Amy and Kate. I had been having a bit of a problem with my nipples popping out at awkward moments, told them as much in a throwaway “Tut, bloody nipples” sort of way, and all of a sudden I found myself with Amy’s hands on my tits, and Kate shaking her head slowly at me. Then Amy yanked my top down and told me I was wearing the wrong-sized bra. Kate nodded sagely. They bandied about preposterous approximations of my actual size, scoffed when I told them what size I actually wore, and demanded I go to Debenhams for a fitting.

They frightened me a bit. It’s not every day your mates make you stand still while they half-undress you and prod at your wibbly bits. I’d normally need a couple of gins minimum before I’m happy with that sort of scrutiny and/or contact. But as I looked down at my tits in confusion and alarm, I realised they were right. My whammers were not being fully supported. I looked like one of those prozzers in Hogarth’s London who’s always ready with a naked pap near a lord’s mouth. That’s absurd. I am not a prostitute in the 18th century. I’ve got to get my shit together – and my baps. Why does it take other people to tell you this stuff? Why hadn’t I concluded sooner, on my own, that my nips were popping out because I have not been measured since my early 20s and spend about six minutes a year buying bras, with the lengthiest thought being: “That’ll do, pig”?

I might have accidentally bought an on-trend coral lipstick, but in most other style matters I remain completely befuddled.

I suppose the theme of this week is not so much style, but sisterhood. It’s the thumbs-up from my wench that kept me company at the airport when I was nervous, which made me feel like a sassy woman playing the gadabout in a beautiful scary world. It’s the friend who lent me clothes to keep me warm and protected up a mountain. It’s new friends being thoughtful when they didn’t need to be. And it’s dear chums being inappropriate enough to pull my top down, grab my tits, and tell me that not only was I wrong, but a little bit mad. This is for you. It’s a picture of my tits.

Blue titsOk. Not those tits. These tits.

More blue tits FINE. These ones.

Illustration of dinnerlady tits

Disclaimer: these might or might not be my actual tits. (Illustration by Louise Boulter.)


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Written by Sadie Hasler

Sadie is a playwright, actor, columnist, artistic director of Old Trunk theatre company, and frequently discombobulated multi-tasker.