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Di’s Diary: I’m going shopping at Aldi, I’ll need my Louboutins and Chanel sunnies

Whilst stuck in traffic the other day an elegantly-dressed woman caught my eye. I was mesmerised because it’s such a rare event to see someone stylish when the world is dressed in gravy-stained t-shirts and four days in joggers.

Her hair was scraped back into a chignon, she was wearing a designer tobacco-coloured poncho, cream leather jeans and high-heeled boots. She looked like she was straight off a Paris catwalk. But when she sashayed into Aldi’s car park, I laughed so hard I almost rammed the car in front.

I thought about her when a friend told me that she was so excited to be going on a socially-distanced walk with her bestie that she’d worn make-up for the occasion. ‘You didn’t’, I screeched.

And I don’t know why I said that because my friend and I do just the same when we go on our walks. It’s rained, hailed, snowed, we’ve fallen into knee deep mud and squatted in bushes, but we’ve looked damn good while we’ve done it. In fact, we look better on our walks than we’ve ever looked going for a night on the tiles.

She’s sported at least three different brands of fake tan this year, her nails are immaculate, her hair’s been hennad, streaked, brown, glossy black and her wardrobe of stylish but practical walking clothes has expanded considerably. Likewise, I always wash my hair before a walk, even though I’m wearing a beanie and it’s usually raining, I have a nice warm, sunny glow to my face, courtesy of Clarins, I’ve even been known to shave my legs and armpits.

As we rarely see people on these walks, apart from at weekends, we’ve wondered who we’re trying to impress. And the answer is ourselves.

Leaving the house, whether it’s to buy groceries from Aldi, or wade through muddy fields, has become an occasion. Likewise, when I go to visit my mum, I dress up. Pre-lockdown, she was lucky if I’d even brushed my hair.

As women, lockdown has taught us to take a good long look at ourselves, what do we like, what do we dislike, what can we improve.

For a lot of us, putting on a bit of lippie, getting dressed up and wearing heels makes us feel womanly and I don’t think we should feel ashamed to admit that

Many women started off positive with “dress up Friday” putting on their best togs and posting on Insta, but even that’s died a death.

I don’t know about other females, but constantly wearing leggings, t-shirts and no make-up makes me feel unfeminine. In fact, it gets me down after a while and no-one needs more anxiety in lockdown. For a lot of us, putting on a bit of lippie, getting dressed up and wearing heels makes us feel womanly and I don’t think we should feel ashamed to admit that.

So, all I can conclude is that when lockdown is over we’ll be turning up to pubs looking like red carpet filmstars on Oscars night. Eyelashes, nails, hair extensions, spray tan, designer ballgowns and sky-high heels for a few bevvies at the local craft beer bar.

But in the meantime, the supermarket is as good an excuse as any.

Main pic: @freestocks

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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