By Barbieri, Annalisa
New Statesman (1996) , Vol. 135, No. 4820
Some time before Britney Spears chucked whateverhisnamewas and filed for divorce, I guessed she was making a bid for freedom. It wasn't just the weight she'd lost, but also her outfits had changed in recent weeks--they suddenly had cohesion. During her marriage to Mr Britney, she'd excelled in "hurricane chic": stick your hand out and whatever the wind brings to you, you wear.
This is the awful truth of relationships: they don't make you look good. If you get really loved up you just want to get cosy and comfortable together; everything goes unironed and you no longer care what's in fashion. You are equally screwed if love starts going wrong, because you feel so wretched you seek solace in, first, alcohol or intensely refined carbohydrates, and then, elasticated waistbands. There are exceptions, but I never bother with them when I am trying to nail a point home. Hopefully, you eventually wake up and take a long, hard look in life's mirror only to emerge glorious and gorgeous, because, let's face it, you need to. We are driven by our anthropological desires.
Many years ago when I split with my then boyfriend, I rebelled by looking the best I knew how. Despite us having a history that could only be counted in months, I had started to get sartorially comfortable (although I must point out this wasn't why we split up), which is a trend I loathe in myself.
The moment we broke up, I got back into all my most high-maintenance clothes, proper waistbands, buttons and everything. It was a surprise I didn't actually commission a corset. A work colleague told me I looked fantastic. …