Catalogue me

This weekend I received a clothing catalogue in the post from the House of Bruar.

It is amazing how this stuff like this winds up on my doormat. However, I guess I’m not alone. It can’t be  just me that has been singled out . BUT what genius, having mysteriously acquired my address and no doubt all kinds of other information based on my age and assumed social demographic, thinks I need to be clothed in at cashmere coat which costs £325 in the sale?  Was I selected as part of a careful marketing approach? Did someone at sometime ask me if I owned my own home and what newspapers I buy and deduce that I’d be  just the House of Bruar type? Or do these things just get sent randomly? A scatter-gun approach in the hope that if you post enough volume you’ll find a single customer from the 200,000 or so of addresses mailed.

But honestly? If they only knew how unlikely it would be that I’ll be dressing in an ‘exclusive range of fabrics inspired by the beautiful Scottish highlands’ when I live in Cornwall where we love Seasalt clothes inspired by ….well I’ll leave you to guess that one.

This lovely ‘House of Bruar’ tartan, double-breasted, military inspired jacket might be appealing to a rich but dim Texan heiress type married to an ageing whiskey distillery owner and trying to dress for weekend shooting parties where Scottish ‘lairds’ go out to bag themselves a stag or two…

It does nothing for me.

On the other side of the catalogue spectrum, I also regularly receive something called Joe Brown’s. It pegs me as a late teen or twenty-something – ‘fuelled by passion’.  Perhaps, if I’d given birth to a daughter (when I was still in my twenties rather than hanging onto my thirties and then having 3 sons) this would be the stuff that she (and I) would wear? I might even be fighting her for the clothes in it in a bid to look as ‘with it’ as my late teen daughter.

I’m left thinking, where do I fit? what kind of catalogue woman am I? Thankfully, I’ve not yet stated to receive the stuff where everything is in pastel shades and have elasticated waists so there is still hope. And I’ve finally passed through my Boden phase and come out completely de-Bodened on the other side. Johnnie  has cleverly pegged his clothes at women whose main leisure activity (shopping for clothes) has just been curtailed by having children – the wilderness years. It’s true, in my sleep deprived, milk stained life I really wanted this man to tell me how I could dress to be feminine, bright and beautiful again without having to get off my arse and drag myself (with toddlers) off to the shops.  I wore  Boden for so long and so much of it that  my husband would  sing to me: “I’m a Boden girl, in a Boden world…” To the tune: “I’m a Barbie girl…”

The Boden lovers’ reviews sum it up with: “Perfect to hide my mummy-belly and my muffin top, thank you Johnnie!”

Us girls do have a tendency to dress in a similar style to our friendship groups. I confess to discussing clothes in every other breath during my teens – but if I had to sit through and hear myself now I’d have bored my own tits off  with the tedious and endless:

“Does it make my bum look BIG?”

And the lies. “No, you look really gorgeous…”

I’ve learnt to draw more subtle clues to see what my pals are wearing and how I will follow suit.

“Nice skirt, Boden?”

That is until we all look the same or have to check if so-and-so if thinking of buying the blue skirt with all the fishes or not before the credit card comes out.

“No, it’s White Stuff, actually.”

And I’m wondering, is White Stuff the right stuff for women of my age and thickening waistline? I think we all being drawn this way as with WS we can kid ourselves that we still look OK. It’s kinda pretty, a relaxed fit and therefore kind to any middle-age female who is still clinging onto to the vain hope that men will still think we look passably young enough to be interesting…

Incidentally my husband is a Screwfix man. However, if I’m to make fun of him about this then I’m Toast!

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11 thoughts on “Catalogue me

  1. hahahahaha I always wonder too where these companies get my information and where does it not tell them in all of my information I am the type of person who can afford or buy their type of clothes. I love ordering and getting my lovely Next directory through the post and perusing over a cup of tea whilst the children at school/pre-school. Fabulous clothes at great prices and they last…. what more can a mum ask for 😀 I have also in the past ordered from Vertbaudet and yes I like their bits but it is on the pricey line and I have learnt to buy the next size up as it either doesn’t fit to begin with OR it shrinks!!!!! TBH whatever comes through the post usually gets chucked in the bin and yet another tree felled for nothing.

  2. There isn’t a catalogue for the place I do my shopping – local charity shops on high street. Don’t knock it though, Big is wearing Morgan jeans we got in the local RSPCA shop, brand new!

    • But do you still receive catalogues of stuff that for your personality / lifestyle / age etc. seem way off the mark?
      I now have a regular exercise routine as a result and it gets more arduous in the run up to Christmas: ‘Bend’ (to pick up of the doormat), ‘Flick’ (a quick look to satisfy my curiosity), ‘Toss’ (straight into the paper recycling bag) and ‘Heave under the strain’ (carrying bags of useless paper catalogues out to the recycling collection point).

  3. Hmmm,House of Bruar. Not a clue how they ‘target’ thier customers. A delightful but very delicate lady of 80+ whom I care for received one one of thier catalogues too. As she is definately not online & rarely leaves the house we are clueless as to it’s arrival !
    Been there,done the Boden thing,& still love Seasalt. Joe Browns is cute,but sadly I’m not, & I too have a Screwfix hubby. Or rather I have a would be Screwfix hubby,but since I’ve seen the mess he can achieve with power tools I confiscate thier postal offerings before he can even begin to drool over thier lovely shiny things ! Hey,at the end of the day all those lovely catalogues go the same way,kiddy cut up & sticking !

  4. I am a Bravissimo girl through and through. It is about the only place where I know I can buy a dress where the top half will fit and the bottom half won’t be a tent.

    On a slight side note, I get loads of take away menus shoved through my door. Twice now we have called a new place only to be told they won’t deliver to us. Direct marketing at its best!

  5. They use to do just bras but they have broadened their range and add more and more clothes every catalogue. Not a massive selection. But I like them because they are very plain, basics that you need, and you don’t have to worry about then having such a clearly identifiable pattern that if someone else is wearing the same top it is immediately obvious (boden!).

    I should be on commission.

    • The trouble is, once you pass 40 (as I have) you start to become invisible.
      Could plain, unidentifiable make me disappear further…?
      I’m creeping slowly towards an age where I’m likely to wear a large red hat in my dotage. A reputation as ‘mad old lady’ wearing some lovely Bravissimo undies brazenly on the outside of my basics or bizarre Bodenesque clothes in clashing colours may be just the ticket when I reach 80.

  6. I have also had the Joe browns catalogue but haven’t a clue why?! Maybe if I was a young surfer then it would be fine but sadly I’m not 😦 I never buy from catalogues now cause nothing ever looks as good on me as it does on the skinny young models. I’m afraid to say I love Shopping in TK Maxx as I rarely see anyone in the same clothes as me and they have plenty of my mommy uniform of jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts for the kids to wipe allsorts on

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