Yesterday I bought a smock. Okay, so it's not really a smock - it's a white, pretty, broderie-anglaise encrusted loose toppy-kind-of-thing with flappy wide birdie-like sleeves - which, indeed, very well may be the correct definition of 'smock'. Clearly I am not a fashion writer (and after this post is published, clearly never will be).
I didn't consider the toppy-kind-of-thing to be a 'smock' when I bought it. I had strayed into a shop whilst gulping down some caffeine after doing a top-up supermarket shop (using 'top-up' in the sense of filled up to the top of my enormous trolley) and saw this top waving to me in the corner.
"Kerri!" it called. "It is I! Your new toppy-kind-of-thing! I will complete your wardrobe! I will complete you!"
I heeded its call. I tossed my cup into the bin and headed straight for the garment. It hummed as I picked it up and carried it to the change room.
"You know those black pants?" the toppy sung to me.
"Yeah," I said, pulling off my dress. "What about them?"
"I will go perfectly with them." I looked in the mirror and nodded. Yes, I thought. Yes, you will.
"And jeans, Kerri," the toppy continued with authority. "I am made for jeans. With my white crispy freshness and my delicate broderie hem, I will contrast and draw attention to your statement heeled shoes."
"But I don't really have statement heeled shoes," I told the toppy.
"Meh!" the toppy said, flicking its sleeve. "You will get some, Kerri!" I shrugged. The toppy was in a shop. It was an Expert. It knew what it was talking about. Who was I to question it?
I turned back and forth before the mirror. How did I look?
"You look fabulous," said the toppy. "Look at yourself! I hide your three-baby-midriff and give you that lovely, clean, just-soaked-in-Nappi San confidence! Plus I hide that naughty tattoo on your shoulder, which is always advisable for Parent Teacher evenings and meetings with your bank manager."
I was convinced. "I'll take you!" I said.
"Yay!" said the toppy. We trotted to the counter and I paid.
Later that evening, I tried on toppy at home. And I wasn't sure. It looked shapeless. Prissy. Flappy. Fussy. Just... not the same as it looked in the shop.
My husband walked in the room and raised his eyebrows. "Why are you wearing a smock?" he asked.
"I don't know," I said. I looked to the toppy for answers. "Why am I wearing you?" I asked. "Tell me what you said in the shop."
I waited, and I turned, and I twisted, and I waited.
But from that moment on, toppy never spoke a word.