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The Week of Living Vogue-ically

Published on 14/10/16

As part of my theological study, I read A. J. Jacobs’ magisterial work ‘The Year of Living Biblically’, in which he takes every biblical commandment literally and abides by them. For one whole year. Inspirational stuff, we can all agree, notably his righteous stoning of an adulterer, and ability to find a seat in New York City that had not been patronised by a menstruating woman.
In the same self-sacrificial vein, I will, for five whole days, be leaving my outfit choice to the wisdom of the Vogue Fashion Fortune Cookie. The problem with the Fortune Cookie is that its advice is, well, a bit weird. As you will see. With this in mind I decide that I can be creative with my interpretations of its commandments, where Jacobs was not, and that I may have a get-out clause of one use of the ‘Not keen? Try again’ button- a most sagacious


‘She who will not economise will have to agonise. The outfit you seek can be found on the high street’.

A most distressing statement. Has Storm Imogen blown my clothes out of my window, to a muddy puddle on the high street? Furthermore, to access the Delphic Oracle that is the Cookie, you have to type in your name: they have no excuse for thinking I’m Blue Ivy, with wardrobes of custom-made couture wavey garms. The Cookie helps... not at all. I wear dungarees, Stan Smiths and a white t-shirt. The ensemble is favourably received, and I enjoy wearing it. Paired with my green bobble hat and black puffy winter coat, I resemble a ski-instructor apres-ski, a look I’ve been attempting since toddlerhood. But I have worn it before and will again: the Cookie has changed nothing. 8/10



I console myself that I have my Grade 8 Speech and Drama exam in the afternoon, so even if the outfit I get is heinous, I will have to change into head to toe black after lunch.

‘Not everything in life has to be black and white, but a monochrome outfit always works’.

How portentous. I wear the requisite top-to-toe black. My face, however, is white as a sheet from fear, despite copious bronzer. The outfit meets mixed reception. I feel quite fierce, Mother says I look ‘quite grown up’, and someone notes I have become ‘a badass’. Would re-wear. I haven’t been bold enough to do head-to-toe black since the November 2014 day people kept asking me in hushed tones if I was going to a funeral, which grated somewhat. I frequently wear shoulder-to-ankle navy, but black carries undertones of existentialism that may aid my Philosophy A2. Crucially, in my exam I move with ease, unlike the time I tried rehearsing in a long skirt, tripped over it and ripped it. 8/10



‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it! If you haven’t, fake it! We’re talking designer labels, not plastic surgery’.

Sighing, I return my new rhinoplasty and chin augmentation to the wardrobe, to be debuted some other time. Why is the Cookie fixated on the idea that my wardrobe is brimming with designer swag? My mum’s not called Kim and my dad only refers to himself as ‘Yeezus’ after too much port. Is the Cookie scarred by the disgraceful high street outfit I wore on Monday? I decide to wear Zara, since it basically rips off the catwalk. As I usually do. I’m not filled with the joys of the Cookie, and for once this is not due to my gluten allergy. I pair a very Chanel pre-Fall 2011 Paris-Byzance jacket with jeans, a black t-shirt, and black boots. The look gets many compliments; and someone tells me they have ‘been looking at the jacket all day’. I have been meaning to unearth it for a while- the Cookie wasn’t the impetus for wearing it today. 7/10



‘Aristotle said, “A friend to all is a friend to none.” Leave the easy trends to everyone else and dress uniquely today’.

Why is Aristotle concerning himself with my look du jour? How the mighty have fallen! It’s like finding Jimmy Fallon turning on the Leicester Christmas lights, not even for charity. Maybe I should take myself more seriously, my wardrobe being the stuff of philosophy. Sadly, it corresponds more closely to Plato’s Forms: the outfit I have in my head outstrips the outfit in real life. On to Thursday’s outfit. My mother forbade me from wearing my pyjamas to school again after what happened last time, which rules them out. I decide to be unique by wearing my beloved tweed trews, with my belt all loopy, and purple shoes. Again, an outfit that gets rather frequent airing; nonetheless I rate it at 8/10



‘What’s the one trend you’d never try? Do so today’.

Yeah but no. I’d never try as I abhor it. The skirt-or-dress-over-trouser. Amazing as a shalwar kameez, disgusting as a skirt/dress over trousers. I would also never wear a crop top, therefore I don’t own one to deploy- this Cookie, for all its Aristotle, really doesn’t think things through. ‘Not keen? Try again’.

‘Spice up your life and dress like it’s 1999. A statement choker is a must.’

In 1999, comfort was my watchword, and key to my look were thick, stripy, multicoloured tights; patent red leather shoes with red leather flowers on them; and a denim miniskirt. My 1999 togs are a little tight now, what with it having just been Christmas and me being a full seventeen years older than I was then. On the other hand, this is preferable to a crop top over a skirt over jeans. I interpret ‘statement choker’ as ‘top with nice neckline’, pairing a pearly peter pan collar top with my new culottes, that I was planning to wear anyway. I loves my culottes, me, but their purchase wasn’t precipitated by the Cookie, which again has just said random words. I love the outfit though. 10/10


My findings

Perhaps I should have followed the Cookie’s advice more slavishly to get the full benefit: I ultimately found the advice changed nothing. It had no impact on how I dress, other than the ‘all black errythang’ Tuesday- but I had to wear that anyway. As a timesaving device it is similarly lacklustre; I spent ages trying to crack the da Vinci code that was the Cookie’s daily riddle. 2/10, as it taught me an Aristotle quote to deploy when a bad mood next strikes and I’m foul to all. Other than that, avoid, avoid, avoid.


Julia Davies