A Cup Of Coco

19 Aug
coco chanel

Image by hto2008 via Flickr

I have no fashion sense, no style, no elegance.  Having no elegance, I had to opt for funny.  It is impossible to be funny and elegant.

I have nothing in common with Coco Chanel.  I have never been independent, or set up a business, or associated with disreputable types.  I don’t like her perfume: I think No.5 smells like cheap market stall concoctions (I’ve known a few), and it smells even worse on me.  It is as if my body is anti-style: quite apart from expensive perfume being allergic to me, I am too short for clothes to look good; my feet are too big for my height; my chest is neither one thing nor the other.  It’s why I never really fought the fat; there didn’t seem much point.

I will never pay obscene prices for clothes and handbags and perfume and accessories and jewellery and a room to store them all in.  The only connection I will ever have with Miss Chanel is this post.  I thought, if Radio 4 can do it, why can’t I?

Today is Coco’s 128th birthday.  She died in 1971 so she probably won’t be at the party.  Justine Picardie has written a new biography of Chanel and the Today programme invited her to appear, along with a previous biographer who claimed Chanel was more Nazi than she let on.  His rage at Picardie’s claims (she wasn’t more Nazi than she let on) made him appear venomous and unrestrained; quite the contrast to Picardie’s cool rebuttal.  She was so cool and rebutting, I could see why Chanel might be an attractive choice of subject.

I am never cool and hardly ever rebut.  Just this week, I had a slight issue (so slight, it could have been me at British size 6; I was once, you know.  Sigh.) with one of Nancy’s excellent posts.  I made my point in the comments; she countered; I thought, fair point, and didn’t reply because I had no comeback and don’t stick to an argument for the sake of it.

I suspect Coco did.  Consider some of her famous quotes:

  • A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.  Ah well.  I’m not even a girl these days.
  • Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.  By that reasoning, I am an abandoned bunker.
  • I don’t know why women want any of the things men have when one the things that women have is men.  Ouch!
  • It is always better to be slightly underdressed.  Tell that to the Inuit.
  • ‘Where should one use perfume?’ a young woman asked. ‘Wherever one wants to be kissed,’ I said.  She really didn’t like men, did she?  How horrible she must have tasted.
  • Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. Life shapes the face you have at thirty. But at fifty you get the face you deserve.  Can’t believe I did anything bad enough to deserve this face.

I can’t write about Coco Chanel without mentioning that famous Monroe quote: asked what she wore in bed, Marilyn replied, ‘Chanel No. 5.’  Now that’s style.

You won’t be surprised to learn that I wear fleecy pyjamas and most of the duvet.  I may not have style, but I’m always warm.


30 Responses to “A Cup Of Coco”

  1. vivienne Blake August 19, 2011 at 10:34 #

    Oh, but you do have style – in abundance, and a far more admirable style than mere frou frou. I know it’s fun to exaggerate, but will you take a good look at your gorgeous gravatar photograph. Or that one of you in SA in the skinny white trousers. Or at all of your funny, stylish posts. I rest my case.


  2. sarsm August 19, 2011 at 10:52 #

    To be honest I think she looks stern. And I don’t find stern attractive.


  3. theonlycin August 19, 2011 at 11:00 #

    I really think this is your best post ever and am putting a link to it on my FB status. But I must say I adore Coco and am probably her biggest fan. No 5 is my signature perfume. *stands upwind from Tilly and blows a kiss*


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 09:01 #

      Thanks Cindy! It must have worked because my numbers are up today, despite the smell. 🙂

      Seriously, I think some perfumes smell like cat pee on me, and No.5 is one of them. I think chemicals must react for some people and against others. Glad 5 is for you 🙂


  4. eof737 August 19, 2011 at 11:04 #

    You have enormous wit… and that should count for something. As for all the jabs you gave yourself in this post, I’d say stop and take another look Tilly. You have hair on your head, eyes and teeth, a great smile, good health and determination. Enviable! 🙂


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 09:03 #

      I’m grateful for what I’ve got, honestly; just like I’m grateful for our clapped-out car and my comfy but scruffy slippers. It’s possible to appreciate what you have even if it doesn’t look good 🙂


  5. Pseu August 19, 2011 at 11:22 #

    No 5 gives me headache….


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 09:06 #

      And steals your indefinite articles, I see 🙂


  6. Pseu August 19, 2011 at 11:23 #

    You have more style than most: a very amoozing style. And I’d rather laugh and have fun any day of the week.


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 09:07 #

      You’re in danger of being banned, miss 🙂


  7. barb19 August 19, 2011 at 12:07 #

    Tilly, you have more style than most, and you are witty with it. It takes a special person to make another smile – and you have it girl! They can keep all the fancy clothes and expensive perfume – give me down to earth, plain talking, genuine people any day.


  8. misswhiplash August 19, 2011 at 12:48 #

    very good Tilly B..I have no style either and I would rather have Blue Grass than Chanel 5

    The last picture…is that you ready for bed?


  9. earlybird August 19, 2011 at 12:53 #

    This was a really funny post, Tilly. Although you made just a few too many jabs at yourself. You do have style. Just not Coco’s sort. Or maybe Marylin’s either…


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 09:10 #

      Don’t worry; I don’t mean the jabs…I know I’m gorgeous 🙂


  10. the island traveler August 19, 2011 at 13:37 #

    Between a person with style and that with warmth. I’ll choose warmth. A person that is warm in heart , generous and kind is no match to any stylish icon. Beauty they say is skin deep, what matters is how good that person is to those around her. And you do have style, in many ways you may not notice but those who read your post, your family and friends knows that you do. And everyone knows that PJ’s and fleece on cold weather is much preferred than a spray of channel no. 5 . Actually I would rather smell a freshly brewed coffee or hot cocoa with that. Cool post.


  11. SammyDee August 19, 2011 at 15:43 #

    Brilliant post Tilly. I love your answers to the famous quotes.


  12. belleofthecarnival August 19, 2011 at 16:16 #

    As much as I love Coco she would be sadly disappointed in me! I fail on all of her points. And if you ever saw me dressed outdoors for winter…Well! I think you just did!


  13. nrhatch August 19, 2011 at 16:19 #

    You have great fashion sense . . . the sense to stay away from fashion! 😀


  14. kateshrewsday August 19, 2011 at 20:13 #

    I’ve already read this evening’s post, so I am not going to say a single nice thing. (My first draft of this comment read: I have already read this evening’s post, so Sod Off, but I felt that was a bit de trop)

    However I will add to the Chanel No 5 debate by saying it smells like old ladies to me, and I’m a number 19 girl. Does that make me common?


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 09:16 #

      Never! You are too fascinating to be common. Smelly, maybe…


  15. bluebee August 20, 2011 at 09:23 #

    You make me laugh beyond normal, Tilly Bud


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 09:35 #

      A scary but acceptable compliment, thank you 🙂


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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