Fake it till you make it
There is a little orange post-it stuck to my screen at work that says ‘Fake it till you make it’. It’s a mantra that my mentor had taught me and it helped me out more times than I care to admit. I faked experience and determination until I got the job; I faked calm with my loved ones until the shaky relationships strengthened. And recently I learnt to fake confidence on a spot in real life.
A few months ago I bought this bag. It caught my eye as I was browsing the shops on my lunch hour. It was a statement bag – big, bold blue, with a splash of snake print on the side and on the outside pocket. The challenge to pull it off was overwhelming and the decision to purchase it was instant. I punched in the pin code as I bought it and I never looked back.
Since our very first outing (and by us, I mean the bag and I) I’ve been getting a steady flow of compliments and comments. All my girlfriends loved it, Mr Chateauneuf noticed it but the biggest surprise was when my boss, Mr Saville Row, commented. Mr Saville Row collects vintage cars, dines in private members only clubs and knows his designers. When he saw my bag, he knew he was looking at something special.
The bag and I quickly became inseparable, and it turned into my wardrobe staple, my pride and joy, and my fashion comfort. I knew as long as I had it I could wear anything I wanted. So I experimented with block colours and prints, heels and flats, smart and casual – it looked and felt great with everything. And as much I hated playing favourites with my shoes and bags, I simply couldn’t help myself. Our love affair was in full swing and I was completely zipped up.
A few weeks ago I went to Alicante for a girlie weekend away with my step sister and for the first time in months I left the bag at home. I had a cab booked for 4.45am which meant my alarm went off at 4am. It was painful but somehow I managed to arrive in Gatwick on time – freshly showered, made up and not a hair out of place. After checking in I parked myself in a coffee shop and ordered tea.
The 4am wake-up call started taking its toll and I was feeling very tired. To wake myself up I went for a walk around the shops. Zara Retail looked welcoming so I popped in. They still had the last scraps of sale on so I picked up a few dresses and went into the changing rooms.
I emerged 10 minutes later and because it was warm in the airport, I never bothered putting my coat back on. I walked around more shops. Eventually we were given the gate and I strolled towards it.
They boarded us and I was comfortably squashed in by the window next to a lovely elderly couple. I loosened the scarf and felt something scratching my neck. Perplexed, I put my fingers into the collar of my dress and to my upper horror felt the label. This meant only one thing – I was wearing my dress backwards.
It would’ve been ok if there weren’t sewn on pockets on the front of my dress, giving a very clear indication which way it was supposed to be worn. I obviously was still sleepy in the changing rooms and when getting dressed, I put the dress on backwards.
The feeling of dread washed over me as I realised that I was walking around Gatwick in that state for good 40 minutes. And I didn’t even have my blue bag with me which made me feel even worse.
I had to go to the toilet to fix my situation. So I had a choice – I could either be mortified and try to sneak out quietly, or I could walk tall and confident, making everybody believe that the pockets were meant to be at the back by design. I chose the latter.
I sashayed down the aisle towards the toilets with a smile playing on my lips. I faked the confidence and the outfit. Nobody suspected a thing.
Just like nobody suspected that my Dior looking blue bag was in fact from the limited M&S collection, bought in the summer sales for less that £30.