Suddenly, the clothes that I once coveted seem far too young, and even more depressingly, the sizes seem to have got smaller. The last time I went into some of my favourite high-street fashion chains after several years away from the UK, I suddenly felt old and fat - with the fact that I have gone up two dresses sizes since my 40s doing nothing for the ego. And, is it just me or do the sales assistants seem to be getting younger and, even more annoyingly, thinner?
In many of these shops I found it difficult even to find a size to fit, and when I did dare try some thing on, the cut and the fabric did me no favours. Feeling bad enough as it was, having to look at my expanding girth in the mirror, my bad humour was further compounded by the fact that overzealous assistants kept asking “How are you getting on?” I also hate it when they pull back the curtain and reveal my figure flaws in all their glory – with me looking like a stuffed sausage in a size 14, whilst they look fantastic in their size 6. And as for trying to find a “nice” dress with sleeves to cover those bingo wings, well forget it!