Off the peg: tackling the mother of all dilemmas

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It is never easy giving style advice to someone you love. Particularly when you do it for a living.

And when that someone is your mother it’s a minefield.

Dressing models and answering fashion questions for people you barely know is a breeze because there is no emotional connection. And they don’t argue with your choices because they know you are doing your job.

With your mother it’s very hard separating the parental privilege that they are always right.

But when the woman who brought you up to be an honest individual asks, “how do I look?”, you have one of two choices. Lie to spare her feelings or rescue her from her fashion faux pas.

A degree of discretion must be aired, after all she has been dressing herself longer than you’ve lived. But when she turns up to your flat wielding a taffeta catastrophe and claiming she’s wearing it to your wedding, this is worth going to war for.

One hour later I was doing a sweep of a department store to get her out of the dowdy – and it was a battle I won.

A few days later, I got a phone call from my mother boosting about how much her friends love her new frock. That’s the closest I got to a thank you.