There’s a ghastly moment in most women’s lives, somewhere between childbearing and menopause, when we realise everything our mother said was true.
And it seems the grooming tips our mums offer us, often without invitation, are just as bob on as their dire predictions regarding biker boyfriends.
A report by cosmetics firm Lancome asserts that half of us consult our mothers on a new look and 30 per cent of us will promptly bin a new outfit should the maternal nostrils flare in disapproval.
Top mum tips include moisturising liberally, and flashing legs or cleavage but not both at the same time. Shaved thighs are a no-no, as are tattoos.
It’s official, I tell my husband, my mother is my new style guru.
‘Does that mean you’re going to wear knee-high pop socks and pastel pink ski pants?’
‘Well it’s been a rather draughty summer.’
‘Will you be dangling a steel-cornered handbag from the crook of your arm?’
‘One never has enough pockets.’
‘And what about the permanent dew drop on the end of her nose?’
‘Isn’t a wet nose the sign of good health?’
Before dashing out for a rinse and perm, I suggest Him Indoors follows suit. He should emulate someone older and timelessly stylish...Paul Weller perhaps?
If he lashes himself up with pinstripe suits and statement sideburns, he’ll get no complaints from me.
That evening I discover my other half bidding for cygnet rings and out-size tank tops, whilst spattering custard stains on to a Harris Tweed cape.
‘You wanted statement sideburns, well John McCririck is my man!
‘Now if I can just gain a few stone and source a deerstalker…’
We signal a truce and don our pyjamas.
‘Do you think Lancome wants us to copy our mums because they are older and therefore more gullible?’
The next morning I’m styled by the younger generation. She puts my knickers on over my jeans and paints my face blue.
At three, my daughter can’t give a monkey’s about wrinkles and cellulite. What better style advice than that?