Entertainment Style Kirstie Clements: Prue and Trude had their fashion game right all along
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Kirstie Clements: Prue and Trude had their fashion game right all along

Kirstie Clements
Prue and Trude's grey bobs and blue and white striped shirts and linen pants – the cliché has become reality, writes Kirstie Clements. Photo: Twitter
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A dear friend recently bought a house in the country, so I have become her most regular and most pesky house guest. It is in the Southern Highlands of NSW, and as women of certain age we have been contemplating our weekend style.

While we are swapping Prue and Trude jokes incessantly, in reference to grey bobs and blue and white striped shirts and linen pants, we are so close to that cliché the joke is on us.

“We must eschew navy,” I pronounced with great surety, as I dug around in my Longchamp weekender wondering what on earth I had put in there because none of it was right.

A chunky, oversized sweater is a country house essential. Photo: Etsy

It was a bold call to make because I love navy. What is nicer than a chunky oversized navy fisherman’s sweater, a pea coat, a blazer?

“And no big white collarless shirts,” I yelled as my friend walked into the guest room where I was unpacking, wearing a big white collarless shirt – and looking fab, to be honest.

The conundrum of the linen drawstring pant also had to be tackled. “They can’t be three-quarter length, let me just lay down that rule now,” I said as my friend nodded in agreement. “They must reach the ankle.”

I ruled out the very wide ones too (they make you look like a fridge unless you are super tall).

“What colour can they be?” asked my friend timidly. “Not white. Black, for sure. We will think about green or oatmeal, but they must be the right shade. And weight.” That was going to be a challenge, and I knew that when I did find them, they would be some designer label that cost squillions.

Linen is a must, but colour is important. Photo: Country Road

“Can I have a linen shirt?” she asked, while I mulled it over.

“Yes, but we need to think about what colour” I replied as I pulled a fully Nana lavender linen shirt out of my bag and smacked my forehead with regret.

“Your bag isn’t right,” I said, frowning at my friend’s black leather city handbag, which had seen better days. “You need a woven raffia and leather bag, something slouchy and insouciant and a bit French.”

I had become a nightmare; it didn’t take long. I looked at her shoes, black leather loafers. “No, they need to go”. She was still humouring me, bless her. “What should I get?” she asked.

I made a mental list. Espadrilles. Woven leather flat sandals. Birkenstocks, possibly, as they are both comfortable and a bit cool. Some great flat boots that get better with age. A huge comfortable cardigan. A roomy cotton or linen dress. A lovely woven sunhat …

Then I realised, Prue and Trude have had it right along. The entire point of getting to this age is it to potter around in whatever feels cosy and makes you happy. My friend was happy in her shirt and loafers and bag she still loved.

I will, however, make it my mission to find her the perfect linen pants. And navy can most definitely stay.