If I want to write about something for this column, I have to wear it in the accompanying picture. This constrains, inevitably, the gene pool of topics. It’s not that I don’t have any thoughts on swimwear, for instance, it’s just that – well, you get the picture. Or rather, you don’t.
It also means that if I want to talk the talk, I have to walk the walk. Quite literally, across a studio, in front of a shoot team whose facial expressions I have come to analyse the way a poker player learns the tics and tells of the other players in a regular Friday night game. It is instructive, and humbling, and a reminder time and time again that you never know what will work until you actually try it on.
Over this long, hot summer I spotted woman after woman looking cool and composed in floaty white dresses, and I started to think that I should be wearing floaty white dresses, and by extension that you should, too. In a floaty white dress I am on a shady veranda, drinking an iced tea, which is an appealing place to be. That there is an underbelly to this image – from the Preaker women in Amy Adams’s drama Sharp Objects, to Picnic At Hanging Rock – only makes it all the more atmospheric. So I bought an off-white cheesecloth maxi skirt and wore it with a white cotton tank and felt as if I had walked the walk enough to write a column about the look.