I thought about this a bit more. Last night we had our best friends over for dinner. They have been away so she hadn’t yet seen what I’ve bought for my daughter’s wedding in November. So she was in my wardrobe while I was getting the items out to show her, and I glimpsed us both in the mirror. Now I am 4.5 years older, 5 foot 2 rather than about 5 foot 11, rounder, short grey hair not wavy shoulder- length brown hair. (She was once a model in her early 20s for a short while). And it’s just... no matter what I do I will look “nice” and not tough, to FashIntern’s point. And I think I’m accepting that as OK. I can feel tough on the inside when I wear my stompy cobalt boots!

Jenny, I love that. Self acceptance in any form is never a bad nice, and let them be surprised when your inner edge comes out! They'll never see it coming! I must admit I do enjoy it when "nice" Helena takes someone by surprise with my sharper side!!

I thought of your frenemy as I breezed around edgy, cool, black-wearing Berlin in my bright orange floral top and cobalt dress yesterday! If she sneered at me, I think I would snickered back.

For me, this would be a good way to think about it. Like, if I knew I was going to meet my frenemy, I would wear something that played up my assets: it would show off the arms I'm slowly toning and building, it would highlight my powerful inner strength, and it would be a garment that shows I have good taste in clothing.

If I were going somewhere that meant I might have to bump into an ex, I would wear something that highlights my assets: I am strong, strong enough to survive the domestic violence or the heartache of the breakup (whichever applies); I still have a butt that looks great in pants, and a bust that looks great in a sweater; and I have nice things that I bought without HIS help because I'm independent and don't NEED him; and it would highlight my inner serenity and freedom.

So, for me, that question isn't a negative way of looking at the problem. It's a darn fine way to get me to focus on my assets, my positive qualities.