So who are you?
I’m Aoife, I’m 26, I’m a quiz master, among other things.
And what does your outfit say about you?
I dress however I bloody want to dress. For years, I was scared of what people thought of me and felt like a chubby weirdo. As I’ve come to terms with myself, my world has gone from black and white to Technicolor. This outfit shows my inner confidence on the outside.
Where did you get the coat?
I found it when I was about 10 in my granny’s house, long after she died. I’m not really sure where it comes from.
How many weed-print items do you own?
Five, at the moment: a skirt, two crop tops and two pairs of leggings. They’re from a brand called Motel Rock. I came across it online and fell in love.
Is your style a talking point?
A guy came up to me recently and said: “I like your ganja-leaf clothes.” Then he looked at me and said: “They are ganja leaves, aren’t they?” I think he thought: “Oh no, I’ve offended this poor woman.” I love it when people are amused by what I’m wearing.
And what it really says, by Miranda Sawyer
Scarlet chinoiserie coat. Crop top and mini covered in ganja leaves. Necklace like a luminous toilet chain. What’s amazing about Aoife is that her clothing is so attention-grabbing, yet what you notice is her face. It shines like the sun, and says, “I am here!”
She is clearly happy. If you saw Aoife in a bar, you’d know you’d have a laugh with her, whether she was serving or buying.
She could be an actor, a nanny, a bus driver or an organiser of off-beam nights that bring outsiders together to dance or knit. I’d be surprised if she worked in fashion. Or the financial sector.
Her clothes are interesting. People who wear marijuana leaves on their tops are usually making a point, but she isn’t a hemp-cat type. Aoife’s leaves say: ‘Life is better without restrictions,” rather than: “Shall we close the curtains and listen to Pink Floyd again?” The Chinese coat could have been bought on her travels, or found in a charity shop, or, indeed, been given to her. She wouldn’t have paid a lot for it, anyway. Not her style.
As she gets older, I think Aoife will discard the madder extremes of her outfits. As someone who dressed like Andy Warhol-meets-Andy Pandy in my younger years, I know that bright colours, strong hair and this-is-my-opinion clothes are a distraction. They’re talking points that ensure you get attention, but not for how you score on a conventional prettiness scale. When Aoife really believes in herself, she won’t need to hide her true light behind an outer wackiness. Her beautiful, luminous, smiling face tells us everything we need to know.