Togs by cartoonist Maeve O’Keeffe

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What do you do when others are wearing the exact same togs?

What do you do when you see another wearing the same togs or favourite outfit? Have you similar memories or funny stories to share? Post to my blog or email 

One of the best things about going on holiday is the anticipation and planning beforehand.  You list things to bring – T-shirts, towels and dig out summer gear that hasn’t seen the light of day for give or take 10 months.  So what if the same pedal pushers worn in Lanzarote last year appear yet again in the 2014 family photos?

But will the old togs still fit?   The boys’ sandals are too small, although Junior might make do with bigger brother’s outgrown pair.  Swimsuits usually take a battering, what with sand, sunscreen stains and material tugged out of shape from wear and tear, while pool chlorine can play havoc in the intervening winter months.  As last year’s suit was irrevocably stretched, I’d treat myself to a new one.

Forget bikinis – three kids and stretch marks have long put paid to that.  Thank heaven for tummy control swimwear.  Its enhanced power mesh, if the advertising blurb be true, would haul in flabby overhang.  I tried one, it fitted.  I splurged and bought two.  In another store I spotted a patterned kaftan to match my purchases.  And also camouflage the protruding tum, should the power mesh fail to enhance.

On arrival, we wandered around the hotel.  Descending the stairs, what did I spy but my monochrome kaftan sported by another holidaymaker?  I’d better stick with the old one in case I’d end up lying beside her on a sun lounger.

Next morning I donned my tummy-sucker togs and followed the kids down to the pool.  Blast!  There was an identical costume being paraded around the pool’s perimeter.  Same colour and better stomach control!  I busied myself slathering on sunscreen and took refuge behind a book.  At least I had another new pair to wear.  Or so I thought.

Later I looked up to see a blonde strut by in exactly the same floral swimsuit I’d purchased.  Damn!  Now I couldn’t wear that either!  She spotted my togs.  She knew, I knew and the other lady probably copped that we’d all shopped in the same chain store.  I was dying to ask them but neither caught my eye again.   Despite the clash, I proudly sported my tummy-tuck togs.  I possibly fell in the fashion stakes in my out-dated kaleidoscopic kaftan, topped off with a ‘rebel county’ CORK peaked hat.

Even if I looked a sight, I was fascinated by the array of tattoos on my neighbouring sunbathers.  One ample lady had ‘Alice’ inked in gothic text across her back just above her bikini bottom.  Who’s Alice?  And then there was the man with his kids’ school portraits and names tattooed below each shoulder blade – Paul and Jane.  Or was that Janet?  Hard to tell with the folds of flesh.

So how can I avoid these fashion faux pas?  Buy now in hope I’ll squeeze into the newly purchased one-piece in 12 months time?  For this year’s unworn togs might eventually be unique!

Maeve O’Keeffe, the Frazzled Mammy!   ©Maeve O’Keeffe 2014

Maeve O’Keeffe is a Cartoonist, Illustrator and Journalist in Cork, Ireland 

Contact by  e-mail or tweet @frazzled_mammy