Cerys Matthews: ‘I wear my driving gloves to go round the corner to the shops’

The singer and presenter talks about feeling adventurous, hiding bad hair days and her favourite ever suit and hat combo

This is the kind of outfit that I feel comfortable in, and comfort is up there for me. I’m not big into dresses and skirts, but I love a good suit. This was taken at the Asian awards a few years ago – I love saris and all the extraordinary silks in traditional clothes, but I think that, for my heritage, a suit and a panama hat suits me just fine. When it comes to clothes, I think it’s important to feel like yourself, more than anything. I have become a little bit attached to hats, but I don’t have that many. I had always been a big fan of Clint Eastwood, the suffragettes and Bob Dylan, and they all seem to have hats on in their best photos, so I just started wearing them, too. I find it cuts corners in terms of not having to worry too much about your hair. You don’t even have to worry too much about your outfit if you have a good hat on.

I’m also wearing my driving gloves; they are ace. I’ve worn them so often I need to replace them. There are so many iconic films where actors wear driving gloves – I put them on just to drive round the corner to the shops and it makes it feel a bit more adventurous and exciting. The pearls were just next to the door, so I put them on, too.

In the 90s, I used to wear clothes just for the ironic fun of it. It was often the most bizarre concoctions I could find. I had a gold cowboy hat and massive flares, with “Tommy” written down one leg and “Hilfiger” down the other, in three different colours, red white and blue. I’d wear it with a tiny silk top. My favourite quote is from Vivienne Westwood: “When in doubt, overdress.”

At the time, the fashion was for understated looks, just one or two colours or cargo trousers, but I just liked to throw it all on: kaftans, turbans, just to have fun with the clothes, rather than wear anything sleek or serious. As a result, I do look back at loads of photos and go: “Oh my God, what in the heavens was I thinking?”

Cerys Matthews is the co-founder of the Good Life Experience, 12-15 September 2019. Her book, Where the Wild Cooks Go is out now


As told to Leah Harper

The GuardianTramp

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