finally completed the first two worksheets in this series and have been more than a little surprised at just how difficult I’ve found the process. I’ve also found it nigh on impossible to write a coherent post on the topic.
Having written and deleted several drafts, it dawned on me that actually, I’m overcomplicating the results of my contemplations and there are, in fact, just three main reasons why I haven’t ever defined a style for myself.
The first is that it’s never been a priority. As long as I was reasonably appropriately dressed, what mattered most to me was getting stuff, whether it was working or raising kids, done.
Secondly, I, like most other women, have stupid hangups about the way I look. And the stupid hangups stop me wearing what I want. Which, if you think about it, is really, really, well…stoopid. Because as long as the style is flattering for my shape, I can pretty much make anything I want to (and if I haven’t got the skills yet…hello, tailoring…than I can crack on and learn them).
Thirdly, I’m a big scaredy cat when it comes to dressing outside my comfort zone. I look at certain styles that I’m pretty sure would suit me but just think “nah…I’m to fat/short/tall/old/whatever” and stick to the same old frumpy stuff.
The thing is…when you write it down it all seems a bit lame (and there’s The Husband again, rolling his eyes. Pack it in, Mr!).
So now I’d got the dumb stuff out of the way, the stuff I already knew but wasn’t really admitting myself, it was time to ‘fess up to what I really do want to wear.
A quick peek at my Pinterest boards was really all it took.
My ideal style falls into two categories, really.
Slim trousers/jeans with a tunic top and a slouchy cardigan for cold/wet/dreary days.
Dresses with a fitted bodice, full skirt and a shrunken cardigan for warmer weather. I do wear dresses in winter but absolutely loathe tights/holdups with a passion. They are so damnably uncomfortable.
This is all well and good, but I needed to encapsulate this into 5 words. Not quite so easy. I would say that my ideal style nods to 1940’s/1950’s Italian and French style. Paris in the springtime.
The Amalfi coast in June.
I like to look feminine, and whilst I don’t like frilly/girly clothes, I’m not full on Sophia Loren va-va-voom. I like clean lines and I’m fond of a good print. My clothes need to be washable (I’ve got kids and a dog doncha know) and modest (I’m not flashing the goods to the world at the school gates). I’m always on the go so I need to be comfortable. But not so comfortable that I look like I’ve given up completely. Which, I’ll admit, I sometimes do at the moment (lets add loungewear to the list, shall we).
It’s also important to me that whilst I look pulled together, I’m not wandering around looking like Daphne Guinness (who is simply fabulous, btw).
I totally admire the chutzpah it takes to wear high fashion, but I want to subscribe to the “fashion fades, style is eternal” school of thought, and have a clean and appropriate look that says “hey, I’ve made an effort but I’ll still play Lego on the floor with your kids, and yes, I’d love to go for coffee with you”. I want to be focused on living my life rather than fidgeting and pulling at my clothes because they’re too outré. I also want them to be timeless…the sort of clothes that I can wear day in day out and they’ll stand up to the passage of time. The sort of clothes that I can add to piece by piece until I’m never stuck for something to wear and can pull out a complete and polished outfit at the drop of a hat.
Speaking of hats…I’ll probably need to learn the art of accessorising too, n’est pas?
When you actually start to write it down, the ideas begin to crystallise. If I had to choose 5 words to encapsulate the style I’d like to have they would be, in no particular order:
I think I might be on to something here!