I often wonder if I do in fact have a ‘Style’. After all, style isn’t simply defined by fashion is it? It’s the way you come across, the way you carry yourself, how you act, react and behave. Your style also totally gets redefined over the years and changes and develops as we do as people. We never quite have a set ‘image’ as such, to most, it’s what we feel comfortable wearing which then in turn is reflected through our mannerisms and personality.
With a background in Fashion, my style was always depicted by trends. I would trawl through Vogue every month or check out trend forecast websites in order to be inspired. In more recent years as a busy mother barely having time to even shave my legs, my ‘style’ has taken a bit of a back seat. My figure has never been the same since children so feeling confident in trendy clothes has not even been on the agenda. Slouchy, comfort and understated have been on my tick list, with the occasional perk-me-up piece of jewellery maybe.
In the last couple of months I can definitely say my confidence has grown. It’s not about having to lose weight necessarily, which hasn’t been the case for me (although I’d like it to!). For me it’s about loving myself again…and I think that’s where I am right now. My priorities have taken a slight shift and I’ve reignited my love for fashion, but not just that, my love for me, as a woman. When I say priorities, I don’t mean I’m substituting my children’s food for new handbags! What I mean exactly is that I am allowing myself to do the things that make me happy, within my means of course. I’ve discovered how to enjoy clothes again, have fun with my style, be bold with lipsticks and sparkle with accessories!
For as long as I can remember I’ve always seen fashion as individual pieces of art. A top with some detail on the cuff, or a coat with contrasting zip, a textured leather clutch in an unconventional shape, a dress in the boldest and brightest print. It’s not about ‘outfitting’ all the time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty essential, but how boring can that be? When I’m shopping, I like to buy items that appeal to me, garments that scream ‘interest’.
Textures for me are massive. I love mix and matching textures- whether it’s in fashion, or in my home decor. A soft cotton jersey top teamed with a sparkly lurex cardigan… A herringbone cushion cover sitting on a sofa against a faux fur throw with tassels. If you can walk into a shop and change your thoughts from ‘this will go with this’ and ‘I can’t get that because it won’t work with anything I have’ to ‘wow, that’s beautiful and unique and I’m going to have that because I love it’, you’ll find yourself being totally liberated! Fashion designers aren’t spending hours and hours just designing items to go with each other. If you view everything with a different eye, you’ll realise that each item in a shop has a story, has a purpose, stands alone as an interesting piece. It’s those things that can make a real difference. Difference to your style, your confidence, your identity.
It’s for these reasons that I love shopping second hand too; where you can find one-off pieces, be it in charity shops, at markets or car boot sales. Something that may catch your eye, that no one else has, a vintage item that has a bit of history. Marrying up old and new pieces is inventive, creative and totally works!
These last few months, I’ve begun shifting away from my boring ‘comfortable’ wardrobe of mum leggings and oversized tops and the excitement I once had about my style has re-surfaced. I’m ENJOYING playing with styles, being a bit more adventurous once more. Mixing patterns, textures, colours and embracing being me. I love nothing more than throwing a bit of lippy on for the school run, or adding a little mid-heeled shoe to my jeans. In my former retail days I would wear a different pair of shoes every day, a totally different coat or jacket every day and mix up my handbags every couple of days. I felt like a new me every day…
I may not be working in an exciting Buying office anymore, surrounded by trendy twenty-somethings, with disposable income at my fingertips and a heaving wardrobe to be enviable of. But I am more and more aware that my identity has evolved over the years and I’m currently experiencing delight in myself, my being, my style and embracing every moment of it!
By laura xx