‘Personal Style – What is it and where do I find it?’ Is a question that has always puzzled me. I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the concept of ‘personal style’. Sometimes I don’t give a toss. Sometimes I want to have that all elusive ‘signature style’. Whatever that is!
My Personal Style…
Currently, I think it would be fair to say that ‘style wise’ I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall, and I think it’s because I’ve fallen out of love with shopping and what’s on the high street at the moment. None of it ‘appeals’ to me. I’m just not keen…
I also don’t know where to start. Because if the truth be told for most of the last 20 or so years my clothes have been purely functional. The only time I have properly ‘shopped’ have been for big events of occasions and that generally means ‘posh frock’.
So how did this happen?
One word for you… Life!
It’s not like I have no interest. I love clothes, shoes, make up… I’m a bit of a chameleon and I love changing my appearance. But mostly I just change my hair, and my make-up. Clothes and shoes haven’t had the same attention for some time, because I’m stuck in the habit of functionality, and I keep telling myself to wait until I lose weight… Sound familiar?!
The Mum Wardrobe
I first started dressing for functionality when I was 18 and I had my first child. I have a picture of me holding him, when he was brand new. I’m wearing my 14 year old brothers Nike sweatshirt, leggings and trainers. I look about 12! Literally, nobody took me seriously. So I had to make some changes, in how I presented myself if I wasn’t going to be disregarded as ‘another teen mum’.
I wanted people to take me seriously, I didn’t want to be disregarded as another ‘teen mum’. So I felt like I couldn’t wear anything another teenager would wear. So throughout my late teens and very early twenties I had, what I thought at the time was a ‘grown up mum’ wardrobe. I wore a slightly more casual version, of the formal officewear I wore to work. Shirts, smart jeans, heeled boots.
Finding my feet…
By the time I got to my mid twenties I was starting to find my feet when it came to my sense of style. I didn’t care anymore about what people thought of me and I didn’t want to be ‘old’ before my time! I had some lovely older ‘Mum’ friends that I had made at university who showed me that actually age doesn’t matter really when it comes to parenting or your fashion choices. As I became more confident as a Mum I started to wear what I liked which was mainly hoodies, jeans and trainers, but there was also a lot of black, leopard print and funky hair colours. I totally felt like myself.
The Teacher Wardrobe
Alas! It was not to last. When I was 28 I became a teacher, and once again I had to change the way I dressed. Leopard print and bright hair doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to control a class of teenagers!
So now I had a teacher uniform!! I used to buy my work clothes and shoes every summer holiday, checking that they would be suitable for stretching, leaning over etc and that they would see it through until the end of the year!
I really resented buying clothes I would never wear in a million years if it wasn’t for my job! I hated the formality of it and the feeling of having to conform…
Now I was so busy working, and raising my family that there was little time for anything else, so I didn’t need any other ‘look’
Where I am now…
For the last three years I have been working from home. I have to say that I am seriously rocking the ‘sloth’ look! ‘Leisure wear’, ‘Dog Walking Clothes’, basically anything comfy are my go to wardrobe staples. There’s also the fact that I have some weight to lose. Basically my wardrobe is dark and stretchy. The key concern is; does it fit? It really is a grim state of affairs!
In all honesty, the greatest challenge I face at the moment is getting out of my pyjamas! Seriously, working from home makes it so easy not to bother! Which is a shame because I love nice clothes and make-up!
My Changing Style from 18 to Today
So, where do I go from here?
Firstly, it would appear that clothes wise, I have forgotten the joy of trying new things and finding looks that I enjoy, rather than clothing that is purely functional.
My favourite time clothes wise was my mid twenties. For me, it was always about change and mixing it up. It’s not just that I’m easily bored! I always found that a change in style or appearance incredibly uplifting. In that moment, as I embraced something new, it would always makes me feel better about whatever seemed to be going wrong in my life at the time! It’s as if the changes I was making at that point cast out, whatever it was that was going wrong.
So maybe that’s my starting point.
A change. Starting to look for clothes that I love and trying some new things that will help me to get out of my functionality rut. Because in a perfect world clothing should be functional, beautiful and make me feel good! That’s not too much to ask surely?!
I also need to clear my wardrobe of anything that doesn’t make me feel good, or is quite frankly ugly…
I think what I’m looking for is comfy but funky!!!!
Although I think Jessica @Warning: Curves Ahead absolutely nails, what 30 something style should be about, in this post here. Wear what you want ladies!
Watch this space, I think part of surviving my empty nest has to be rediscovering my love of clothes!