You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it. —Edith Head
Personal style is something I have thought about a lot. Something I’ve faked, trialled and cried about. Dramatic? I think not.
We’ve all been there. Looking into the wardrobe with feelings of despair. Clothes looking back at you wondering why you’re such a cow and won’t wear them when you know deep down, you brought them because you’re not quite sure who you are yet and it turns out, you are not her.
In the search for my own personal style I think I’ve spent thousands. Blog posts that tell you what thirty items you must own and why? I brought all thirty. Yes, I’m her.
Every time something was added to my basket I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was buying it for the model in the picture and not for the awkward odd sock wearing wine drinking human that I actually am.
Hours of my life have been spent pinning outfits to my ‘style board’. Recently I took some time look at my Pinterest following some capsule wardrobe research and I found that I had pinned practically all of the same clothes. The same style, colours and feel. Jeans and tees, roll-necks, skirts and anything neutral.
Great, that’s my personal style. If someone asks, I’ll know what to say. I will tell them I’m a beige roll neck.
I am pretty sure Audrey Hepburn wasn’t described as a black dress. Or Jane Birkin as a T-shirt and jeans. So that can’t be it.
Personal style, I have come to realise, runs a lot deeper.
When looking up advice from style icons throughout time I realised that most of their style advice is life advice.
“I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” —Ralph Lauren
And it’s true. Ralph designed the shirt that makes me feel like I have a beautifully placed messy bun on my head. Tousled curls tumbling down around it. That I’ve got long legs coming out of the bottom of said shirt and I’m stood there, as if in a photo shoot for Nespresso. My cup of coffee feels like an extension of my hand and I honestly believe all is right, that I’ve got my shit together and I’m at one with myself.
The reality is my hair has never fallen into buttery coloured curls from the height of my perfectly placed bun. My legs are still the right length for my 4ft 11 frame, and my shit is not together. In fact, it is littered all over my life but none of that matters in this moment. The woman inside me feels six-foot-tall and on top of the world. It was the shirt that helped bring my personality to the surface, my personal style. But it didn’t create it.
I was reading an article in Words of Women that inspired me to write this post and it said the following…
Our styles reflect the lives we want to live. Dressing is a form of manifesting. The person you want to be. The life you want to live. The kind of people you want to attract.
Maybe I sometimes feel un-stylish because that is all I allow myself to be. I don’t think I deserve it. I’ve decided I’m not fashionable, so I dress in ways that make me unhappy. Do I want to be the odd sock wearing woman or do I prefer the way I feel in that white shirt? Neither is wrong – but I think I prefer white shirt Kirstie at least 80% of the time.
Just like positive affirmations perhaps the way we play dress up and look at ourselves in the mirror affects the life we lead. After all, if I feel strong, beautiful and confident I’ll tell myself I do. When I eat cereal out of the box with an unwashed face, I feel like a woman eating cereal out of a box with an unwashed face. She has a place in my life, but I don’t want her to dominate.
Perhaps I am drawn to neutral colours because they are simple, they’re calm, and I wish to live a more simple and calm life. I wish to be closer to nature and the shades remind me of the ocean’s treasures and the sand at St. Ives, my favourite beach.
Maybe I just bloody love neutral and natural tones.
“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude.” —Iris Apfel
As I grow older, I’m starting to realise what really brings me joy and what truly makes me belly laugh. I now notice when I feel sexy and confident in my own skin and when something is no longer serving me.
These thoughts, emotions and feelings radiate from you and would penetrate through any item of clothing that you have on your back. They just help make the dream feel real and bubble your loveliness up to the surface.
If personal style is knowing and accepting yourself for who you are it does not surprise me that it seems to be coming with age. Really, it doesn’t matter about the clothes. When you feel like you, your personal style would shine through even if you were wearing a bin bag.
Please note, I really do love nice clothes.
Lots of love,