Woah, that’s a bold title! I actually oscillated over a few different blog titles for a while, because my intention was to evoke some sort of emotion when you read it. I have been thinking a lot lately about personal style and what that actually means to say that you have found your own personal style. I often find myself saying to people that it’s important to know who you are and dress for yourself. But when we finally discover that elusive ‘style’ (or pretend to), is it because we just get comfortable and lazy? And if you haven’t caught on by now…I kind of use style as a sort of metaphor for life in general! But I also really love fashion and styling too! Let’s just say, it’s a bit of both. 🙂
I have gone through many different style phases throughout my life, and a few stand out in particular. I remember quite fondly when I was 9 years old being heavily into the Spice Girls (I think every girl that age was). And I would dress up as my favourite Spice Girl (Posh) and dance into a video camera, recording what can only be a terrible rendition of ‘Wannabe!’ I had this fabulous little leopard print skirt and jacket combo, that I’d wear with black opaque stockings and black boots. Not much has changed…. I’d wear that again! And I still wear similar outfits, and dance around the house dancing to pop music and dream of being on a video clip! If only I kept up my singing lessons…
But then growing up happened. I got heavily influenced by trends, magazines, friends and hobbies. I circled in and out of being really experimental with my styling choices to being quite conservative. I mean, I have rocked a crop top on more than one occasion. That would be the influence of the dance culture I was apart of and Britney Spears! It was normal as a dancer to wear midriff baring tops with really low jeans. When I look back, I admire myself for having such confidence. As I got older I became more refined, which I originally thought was a really good thing. But I started to wonder…am I just being complacent?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I will be rocking crop tops and low cut jeans anytime soon…but I’d like to stay open to it. And this shift in mindset has worked wonders in terms of my outlook on life.
I am in a place where I feel good about experimenting again. I have a wardrobe with all the basic pieces required to throw a good outfit together without thinking. This caters to my adult-ing life where life can get so crazy that you don’t have time to think about what to wear. And on the flip side, I like to play with colours and prints that I had previously not tried.
And back to the life metaphor…I do the same thing. I feel as if I have some really good foundational values in which I am equipped to make big choices in life, but I also feel as if I am utilising that fearlessness trait that I used to possess as a teenager. The ‘I am going to go for it, and I don’t care what people think’ mantra. And by ‘go for it’, I mean really go for it. Try and fail. But learn from the failed attempts.
Now, I want to get one thing straight…I love black and white outfits! And I don’t think this outfit, or other black and white outfits, are a sign of being lazy. But I do think it’s easy to become complacent. And I could be talking about my outfit or life in general. I like to think that I am always pushing the boundaries, but I’m sure there are areas in my life (and style) that I could step it up.
When embarking on something new it often feels a bit uneasy at first, and this is probably because it’s unfamiliar and not apart of your sphere. But go with that feeling of uncomfortableness, and do it anyway. Learn to stay curious without being judgemental. You’ve probably heard yourself saying in the past in regards to a new trend, “I’d never wear that!” And then 6 months later you wonder how you ever lived without it. That’s perspective. The first time you saw it, it was new and uncomfortable because your brain hadn’t seen a style like that before (or in that context), and now you’ve seen it everywhere and it grew on you…In actual fact, you just accepted it as being your new norm.
I will be honest and say that I find styling black and white outfits easier as I tend to add a whole bunch of different textures and shapes. You don’t have to worry so much about matching colours and patterns, you can just throw it all together and appreciate the look for the silhouette it forms and the individual features. This outfit could have been boring (and be deemed lazy)…but with the added texture difference from the leather pants, knit and the denim (yes, it’s denim) black trench, you’ve got quite an interesting look. Not to mention the individual shapes from the skinny leg leather pant, flared sleeves, long trench and big earrings. I would say in some instances, monochrome and black and white outfits can be more difficult to style when aiming to achieve a sense of creativity.
A few tips on thinking outside the square when it becomes to styling outfits:
- Try a different shape jean. If you always go for a skinny leg; why not try a straight leg.
- Pick a colour combination that you wouldn’t usually associate together and see if you can come up with an outfit. E.g red and pink, orange and pink
- Instead of saying, ‘I’d never wear that,’ think ‘how would I wear that?’
- Always wear loads of colour? Opt for a monochrome look. Or vice versa.
- Never wear dresses? Go out and try a bunch on in all different shapes. Go against all of your natural instincts.
Now, this won’t be easy at first. You’ll feel a lot of resistance. But once you start to open up to the idea of change, you will start to feel empowered and alive. I can guarantee you will have some failed attempts along the way, but it’s important to stay vulnerable and enjoy the process. After all, if you’re not failing, you’re not learning.
Isn’t it interesting that style evolution is much the same as evolving as a person. That’s why personal style, to me, is elusive.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts – leave a comment or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out my insta page for style inspiration – @leatherandsoie
What I wore:
Trench – Sass & Bide (no longer available) www.sassandbide.com.au
Leather pants – www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au
Ruffle knit – www.saba.com.au
Loafers – www.ninewest.com.au
Earrings – markets www.plant4bowden.com.au
Sunglasses – www.tomford.com
Bag – www.oroton.com.au
K- Leather & Soie