Thursday, October 17, 2013

Personal Style

So I find it difficult to talk about my 'personal style' without sounding like a noob. It's just so Women's Magazine - 'How to Dress to Suit Your Body Type', 'Autumn's Best Colours for Blondes', '5 Ballet Shoes Every Girl Should Own'. I don't identify with the articles or the clothes they feature. I have only very limited interest in wearing cuts and colours that flatter me, I would rather wear cuts and colours I love. Obviously I'm not wholly devoid of vanity and I will be steering clear of crop tops, anything double-breasted and most shades of yellow probably forever but my clothing purchases are driven more by what I love than what suits me.

Fortunately/unfortunately my tastes, in fashion as in most things, are pretty broad. My wardrobe is stunningly inconsistent - 1950s print dresses snuggle up with modern cuts in neon colours, I'm developing a collection of silk shirts but these jostle with fluffy leopard print, Breton stripes and plaid, I have five pairs of trainers and five pairs of impractical heels and not much in between, there are a handful of (relatively) garish print t-shirts and piles of beloved second hand cashmere. Not many of my clothes go with other clothes. Which is fine, it's fun and a truthful depiction of my brain, but in the last couple of months/seasons I have been craving something more coherent.

I had dinner with a friend recently and on meeting her at the station I realised that she had become the women she's going to be in fifteen years time. Not that she looked or dressed like a forty year old but that she looked like the woman she was becoming. I don't know when this happened but I started noticing it in the people around me - lots of them are beginning to settle into their personal styles, the looks and sartorial ideas that they're going to live with for the foreseeable future. Some are chic, some are fashionable, some are comfortable and relaxed in a casual adult way. It's fascinating. I don't feel like I'm there yet. My clothes are all over the place and I always look scruffy and often a bit bonkers. I mean, I guess those could be my adjectives but I doubt they'd be anyone's conscious choice.

In response to all of this I have been trying to think more rationally about what I wear/buy. I have been paying closer attention to what I like and trying to interrogate my tastes - attempting to pin down my 'personal style'. A lot of this involves Tumblr and blogs and saving down images that connect with me and seeing what they have in common. There is some real life browsing as well but I am also really enjoying Polyvore at the moment. It's a place where I can put together outfits and see what clicks. What items and looks do I keep coming back to? What are the differences between outfits that I make and like and outfits I make and want to wear every day? I am never going to be a capsule wardrobe kind of gal but what pieces are central to my concepts of dressing and do I already own them? Basically, what reliably works for me?

Apparently mostly it is trainers...

Clothes #7 - Weekend #3

White t shirt, £45 / A.P.C. flight jacket / Jigsaw mini skirt / Leather bag / BCBGeneration bracelet, £20 / Solid Colors Slip-On, Little Boys, £22

Clothes #23 - Weekend #12

STELLA McCARTNEY long sleeve sweater, £465 / Lingerie bra, £60 / New Balance shoes, £34 / Tom Ford sunglasses

Clothes #2 - Smart Casual

Rachel Comey shirts blouse, £195 / Marc by Marc Jacobs high rise black jeans / Whistles brown cross body purse, £160 / Cateye glasses, £25 / Nike Air Vortex LTR

Clothes #24 - Weekend #13

Wood Wood purple cardigan, £120 / Topshop pencil skirt, £45 / NIKE footwear, £115 / Pierre Hardy handbag, £130 / Madewell retro clear glasses, £34

Clothes #17 - Smart Casual #6

Whistles navy sweatshirt hoody / Zara black golf skirt, £31 / Zara short boots, £63 / Saddle bag / Tom Ford sunglasses / Madewell hair accessory, £6.59

I also clearly need more sunglasses. Burgundy and grey are my best things. Focus on fewer but more important accessories. All of this is big news obviously.

So what do you think? About Polyvore, about personal style as a concept, about your own personal style? It is a superficially vapid topic that I find totally engrossing. Share.

Chuck x


  1. I will say that I've always had a very distinct style. Granted, it has changed, but my wardrobe had always been pretty coherent. However, lately I've been experimenting more and so my wardrobe had been losing some of its cohesiveness. I guess I'm going the other way! I want to present any edgy, adult version of my grunge-punk past. It's exciting. And so is polyvore, by the way. I always find myself there when I'm craving a shopping spree but don't have the funds.

  2. I am ALL over the freaking place as well. Guess what I bought this morning? Black waxed jeans! I'm not a trendy dresser but here I am, buying all these fad-ish type clothing. Crazy. Do I need help??

  3. I wish I could make trainers look chic... Absolutely adore the burgundies here, to the point I want to make them mine immediately. They just look so delicious! x

  4. I think your style (via the mock ups) is kinda like mine really, is a round about way. I mixture of sportswear, casual and more smarter stuff. A mixture of the whole ball of crazy mixed up works. Though I must admit I only really buy stuff that I know is going to work with the rest of my gear unless it's something new I want to try out, for instance florals. Though then I'd choose a colour I know will work.

    Interesting subject though. One thing I do is try not to dress too young, so now skinny jeans anymore.

    Buckets & Spades