Learning to Dress for yourself, finding your unique style
How do you do deal with a sense of losing yourself when you don't exactly know what your dress sense is or should be?
When was the last time you've asked yourself, I am wearing this skirt or dress, because I feel this is really me? I guess this isn't the type of questions that you would ask yourself every day, it's worth asking, though.
For years, I was aiming for the power girl look, with smart, well tailored suits, in a way very formal. My aim was to be a real business woman, climbing up the career ladder. When I look at some old pictures, I was wearing pearls! I have nothing against wearing pearls, I just can't believe this was me, the girl who as a teenager did not want to conform on the verge of being boho, with a grungy look. What happened to me to choose pearls 20 years later?
I guess the desire to please and conform took over, I wanted recognition, being a good mother, combining a home and a career, being invited to posh bankers dinner parties. I wanted to be part of their world, with the sense of security and money that came with it. This was a time where I let the power of clothing took over because as a new mother, I somehow had lost my identity. I wanted the job with the formal suit and shoes, with my hair up in a tight bun and a serious look. The suits looked very nice indeed Joseph, Hugo Boss, I was just not the person to wear them. I realised that what I loved was much more rock and roll, wearing leather, jumpsuits, nice fabrics jumpers like cashmere, white in the summer. I could live on an island wearing white all year round. While I love to dress glamorous with high heels for special occasion, I don't want to wear a uniform everyday, I just want to be me!
I want to be able to express my creativity through my fashion style as well. Moving out of a corporate environment to a much more creative world and being my own boss, I somehow regained control of who I really was: a style of an eclectic mix of contemporary dresses, combined with lots of leather, jacket, dress, skirt you name it!
I developed a real love affair with shoes and fell for Chie Mihara’s unsual designs. I'm no longer in awe when I walk through the Karen Millen stand in department stores but feel more attracted to the joyful elegance of BA&SH, Anthropologie and the classy modern look of Madeleine Clothing. When I open my wardrobe and saw my old suits I couldn’t believe this was me, this wasn't who I want to be, it was time to sell them on Ebay.
Dressing for yourself means being mindful about why you chose to wear this particular outfit, why do you love it so much, is it really about you? Or are you trying to say something? There's nothing wrong wearing a nice tailored suit if this is you and you feel empowered in your job by wearing it.
If you feel that wearing a suit isn't what you are about and can't wait to take it off once you're back from work, you might want to ask yourself if you're in the right job and why you are trying to conform. If this isn't you? Who're trying to please? Who are your influences? We're living in a time where what ever we do we are confronted to extreme competition.
I guess it then matters to find your own style because being unique and yourself is also what will set you apart from the crowd. You want to understand the woman standing in front of your mirror, a woman who truly knows herself and feels confident to step out into the world the way she is and dresses.
No one said it would be easy, it might take some time before you can either acknowledge or find your true dress style. Don't be afraid to explore, get rid of all the voices inside your head, telling you, you can't wear this, you are too old etc... ask yourself who is speaking instead of you when you hear these voices?
Create a Pinterest board of the styles you love, be bold, adventurous, try new things. You don't have to colour your hair red if you aren't ready for big changes but wearing touch of colour while you have always worn black is a great baby step, may be a touch of red lipstick if you've never tried or starting with some chunky jewellery?
Changing your haircut cutting your hair short that you've always worn long, going grey while you've always coloured your hair. These steps will look insignificant but a step is already a move forward, once you've started the process, you won't look back.
Choose the women you admire as role model, mine is my yoga teacher Rose. While I used to go to yoga classes with teacher's with starved bodies, looking like waifs I couldn't relate to, not only the fact that they were 20 years younger which me made me think that I would never reach their level. Rose on the other hand is not stick thin and while working hard to keep her body in shape she, isn't after perfection so please choose your models and enjoy your journey in self discovering your unique dress sense.
If you like this post please share it, if you have a story about finding your own style, please share it with me.