For the last 4 years my body has been on a bit of a roller coaster, and my life and who I am has changed. With two pregnancies, which meant weight gains and losses and then going from my early/mid twenties to now 30 and now being a mother. The whole experience has lead me through a bit of a Fashion crisis.
For someone who studied Fashion Design, and was taught about Fashion and self styling, I became a real fashion mess.
It has been a big life transition time, a gateway from the fun, young early 20s and living in the city to being a mother and 30 living in the country. Not to mention breastfeeding, struggling to have time to get ready in the morning, and dealing with the weight gains and losses that have meant one minute something is too tight, the next too big.
So I have slowly been doing a wardrobe make over and also trying to re-discover my style again.
I sold a lot of clothes on ebay, threw out items unsalable items (things too worn out). I experimented with what I owned, and played with my style a bit. And gave a lot of thought into who I am, the look that suits me and my identity and what feels ‘me’. What made me feel comfortable, stylish and myself, What would I wear for years not just one season (i.e not just follow trends but my unique style).
For myself I have found my style has evolved from floral and girly in my early 20s, to now a more country, classier style. I feel very inspired by my natural environment, and love the feminine country look. I love sleeves, mid waistline, blues, browns, tans and creams, a bit of brown leather and hats and belts are my go to accessories.
So this is what I learned and my tips for finding your fashion style again, particularly handy when you have lost your way or feel your identity has changed.
My 10 Tips for Finding Your Fashion Style
1. Spend time considering your identity.
Think about lifestyle, personality, where you live, what you do, who you are, where you are from. What makes up you, and what kind of person you want to portray yourself as to the world. Collect images and make mood boards. (I used Pinterest and this is my board). Dig deep and really get to know who you are, and don’t be afraid to show it. Fear will hold you back to wear understated comfort zone friendly items, but if you want a strong style you need the mindset to not be afraid of standing out or looking great.
2. Choose clothes that suit your body type
Get to know what suits you and your body type. What is flattering to your figure and makes you feel comfortable about your body. If you are unsure, try a few things on in a shop change room, try various hemlines, waistlines, necklines and sleeve lengths, to see what looks best on you. For example personally I suit clothes with a waistline around the waist, as I have a more hourglass shape, so this suits my shape best.
3. Create a colour pallette or feel, so that clothes work together.
Pick out colours that suit you and your skin tone, eye and hair colour. (I dyed my hair red once and discovered it changed what colour clothes suited) And blacklist the colours that don’t. Creating a colour palette also makes it easier to make sure you can mix and match your wardrobe, everything goes together more easily. If you are into lots of bright colours, be sure to include some neutrals to to balance it out and so they can be mixed and matched with the bolder items.
4. Choose items that can be used in different seasons. And play with accessories
When investing in clothes, it’s always great to pick items that are tran-seasonal. I love dresses, as you can easily wear on their own in summer, or wear with stocking and a cardigan or jacket in winter. You can also mix things up with different hats, belts, scarves and bags. With accessories you can make the same clothes work for many occasions and seasons, and accessories can really dial up the style factor, for something otherwise basic.
These cute shoes are a vintage find, thanks to my mother-in-law, who gave them to me. So cute, and with a slight heel, great for dressing up.
5. Go out of your comfort zone a little
When you fall into a fashion rut, it is easy to opt for the most comfy items. But if you want to up your style game, push yourself just a little out of your comfort zone. Try something you really love but feel a bit hesitant to wear as its new to you, and don’t be afraid that you will stand out. Be yourself and be proud of it.
6. Dress up even when you feel down.
The easiest way to fall back into a fashion rut, and wear ‘lazy’ clothes is to opt for these items when you feel down, tired or not your best. While you don’t have to look top notch all the time, and there are days that call for lazy clothes, if you are going out, make the effort. Push past those feelings and you will be suprised that by making the effort it will raise your confidence and your mood. My mum used to tell me, as she worked from home, that it’s important to still dress well like you have to go out, otherwise you will live in your pj’s and that not good for you mentally.
7. Know your style well
Get to know your style well, so when you go shopping you know what is YOU and don’t waste time or money on trends that don’t suit or something you will not wear much or feel wrong in. Don’t fall into the trend trap, or get swayed by other people’s styles. Stay true to your own unique look.
8. Be Wardrobe Ruthless.
Go through your wardrobe, and ditch the clothes that are really no longer you, or just plain daggy. Don’t hang onto items because you liked them once and they make you feel nostalgic, or becuase they cost a lot at the time or are still good quality (you can sell these to fund new clothes). And don’t hang onto ‘just incase, maybe one day’ i†ems. Be tough on yourself, and let it go. And do it often! Something you don’t feel ready to let go of the first time, as you get more confident in your style, you may later feel ready to ditch more old items. One trick for iffy items, is to wear them, try them in a few outfits, and if it doesn’t feel right, you know you can let it go, but if you find a way to fit it into your style, it can stay.
9. Don’t let limited funds become a road block.
When I was at Fashion School, one of our teachers gave us all a big lecture about how we can dress stylish and find our own unique look, without spending a lot of money. She encouraged us to get creative, try op shops, and in-expensive clothing stores, and just be selective and put it all together well and of course dress it all up with great accessories. You don’t have to have a lot of money to be stylish. Long term, look at investing in a few key pieces and then opt for cheaper items to go with it. It’s not about money if you know your style well and can spot the right pieces.
10. Consider fit.
You not only want your clothes to be flattering to your shape, but fit well. No saggy baggy! Or old and over stretched. If you want your style to look good, and if you want to look fashionable even on a low budget, good fit can make a big difference. It can give a more tailored impression, as it makes the clothes look made for you. If you have been through weight changes, try everything on again, if it no longer fits well, or got stretched, it may be best to let it go. ALso be sure to measure yourself if you shop online, to pick a size with the best fit, don’t just assume based on the he size you usually buy.
With a strong style identity you will feel more confident, and it will be so much easier to shop and to pick something out of your wardrobe and avoid finding yourself falling back into a lazy style rut.
Shop the look- Tobi.com/au