I’m not saying that’s it, i’m done, I don’t need to improve any more. I’m merely observing a more relaxed approach to my lifestyle.
If you ask one of my longest serving (suffering) friends, Heather, about my style growing up, she’ll snort-laugh and ask ‘what style?’. I’ve got pictures of us, that will never see the light of day, wearing matching H&M outfits, my style heavily influenced by one Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I blame my lack of fashionable knowledge on the fact that I am an only child, I didn’t have a sister whose steps I could follow in or whose clothes I could steal and I was never cool enough to hang out with those older than myself.
As a kid, I was short, skinny and mostly shapeless (aside from some heavily padded bras), I remember being desperate to wear crop tops like other girls when I was younger, but I hated the mole that sits next to my belly button, I remember instead, always wearing tops that covered my bum because I hated how flat it was. What I don’t remember is how I came to these conclusions about my body, I don’t remember ever receiving criticism about how I looked, so I’ll blame the media and the world’s relentless pursuit to make women feel inferior from birth.
Perhaps I can forgive myself for my fashion failings at the tender age of 12 and 13, after all, my Mother did my shopping, but I’m afraid to say this lack of self-awareness followed long into my teens and twenties. As I aged, I was usually a year or so behind the latest trend, either because I couldn’t afford the newest trainers, or I was simply oblivious until it had long run its course. As a result I have never considered myself particularly fashion-forward, I can remember many an occasion where a day or a night out was ruined because I just didn’t feel confident or comfortable in what I was wearing.
In case I hadn’t harped on about it enough, i’m almost 30 and I don’t know if any other 30 year olds have experienced this, but with this looming number, i’ve actually begun to feel something akin to acceptance. I know right, a woman accepting herself for who she is? ABOMINABLE! She must be burned.
I’m not saying that’s it, i’m done, I don’t need to improve any more. I’m merely observing a more relaxed approach to my lifestyle. I’ve unfollowed Influencers that constantly throw fast fashion in our faces with styles that I never would have been comfortable in at 19, let alone 29 and i’ve started looking at a simpler, longer-lasting style that suits me and allows me to indulge in my love of neutral colours.
Really, this entire blog post is an ode to Emma Hill, whose Instagram I happened upon about 4/5 months ago and whose style I have since developed an unhealthy obsession with (don’t worry Emma, no plans to show up on your door step just yet). For some reason, for years, I was under the assumption that I needed a new outfit for every event I went to and it needed to be completely different from anything I’d worn before just to make people say ‘oh, she looks nice’. The reality is, I don’t actually go out that much, I’ve always preferred a simple Jeans and T-shirt outfit, and, it turns out signature style goes a very long way.
I read one of Emma’s blog posts where she explained why she no longer attends fashion week or follows the latest trends any more and I really resonated with her reasons – not that i’ve ever been remotely interested in fashion week but the point is, It’s almost like i’ve been given permission to stop worrying if what i’m wearing is ‘in fashion’, or if I look ok? Which i’m eternally grateful for.
In light of my new found self-acceptance, i’ve been through my wardrobes and decluttered entirely, i’m committed to investing in better quality, classic styles that will last me years, not just one season and for the first time in my life I actually feel quite excited about my new interest in my own personal style. I understand why girls and women the world over invest so much time and energy into fashion now. That’ it, you’ve got me, i’m converted.
Someone build me a walk in wardrobe immediately.