Developing good personal style habits can be really hard. For a variety of reasons.
Let’s start with your body – I’m not talking about clothes being flattering – I don’t dig the concept of clothes being flattering. I think we should all wear whatever the hell we like but flattery might be important to you and that’s fine. What I mean is there might be clothing styles that you really like that might not be available to you due to your size or the way your body is shaped. I know a lot of short women struggle with maxi dresses because they’re often miles too long and tall women struggle with mini dresses because they’re way too short. That kind of thing. I don’t believe that your size or shape should dictate what you choose to wear, I’m just addressing the practicality of finding clothes that fit you well in a functional sense. It’s a big challenge for a lot of people but particularly people who aren’t straight size, fat people, disabled people and people who aren’t gender binary. The non-inclusiveness of the fashion industry is an ongoing issue and major pet hate of mine but I won’t go too far into that in this episode this is just an acknowledgement that style can unfortunately be dictated by what is available to your body and for a lot of us the pickings can be slim.
It’s not just our bodies that dictate this, it can also be our climate. You could be obsessed with soft flowy linen pants but if you live in the snow that’s not going to cut it. If you live in the snow (as I do for a few weeks every year) style is basically moot because you’re walking around in long John style thermals and a giant coat that looks like a full body ugg-boot. So that’s a lot of stuff that effect your personal style habits.
Your career will also be a huge factor. You might have a uniform which severely limits what you can wear when you’re at work. Dirty jobs are also hard to dress for – when I was a jewellery student and special needs teacher I wore literally anything I didn’t mind getting destroyed with acid or little sticky fingers. Now that I spend most of my time at a desk I wear a lot less jewellery – bangles clanging on my keyboard drives me bananas so I save them for weekends.
You might also love a particular style like rockabilly or athleisure but when you try to wear clothes in that style it just doesn’t feel right. That’s cool. We can have theoretical and practical style preferences.
It’s also totally okay to change your style and in fact you should. My style is totally different now to when I was in my 20s. The fundamentals are the same – I’ve always loved cool monotone colours, clean lines, bold prints and chunky accessories – but I was much more into lacey feminine vibes and that’s not really my bag anymore. Although, I’ll almost certainly revisit that phase at some stage – I feel like I’m going to really get into velvet when I’m 70 years old. Watch this space.
So, yeah… style can get really confusing especially seeing as social media bombards us with unrealistic beauty standards. It can be really difficult to figure what you actually like not what society is trying to tell you that you like.
In this episode I chat about…
- Honing in on the last time you felt amazing and deconstructing that formula
- The importance of prioritising comfort
- Creating your Ultimate Style Sentence
- Writing a style avatar for example – Copenhagen Johnny Depp – cigarette pants, futuristic looking shoes, a lot of black, well cut white, black or navy t-shirts and long hair or Cutie Pie Courtney Love – Eye liner, chunky boots, short skirts, tattoos, pastels
- How to align yourself with an era of fashion so you have a style anchor if you get confused
- Using Instagram as a fashion mood board
- Honing in on your Breakable and Unbreakable style rules
- Choosing a variety of words that describe your style
- Avoiding cultural appropriation for the more flamboyant dressers
If you’re struggling with your personal style or just want to tighten it up, this episode is for you.
Links mentioned in this episode
• Define Your Style Workbook – available to Patreon supporters here
• Yevu clothing – I’m not even kidding I’ve been buy their clothes for over a year and I saw Tilda Swinton wearing one of their dresses this week. Validated.
• Caitlin Moran’s More Than a Woman
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