Some things I learned about my personal style
Personal style. Something that has been the main topic of my blog and social media for many, many years. As much as I enjoy personal style still, I do believe my focus over the years shifted from ‘style’ to ‘personal’. I feel absolutely no pressure to look ‘cool’, dress a certain way or look like I am up to date with the latest trends whatsoever. This probably due to the fact that I’m more and more aware of the concept of ‘me’. What I like, what I want in life and what I need to do in order to accomplish that. This can be something trivial – futile even – like my outfits or something more meaningful.
Let’s start with summing up the first, and perhaps I’ll continue doing a few of these lists, finishing things off with what I learned about myself in general in the past few years. . Here we go:
1. Simple is not boring
To be honest, I’ve never felt the urge to dress like an exotic bird-like creature, but there has been a time I did doubt my style in terms of being cool enough. Do you really need to add a bold print, feathers or glitters in order to be interesting? Nope, not necessarily. If you want to, go for it, but if it doesn’t feel like ‘you’, then just don’t. We all have our insecurities, I and certainly have mine, but I’m happy to say that my personal style really isn’t one of them. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I just like a clean and pretty simple style, always gravitate towards black – or at least modest colours -, and I’m not looking for this to change at all.
2. Quality over Quantity
It’s been a few years ago that I started investing in higher quality – often more expensive – items instead of buying lots of poor quality on-trend items I won’t be getting a lot of wear out of. I even was a firm believer of following the 5 Piece French Wardrobe principle, and even though I’m not exactly sticking to that anymore, I still wear items I bought around that time (let’s say: 10 years ago? I even bought my Acne Pistol boots in 2008, can you imagine?).
So in the meanwhile I can say I’m definitely into quality over quantity. This doesn’t mean I’m never tempted to buy anything I don’t need, but I just learned how to silence those urges. Buying from high street brands included. Because I know so much more than I did years ago, I can’t justify spending my money on poorly made clothes from brands who don’t have similar values to mine. I’d much rather invest in a great piece that I saved up for and will last for years instead of buying ‘fast fashion’ items I will regret buying anyway. Or like my grandma used to say (and what I tell people when they say sustainable fashion is too expensive for them): I’m not rich enough for disposable fashion.
3. Black is always a good idea
Not really something I learned this year, just something that’s always on my mind when buying something new: should I – for once – opt for the coloured version or should I stick to black? Earlier I tried to convince myself it might be a good idea to try a pop of colour every now and then (which can still be really nice, see the red pop I’m wearing in this very outfit post), but in my case I’m trying to stick to the following rule: if it’s available in black/grey/navy as well: get that one. The outfits I felt most comfortable in are always the ones that consisted out of lots of black, so I decided to not change this winning team.
4. Keep your shoe game strong
I’ve always been a shoe addict and I’ve never been afraid to admit it. My grandma used to be a shoe-hoarder, my dad has a soft spot for footwear so I had to become an addict as well, right? Funny thing is that I haven’t been purchasing many shoes anymore, now that I’ve invested in pairs that I really, really like, are true to my style and can be patched up by the time the soles have worn out.
Even though my shoe closet is filled with all kinds of shoes, I alway tend to grab the pairs that are not necessarily elegant. Also something I inherited form my father (sorry dad! ;)). Sneakers aren’t really considered feminine in general, but when it comes to boots I can’t help myself but liking chunky boots, like Dr. Martens, better than the elegant type. They give my outfits the edge I’m looking for and most of them are way more comfortabel anyway. No thin heels, no small straps, no discomfort. ‘Don’t you like the occasional elegant pair of heels?’. Oh yes, I do. On a shelve. Hardly ever on my feet. With the exception of formal parties.
Which I never attend.
5. Oversized rather than undersized (is that even a word?)
My size is not the smallest size I’m able to squeeze myself in. The right size for me is the size I look best in (according to what I like!), that makes me feel most comfortable in and allows me to breathe through the entire day (luxury!). When in doubt, I always end up buying one size up. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to wear a size XL when you’re an XS, but you get the idea: ill-fitting clothes, especially when too small, won’t make you feel comfortable or thinner (something else I’m happy I let go of). No one is going to see the number on that tag and honestly: no one will/should care.
6. Day-to-night is not a thing
It’s very interesting that throughout my entire life I’ve been told by women’s magazine (damn you, women’s magazines and your ideas of perfection, lol!) that apparently we all need to think about that moment when you go to work during the day, and then – effortlessly, by adding a pair of heels and swapping your workbag for a more evening ‘appropriate’ one – switch to your night time outfit. Let me be clear: this is not a real thing. How often did that actually happen to you? Exactly. At least not in my life. And last time I checked I get dressed for exactly that: my life.