Last week I was asked by Avenue 32 to share my style tips with my readers. Since I’m aiming to post at least one personal style post a week, I’ve decided I should maybe post on occassion about what makes up my own personal style. It’s very much my own brand of fashion rather than following the trends. Yes I admit that I am a subscriber to Elle, and I do love to read about the latest fashions and what’s “in” but rarely do I ever go out and buy anything to keep up with what is considered fashionable. I feel as I’m getting older, the need to be with the in crowd in regards to what I wear is becoming less important and that instead I’m focusing on what I enjoy wearing and feel comfortable and confident in.
However, just because I tend to not go with the latest trends, does not mean I don’t have fashion rules I stick to when it comes to shopping for clothes and accessories and these are what I’m going to share with you today;
Be brave and try something new. For a long time I avoided wearing trousers of any kind. Even at school after everyone fought for the girls to wear trousers, I still went for skirts. The only time I’d ever wear trousers would be leggings under dresses or skirts. That was until last year. While shopping for my trip to Disneyland Paris (and then later to the US) I wanted something that would be comfortable to wear on the plane, which is when I discovered gingham jeggings. I have two pairs, one Matalan and the ones above are Topshop. I’m a huge fan of gingham, my wardrobe plays host to many dresses and shirts, but never anything for the bottom half of my body. I was worried they’d be too garish or make my legs look fat but the monochrome pattern is decidedly flattering and if I team them with a simple blouse and sweater combo or a t-shirt the outfit isn’t offensive to anyone’s eyes. Jeggings like with leggings require a longer top, which is fine for me because that’s what I go for in general but they are comfortable on an 8 hour plus flight and do keep your legs warm making them the perfect in between for jeans and leggings.
Invest in items that you will never get bored of. For me this is the peter pan collar. My friends will tell you I have worn tops and dresses with peter pan collars for years. I’d definitely call this my defining fashion statement. I happily spend more money on items with peter pan collars than I would any other piece for my wardrobe because I know I will constantly wear them until they’re threadbare. If there is one style or item of clothing in your wardrobe, be in jeans, 50s style dresses or just basic black tops it’s worth investing in them. As a rule of thumb something you spend more money on generally lasts longer, especially if it’s something that will get a lot of wear and you’ll never tire of wearing it.
Mix Feminine with feisty. One of my biggest hang ups is the fact I feel like I look like a boy. It’s why I keep my hair long and probably why for a long time I never wore trousers. I tried to dress as girly as possible so no one would ever mistake me for a boy. I admit, this at times got a bit tiresome.. so it was lucky when I discovered mixing feminine with something more grunge or for a better turn of phrase, feisty. I own a lot of floral and lace which I have found looks AMAZING with chunky shoes or boots and a leather jacket. This works especially well in the winter for me as I don’t have set wardrobes for season, just one fits all. I have to find a way to layer my summer dresses with something that will actually keep me warm. I don’t have the money or the space to have separate wardrobes, plus the weather in the UK is so unpredictable I like to keep everything on hand, just in case.
Dress to reflect your personality. I know everyone should stand by the belief of “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but I have to admit, I like to dress to reflect my personality. I love Disney so a lot of my wardrobe is made up of Disney themed items of clothing, there is also a lot of glitter, flowery patterns, lace. The same in accessories. I like to consider myself that dreaded word “quirky” this isn’t a fashion phase i’m going through, this is how i’ve dressed for years. Tights and sandals? Yeah, I’ve done it and it looked good.. berets, still my hat of choice long after the trend has died down. Oversized sweaters over granny print dresses and a massive bow in my hair, yep.. that is me.
Don’t follow the rules. Following on from dressing to reflect my personality, is not following the fashion rules, I mentioned above the wearing tights and sandals, it’s personally something I love to wear in the Spring but it’s a huge no no seemingly. But I don’t care. Not following the rules allows me to dress how I feel comfortable. Something I HATE is walking into somewhere and being dressed the same as someone else. The same dress is okay as long as it’s styled my way. If everyone followed the fashion worlds dos and don’ts, we’d all be carbon copies of each other and that’s something i’d hate. If you want to live in jeans & t-shirts go for it, if you’re plus size and want to wear disco pants, who cares? Wear what you want to wear and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Becky is the fashion guru when it comes to wearing what she wants, I love her 25 Things Fat People Shouldn’t Do series, some of the things society says bigger girls shouldn’t wear look absolutely KICK ASS on her. My favourite is her wearing glitter. Her blog is one of my favourites and you should definitely check it out.
Constantly clear out. My final fashion tip is how I cope with having a tiny wardrobe in a small two bedroom house with a child who has everything. I constantly clear out. Anything I put on and think it no longer suits my body shape or I know I’ll never wear again I get rid of. This is a great way to make it cost efficient to buy a new piece of clothing that you can’t otherwise justify. By selling on ebay you can make the money to buy said piece. As I have a tiny budget for my clothes and accessories if there is something I want out of my price range I can save in my paypal account. By clearing out I also make room in my wardrobe for new purchases.
At the end of the day, my biggest fashion tip is wear what you want and what makes you happy. I get tired of reading about society dictating on what everyone should be wear. Yes we have all our own personal preferences but that shouldn’t be forced onto other people. Personally I can’t stand Uggs or similar styles, nude coloured tops and dresses, man buns or body con.. but I wouldn’t trying enforce anyone not to wear these things. Just like I wouldn’t want anyone trying to tell me it was inappropriate to wear t bar shoes after primary school.
If you would like to hear some fashion tips from wonderful fashion bloggers (lets face it, these are the experts these days) you can have a browse of Avenue 32’s fashion e-book.
What are your fashion tips?