I have been thinking a lot lately about the pieces that hold their own in my wardrobe – the ones which really deserve their spot. In a bid to minimise, I am shopping less, borrowing more and rewearing week on week, month on month, year on year. The new pieces I welcome in really need to be worth their salt – whether that be upgrading to great quality basics or just finding those ME pieces… and defining my style really has helped make those decisions easier.
I already have my wishlist which I consult regularly and there is my budget which keeps spending on track but somehow actually figuring out my personal taste somewhat eluded me for the first half of my thirties (the less said about my twenties the better). Now though, in my forties, I feel like I have it down pat.
FIGURE OUT WHAT SUITS YOUR SHAPE
It might be that you are well practiced and have a firm grasp of your best assets and what looks great on you but if you are not too sure (or your shape has evolved) then it is worth seeking out similar body shapes to your own and taking some inspiration from them. For reference I am 5ft7 with a long body and hourglass shape – anything high waisted or nipped in works well for me.
Here are some wonderful ladies well worth a follow for style tips :
For slimmer frames – Me (duh), Pascale, Laura, Claudia, Niki
For curvier frames – Christina, Danielle, Anna, Erica
For petite frames – Caroline, Katherine
For shorter ladies – Eleanor, Abbi, Karen, Basma
For taller ladies – Louisa, Kat, Numba
DEFINE YOUR TASTE
This part is pretty simple… in theory – figure out what you like.
In reality, however, this is often easier said than done. With my home for example, for years I saved images of minimal rooms, colourful rooms, retro rooms, modern rooms – basically all the beautiful homes. Put all these different rooms together in one home and you would have some kind of crazy fun house combining a bunch of different trends without really showing any individuality. Eventually I deciphered which of the rooms I admired and which I actually wanted to live in, narrowed those down to what fitted the bones of our home and, bingo, I had it sussed. The same can be said of fashion.
Whilst my early thirties were about experimenting, now, in my forties, I want my style to be cohesive. I want to be me. Now, I know what I like and what suits my shape.
I settled on what I would call a typical French girl style with a nod to the seventies; lots of stripes, high, belted waists, neck scarves, wide legs, maxi dresses, denim… and when I am considering a new piece I always keep in mind whether it fits this aesthetic. If i find myself stuck on how to style old clothes in new ways, I take a look at Sézane or Ba&sh for chic French inspiration and screenshot any looks I come across on Instagram which I know I can recreate with bits I already have. And it works.
I chose this beautiful brown cord pinafore from independent British brand Seraphina London (60% off in the sale now) because it hits the nail on the head for me in the style and fit department and although it is not an every day wear, I will treasure it for years to come.
BE PRACTICAL (TO SOME EXTENT)
Understand that you can wear more than one hat, metaphorically speaking. I spend a lot of time walking the dog and chasing after tiny people so whilst a brown cord maxi dress with floral embroidered over the knee boots might be my style ideal, it is not always going to be the sensible choice.
I accept that there are two variations on my personal style. The chic version and the practical version (which centres around these leather leggings and loose breton tops – I just bought this one and sized up). Added to my 2023 wishlist are these flare workout pants because they just tick all the boxes.
I am also focussing on great quality basics – buy better, buy less. I scour the sales to elevate the foundations of my wardrobe. This Hobbs merino roll neck (now on sale) for example, I have worn countless times layered under shirts, dresses and jumpers and the quality is beautiful. I will wear it for a decade at least.
BOOM – YOU HAVE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
You have it all figured out. I feel like I do and it really keeps me on track. Remember, there is no rush; your personal style, and you, evolve and emerge slowly over time – just as it should.
Let me know if you have any questions at all and I will always help if I can. You can leave me a comment here at the bottom of this feature, send me a private Instagram message or even drop me an email – I love chatting with you.
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