Isn't it great to look different? A fellow charity shopper said to me as we rummaged side-by-side through the rails this morning and it really is. Having individual style makes us memorable. Strangers strike up conversations and my appearance commented upon everywhere from the dentist's waiting room to the self checkout in the supermarket. I love that charity shop bosses keep things aside for me while other shoppers will pick out clothes they think will suit me and shyly pass them my way.
|WEARING: Vintage 1970s Afghan dress (eBay), Russian folklore belt (Cancer UK), 1960s Edwardian-style lace-up leather & suede boots (Car boot sale, 2012)|
My blog is ten years old this week so I thought I'd go back to basics with an outfit post and share my thoughts on personal style that I'd written for a friend's blog and still hold true almost a decade later.....
To own your style you'll have to find it first. For me this came about by ditching buying retail completely and only shopping second-hand. Buying from fashion stores limits your choice to what the professional buyers consider fashionable (the same shaped trousers and skirts, in-season colours or "it" prints) whereas second-hand shops are a hotch-potch of absolutely everything and you just have to learn to trust your eye and instinct. After six months of limiting yourself to second-hand shopping you'll soon get a taste of what you're attracted to.
Regularly cull your wardrobe and give away/donate/sell anything that doesn't make you feel fabulous.
If you have to ask others whether something suits you then it needs to go.
Never allow an item of clothing to "wear" you, own it by adding tried and trusted pieces so that the real you shines through. A necklace fiercely haggled over in an Indian village, a 20-year old denim waistcoat roughly patched together, a tote bag hand-made from a curtain salvaged from a relative's rag bag or a top remade from your boyfriend's old band tee shirt add personality, substance & texture to any outfit I dress in.
My trademark style includes statement pieces of tribal jewellery, vintage suede, dresses in bold colours with interesting prints and a wide-brimmed floppy hat (thanks for the reminder, Sarah!) Including just one of these elements to any outfit means that everything I wear always looks and feels like me.
|I've worn that lapis lazuli ring since my Dad bought it me for passing my Eleven-Plus in 1977, the agate bracelet was a 21st present (almost 32 years ago!)|
Fashion? Forget it! All that means is following what is currently popular and who wants to be part of a herd? Finding your own style means you'll never feel inadequate, out-dated or boring ever again. As Quentin Crisp once said, Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.
|New to me! Huge stylised snake earrings made by the Hmong tribe of Vietnam, a lucky eBay find|
Over the last ten years I've met some incredible fellow bloggers, many of whom I've met in real life and can now call friends. Some have vanished without a trace while others defected to the dark side, preferring the ease of Instagram. I'm sure I've pissed off many more with my endless tales of festivals, foreign adventures and my uncompromising vintage lifestyle. Huge love to the women that remain in the blogosphere, entertaining me with great writing, gorgeous photos and inspirational secondhand outfits.
Here's to the next ten years!
Here's to the next ten years!
Big love to Tracey who no longer blogs but sent me some Iris corms from her garden - along with a photo of them in full bloom - after I'd admired some when I posted about out trip to Tewkesbury back in the Summer (HERE). Tracey, the email address I have for you no longer works but thanks so much for your kindness!