October 12, 2016

How Blogging Helped Refine My Style Choices

making good style choices


refining my style choices


The older I get the more I subscribe to the philosophy that, in life, there are no mistakes and wrong decisions, just lessons learned and experience gained. And the same applies to my style choices over the years!

It’s all part of the journey, just like blogging itself. When I look back at outfit posts from the early days, I cringe at the clothes, the pictures and sometimes even the words.

God knows my style has seen some bizarre incarnations since I began to record some of those looks here. Discovering this amazing online world and finding myself constantly under the influence of other blogs, Pinterest and Instagram, I was like a kid in a candy store with a really bad case of style sweet tooth. I would run from virtual jar to jar, picking at random, gorging on trend after trend, sometimes with very little restraint.

The phrases “Ooh I could wear that!”, “I NEED that bright pink jacket NOW!” and “YES! Daylight sequins make me so happy!” are all responsible for more than my fair share of outfits that I tracked down, loved intently and then promptly discarded. Now I’m unsure if I’m still in the candy store or looking at a list of ex-boyfriends…

Do I regret any of my style choices? Not one iota! Through the process of taking photographs for the blog and dissecting look after look, I slowly learned what I loved and what I kept coming back to again and again.

invest-in-bobbi-brown-cosmetics-cashmere-and-chanel-fragrance

Continuous repetition of something means you eventually sit up and take notice of your inner conversation. When you return to writing about the same things over and over, you begin to realise that you’re actually trying to get an important point across to yourself  *looks at the growing pile of cashmere sweaters in my wardrobe*.

Monochrome, simple shapes, unusual detail and yes, cashmere – those are the style components to be treasured, nurtured and loved forever. The cheap thrill, flighty quick fixes no longer hold the same appeal…there go those exes again.

I think the turning point came whilst writing the Style Definition Mission post and eventually, the end result in defining what I wanted my style to look like on paper.

All sweet shop and ex-boyfriend comparisons aside, here’s a few things I’ve learnt along the way…


recognise the worth of the investment buy

cashmere-and-celine-sunglasses

In the beginning, I would preach for hours (and blog posts) on end about the investment buy but rarely practice it myself. But you are worth it, I am worth it, therefore the investment is worth it!

When it comes to cashmere, a great pair of sunnies from a coveted label or a classic bag that has my name written all over it are things I’ve never regretted shelling out my hard earned cash for and neither should you. And the same goes for beauty buys too.

These are the things that bring joy when you get them right and always help to #ElevateTheEveryday when you pull them out of your closet.

SHOP INVESTMENT BUYS


grey goes with everything!

grey-and-black-wardrobe-staples

style-staple-black-biker-jacket

It truly does and I don’t know why I denied myself my obsessive love of grey for so long.

You can add colour to it if you wish or keep it tonal with a whole host of monochrome pieces. Either way it looks expensive, is flattering to most skin tones, has more than a few style blogs named after it *looks at Happily Grey and Grey Layers* and makes getting dressed easy.

And it’s even better when it’s grey AND cashmere! The beautiful Italian cashmere shawl pictured in this post is from my friend Jennie’s new venture.  Sign up here at Lois Avery to find out more!

SHOP GREAT GREYS!


have good jeans

denim-stack-cashmere-and-an-investment-bag

sophie-hulme-bag-and-lois-avery-cashmere-scarf

a-stack-of-neatly-folded-jeans

Great jeans are REALLY important – possibly more important than you think.

Over the years I’ve come to realise that they form the backbone of a solid wardrobe and are the perfect partner to both trend pieces and classic style staples. If I hadn’t been blogging, I would never have met Donna Ida and discovered that I too could become a bit of jean addict!

Really good investment staples are a necessity but so are the more trend led styles from the high street.

When you combine the brilliant investment basics (skinnies, a classic Boyfriend cut and an ankle grazing cropped pair) with a few budget buys (ripped knees, fringed hems, stepped hems, frayed hems etc etc), you have the best denim resource in your own wardrobe upon which to build so many great looks. I really like Topshop for great value trend jeans.

SHOP GOOD JEANS


flat shoes are your friend

shoe-closet-with-mules-flats-and-block-heels

pull-out-jewellery-drawer-for-easy-access-storage

Flat shoes and boots have taken over my wardrobe. With the exception of the odd taxi shoe or a few block heels, blogging has taught me flats are where its at for the most part.

Gone are my days of changing into a pair of heels in a shop doorway before slipping into a blogging event. Although I have been known to still do this when the occasion and outfit demands it – generally to much bemusement from passers by.

Oh and trainers and sneakers now go with a lot more than I thought they used to.

SHOP FABULOUS FLATS



Whilst I can attribute some of my earlier sartorial experiments (and failings) to the influence of other influencers, don’t shy away from the Me Too factor if you’re still working out your style.

My seminal moments include discovering Harper & Harley and Oracle Fox blogs – both known for their monochromatic wardrobes and both known to draw many an Ooh and Ahh from me on a regular basis.

And funnily enough, attending a Red Magazine event was quite a pivotal moment too. Hearing The White Company founder Chrissie Rucker talk about her love of the simple yet great basics and celebrating the fact that everything in her wardrobe was either white, black or grey, was a “light dawns on marble head” moment for me. I mean… if it works for Chrissie…


💻  If you’re still looking to pin down or further refine your style, these blogs might help:

Style Bee has an ongoing series of posts called Closet Mission

Unfancy is a clean and beautifully minimal blog with a great series of posts on capsule wardrobes

This article on The Everygirl is great too! 💻


SHOP THE STORY


📷  Images taken using my Olympus OM-D E-M10 II camera with a 45mm lens. 📷

9 comments on “How Blogging Helped Refine My Style Choices”

  1. Oh my goodness I love this post! Honestly this week I called my best friend in Holland to lament the wardrobe reality of impulse buys and we both agreed: investment is where it is at. She’d taken this literally and bought some of those INSANE Anine Bing ankle boots with the studs – just divine – but I digress. I love how you write here and going back to those old posts is just so sweet – you always did have such a self-deprecating way of looking at your style choices which is (my darling) why you’ve done so well at this venture. I am with you every step of the way, as you well know. Some great recommendations here and thank you. I’d like to see a 2016 round-up when you’re ready – let’s really see this cashmere grey in action. Must must catch up soon!! Your friend Lou x

    1. Ah lovely Lou – your comments always make me smile so much! I love lots of of the Anine Bing stuff – I dare not look for fear of “investing”! And if you can’t laugh at your past style experiments then I think life would just be WAY too serious. I do love that its all documented in some crazy way – it’ll be fun to look back on when I’m 80! Your unending support always means so much Lou – thank you. And I’ll see what I can do for a 2016 round up later on! Let me know when you’re free after half term – I think I did Insta DM you some dates but they’ve probably been and gone by now. Where is this year going?? Lots of love, A xxx

  2. Fabulous post Amanda …. blogging as also helped me find me style ….. I resist the need to buy instant fashion (sometimes very hard with my Instagram addiction) and try to invest in what I love and stick to my fail safe uniform ……. stripes, navy, black an grey. x

    1. Thanks so much Anne Marie – you’re so right – I blame Instagram for many an impulse purchase. But luckily the odd really good investment piece too! And I think your uniform sounds just perfect if you ask me! 😉 Have a lovely day! A xxx

  3. Such a beautiful post, with some gorgeous photos. I’ve loved watching your style evolve, and I’ve enjoyed every step of the journey (day time sequins included). I have made a real effort the last year to cut back on the fast fashion, and I feel so much more satisfied for it. That doesn’t mean that I’m not partial to the odd pair of New Look shoes, just ocassionally now. Your style is so beautiful and authentic. Keep the inspiration coming please … xxx

    1. Thank you so much Jennie! I know what you mean – when you have fewer pieces but pieces that you really love, it makes you feel really good. I think you and I will always share that need for the occasional impulse purchase – especially the ones that make you smile when you wear them! Happy Friday my friend! xxx

  4. Love this post! Now I don’t feel so bad about my wardrobe being almost entirely grey, navy and breton stripes. But unfortunately I now want a Gucci Disco bag more than ever 😉

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