March 23, 2015

Style Defined

Almost a month ago I posted about the Style Definition Mission. At the point of drafting this post, I realised I’ve not been able to devote any time at to all the further reading I mentioned. Life, blogging and the small matter of creating The Dressing Room kind of got in the way.

But seeing as I’m now at the stage of putting the finishing touches on said dressing room, I thought it was the ideal time to share my  defining answers as and help kickstart my own closet mission…

1. Who are your style icons?

We’ll start with the obvious – I’m looking at you Olivia Palermo. But also making my list are Sarah Jessica Parker (can you tell?), Wardrobe Icons founder & WIT blogger, Laura Fantacci, J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons and Coco Chanel for her groundbreaking style rule changes and don’t give a damn attitude all those years ago. I also admire Lucy from Fashion Me Now’s personal style and similarly, Mija from the Creators Of Desire blog network.

2. How do you feel when you’re wearing your favourite outfit?

Confidant, assured and in control. And lets not forget joyous and celebratory – clothes have that power for me.

3. How do you feel when you’re wearing something that’s not right?

Uncomfortable, cross with myself and vulnerable. Out of place wherever that place may be.

4. List some styles that you like but aren’t necessarily you.

Boho beach babe, bold print mixing and colour clashing. They turn my head and have me scrolling through Pinterest but having tried them, I don’t think they’re me.

5. List the top five lifestyle activities you dress for.

Work at home days, trips to London for the blog, running errands and shopping, dog walking and going out to eat.

6. Write down 15+ words that you associate with your style story.

Classic, paired back, comfortable, edgy, urban, monochrome, statement accessories, detail. Sophisticated, luxe, unexpected, bold lines, great cuts. Affordable AND high end. This is the style story I’m aiming for, not necessarily the one I’m currently in!

7. Let’s get visual. Collate 20 images the represent the words, feelings and elements you’ve listed so far.

8. Take all those descriptions, feelings and visuals and distill them down to 5 words or less. Your final words should really resonate and genuinely feel like you.

Relaxed. Simplicity. Individual. Comfort. Detail.

So that’s it – five words to define my style and work with an ongoing basis. Writing this post and defaulting to type as far as my chosen images and descriptions go has made me realise two things.

Whilst I admire the sometimes eclectic manner in which Olivia Palermo or bloggers such as Blair from Atlantic Pacific may dress, those specific looks aren’t me. I might borrow an element or purchase something they’re wearing but I need to put my own spin on it.

And basically I’m a neutralaholic, slowly morphing into a grown up devotee of Normcore with an injection of a statement accessory here or a shot of colour there. I continue to write the blog with a view to what both readers like and what I would wear but I think my own personal style preferences will (and should) be a key factor.

Which five words would define your style?

Photography: Marlene Lee

10 comments on “Style Defined”

  1. Amanda! This is a thought provoking one! Style occupies my thoughts often but it is such a difficult thing to define. And as for longing to be a boho Cali-girl; yep I am there too but it so doesn’t suit my lifestyle or my age! I so wish I had had Pinterest when I was 20 – I would have rocked with all of that inspiration. Now – well it’s walking that fine line between appropriate and ‘with interest’. I too have leaned towards the simple – bordering on ‘Normcore’!! I didn’t even know that was a thing until I read it here – see? You are providing a public service in education! The thing I dislike though, when I dress is when things look ‘overdone’ and the if there is a preoccupation with style and fashion, for me at least, it can border on the overdone side. I need to (in the words of JLo) ‘keep it real’ and not get carried away with all that trappings. I live a simple life and on the whole, need simple clothes; dog walking, school run, being at home, occasional need to dress up. This has translated into a uniform of skinny jeans, chelsea boots and layered wool. Dog walking is all about technical clothes that do the work but don’t look like a farmer; similarly for yoga and training, I want stuff that looks good but also that works. I ask a lot more of my clothes now than I ever used to. And the occasional going out (more occasional than I would like!) it’s really only then that I can indulge the interest/detail side (and therein lies the boho Cali-girl yearnings! Must kerb those…). As ever, a very considered post – thank you xxx

    1. Hey Lovely Lou! I often wish Pinterest had been around 20 years ago too – so many missed wardrobe opportunities. But you know what? If you love a smidgen of Boho in the summer, there are ways to rock it (I hate to say the expression!) in ‘our age range”! Might even do a post on it!
      I think that’s why I love Normcore – the very lack of looking overdone and personally I think there is nothing wrong in having a very stylish uniform (as per yours) that suits your lifestyle. Wear the right clothes for the job – look amazing!
      Thanks as always for your insightfulness – you always have me sitting here nodding at my screen! xxx

  2. A very interesting and thought provoking post! Have to confess I had to look up “Normcore”…
    My natural style is quite casual (I live in Brighton, work from home, do the school run, need to wear functional sportswear a lot)
    I can’t help feeling that Normcore, whilst a great backbone, is in its entirety quite boring. For me, there have to be those special pieces that make your heart sing to lift it up. A couple of months ago I bought a pair of bright silver shiny brogues from Russell and Bromley. No single item has brought me as many comments and compliments from complete strangers in the street (men too!) and I feel happy every time I wear them. Needless to say, everything else will be pared down when I wear them, but without them and items like them, life would be dull!

    1. Thanks Sharon! Absolutely…Normcore is not for everyone. I know what you mean about those special pieces too – that’s what translates to my Detail word. I love the sound of your brogues – you know you’ve hit a gold dust piece when they always draw so many compliments!

  3. I love the monochrome pared down look but I have white hair and pale skin. I’ve recently been thinking about what suits me and think I need an injection of colour with my clothes. Though I’m always pulled towards navy, white and grey. This an interesting post as it highlights that we are all individuals and need to find what suits us. Your blog is great for giving me ideas.

    1. So glad you found it useful Gae and you’re right – it’s about figuring out what suits us and our lifetstyles in the very best way possible. So glad you can find ideas here too – always lovely to hear!

  4. Hello, once again! I clicked on this post after reading your latest one and have to say that I LOVE this! I’m a trained personal stylist and these are some of the question that I ask my clients – it’s amazing how many people don’t think about their style in a strategic way or ask questions such as these – although it does make it easy to understand why there are so many women with heaving wardrobes and literally nothing to wear!

    Another great exercise is to put 10-15 minutes aside and answer the question, “How would I dress if money were no object?” – this will give you endless insights because we subconsciously limit ourselves due to budget – which is understandable – but the problem is that it also limits creativity and makes us think that we can’t dress a certain way just because we can’t afford certain designers. As you well know, there are always ways to copy looks we love!

    I love Olivia, Jessica Parker and Jenna Lyons and Coco Chanel too, I would do unspeakable things for a wardrobe like Jenna’s!


    1. Hey Esther! I think this idea of what would I wear if money were no object is a brilliant one. And as you say – pretty much everything can be achieved on a hight street budget these days – sometimes you just need the inspiration. That’s where Pinterest in so brilliant – once you’ve nailed down the type of look you love, it’s a great place for experimenting with the different ways to style the pieces you love. Ah yes – Jenna’s wardrobe…now that would be my happy place! xx

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