When it comes to style, let's be clear: we're not talking about life and death issues here. It's not all that important in the scheme of things, but the way I see it, we all put clothes on everyday, so once in a while it's worth having a think about our style and indulge ourselves in a little excursion of the mind!!
Been just over a month since the SHOP went LIVE & since then I've been busy writing blog posts for others. Based on the type of questions I'm getting asked, I thought I'd share a bit on my style ethos.. I am no expert on these extremely serious matters but i am, afterall, in the biznaz of style.. so here's some ideas...
What is my Style Ethos?
If i had to choose a word, just one that best describes my attitude to style, it would be LESS. I ASPIRE to have less. I ASPIRE to make less enough. I ASPIRE to make less plenty. It's the journey i'm leaning into. I've tried to strip things right back to the basics and i think carefully about what i buy and how many trendy bandwagons i jump on. i just love this quote by my heroine Sarah Ban Breathnach: "women frequently want to have a mad passionate fling with fashion but given a choice, most of us would marry style." Occasionally we feel the seduction of an emerging fashion trend, sometimes we resist and sometimes we partake but more often than not, it burns itself out before the season is over. I enjoy thinking back to my many fashion flings over the years. i jumped on a bandwagon of leg warmers and fake UGG boots with short skirts and bare legs for a few summers about 8 years ago. It was all about the fake tan too. i flung with the pleather knee high boots a while back & jiggied with high heels and combats as fully fledged 'formal' attire (as worn by Kylie Minogue in her 'Love at First Sight video' remember this? Ah..Good times! These instances are different to the 5 year teenage 'flares' era. These 'fashion flings' equate to collecting 'fashion clutter.' I've done it and in many ways, don't regret it, but as i've been gettin' on in years, I've slowly realised that the 'fashion clutter' i acquire weighs me down. i'm realising that, for me, lighter = happier. So in short, i'm working on my long-standing marriage with style. There's not always fireworks between us, it's kinda predictable for the most part, but there's less stuff in my face all the time and i'd say we're happy. This marriage also works well for me, because unlike the other females in my life, i have NO stamina when it comes to shopping. I still feel like a whiney 7 year old on shopping sprees in TKMaxx with my mum. I see her disbelief at my lack of enthusiasm. Honestly, ask anyone who knows me well.
I try to live by the principle of buying staple items that become uniforms for the everyday. I suppose this reflects the 'lines' - simplistic element of the brand. I'll write more about my thoughts on a 'capsule wardrobe and uniform dressing' in the future but here's a wee pic of my daughters holding up my entire Spring/Summer vacuum packed wardrobe that is still stashed away for warmer weather. This was taken back in the autumn 2014. Right now i'm living out of what i call my autumn/winter stash!
Lady of Shallot John William Waterhouse 1888
As i said, things are relatively predictable and unchanging in my style ethos. I'm still drawn to the same pre-raphealite art i loved as a teenager, and i'm still in love with the same boho, cotton summer tops, denim shorts i loved back then too, worn with long wavy hair, strappy sandals and perhaps a toe-ring!
From white wall interiors, to minimalistic design, to clothes, the styles i love and have loved over the years don't really change that much. Sometimes, circumstances affect my innate tastes and preferences a bit- like when your preggo and suddenly you have no waist anymore, and so you have to dress differently for a year or two - i personally went through a complete dressing transition during my pregnancies as i was used to more fitted tops in my pre-baby life. So when i couldn't rely on my waist to counteract my hips anymore i felt like a rectangle (having a broader top half AND broad bottom half rather, than my usual pear) i found this pretty tricky when dressing, but got over it soon enough.)
32ish weeks preggo with #1, taken by Craig & Connie Hunter in 2007.
Sometimes we can be caught off-guard as we look at our wardrobes of tat-filled summer/ winter / pre-preggo/ post- post preggo, dear knows what-else collections. Body shapes change, we might move to another country with one suitcase to our name or flip, we just move from summer to autumn and all of a sudden we're squealing "how do i dress again?" So i think it's important to re-evaluate our style ethos every so often and I find reminding myself of what i love is kinda helpful as a way of keeping me on track. It may take you a while to channel the inner tastes again and re-discover your love for red lippy or your love for white t-shirts under tailored jackets, but if you're anything like me, the things you love don't change all that much. I find this to be wonderful rather than boring as i have learnt to trust it and use it as guide when choosing what to buy.
Being comfy is part of my marriage to style... there's nothing more unattractive (and we've all been there) than watching someone tugging at a tight or clingy t-shirt that's catching on the pot belly or pulling down on a skirt that's just a little too short for their comfort. When we aren't comfortable, we end up feeling grosser than we appear and we owe it ourselves not to feel like that. Life's too short to always be pulling the jeans up over the muffin top so make some time to discover a new 'everyday uniform' that suits your shape.
YOUR OWN STAMP
So i've talked about my ethos on 'less' but let's face it, where's the fun in us all walking about in 'everyday uniforms' consisting of grey t-shirts and jeans every. single. day? There has to be a 'uniqueness,' your sense of style should reflect the things that have shaped you into you. I'm talking about the precious family heirlooms, the hand-me downs from your mum, (like an aran jumper my granny knit for mum that i will never get rid of. ) Maybe there's that item of clothing your husband likes you wearing. It's the way you always back comb the piece of hair on the crown of your head at all times. Or the way you feel naked without eyelash-curling. It's the way one of my daughters will NEVER wear a dress or skirt other than her school uniform and the other one feels completely herself in a tutu. It's all these wee sparks that are precious and make us unique. We can be inspired by others, yes, absolutely, we might be copiers more than creators (who isn't?) but it's so lovely when the pieces of ourselves come out to play and hang around from day-to-day.
by Jessica Durrant
Spring is a good time to have a look in our wardrobes and reconsider our relationship with clothes. It's a good time to rethink our fashion flings and shed some of the debris that's cluttering the ol' head space. Now may be time to go and deal with these very serious matters and perhaps re-acquaint yourself with your wardrobe contents. Like a good life-partner, your style, won't let you down, is loyal, will accept you just as you are and is patiently waiting for your long-life together!
(***Author Julia Cameron talks a lot about 'creative recovery' in her work- it's a bit more to do with channeling your inner creative self, rather than your personal style but I'm pretty sure it's all connected if we look at our style as an artistic expression. Here's the link to the 2 tools she advises if you employ for a lasting creative awakening.)