"Style is primarily a matter of instinct" - Bill Blass
Nearly five years ago, when I first started this blog, I wrote in my little bio that I was part 1950s housewife and part 1960s flower child with a touch of Alice in Wonderland and little did I know, in that one sentence I somehow defined my personal style.
When I first began writing Her Library Adventures, I had never really intended my blog to be about my personal style, although I did share a few photos of outfits or clothes I'd bought, mainly to show my sister and my mum. Fashion and style blogs did not really exist in the way they do now, but I was always drawn to street style images and the creative vibe of early style bloggers Emily and Francesca. I have always been intrigued by why people choose particular garments to wear, what significance the pieces hold and stories their outfits share. This began during my University studies in Fashion Theory and continues to be an area of study I'm still captivated by today.
So as I become more open and shared more about what I love to wear, I not only reflected on the personal style of those who inspire me, but also the pieces hanging in my own wardrobe. I was wandering around a department store this morning, looking for a birthday present for my little sister and I couldn't help but notice very specific reoccurring trends and just how many clothes were filling the racks that no one appeared to be buying. It was both fascinating and a little overwhelming and on my way home I started to think about my own style evolution, my shift away from department store dressing and embracing my love for a variety of different styles and eras.
My style really evolved when I moved to a small town, without a department store or very many independent fashion shops. Finding clothing that was felt like 'me' was a real challenge and that's when I really found my love for thrifting. Second hand and vintage pieces now play a big part in my personal style and because you just never know what you are going to find thrifting, my wardrobe has become a mix of staple pieces and thrifted finds that catch my eye, often for their colour, era and pattern. In the past, I was always nervous about wearing colour, feeling like I didn't want to stand out from the crowd, so I stuck with buying most things in basic black. Over the past few years, inspired by gorgeous style bloggers like Kaylah and Elizabeth, I really made a point of stepping out of my comfort zone to add more colour to my wardrobe and I haven't looked back since.
These days my style is very much an eclectic mash up. I love vintage and retro inspired girly styles and am always happy wearing a dress, cardigan, tights and ballet flats. But I have a sprinkle of flower child in my soul, especially during summer and I'm drawn to flowing maxi skirts and a more bohemian aesthetic, which contradicts the majority of my wardrobe. As much as I adore this look, I'm only 5' tall and beautiful long dress and skirts just don't suit my body shape, so right now, I'm working on blending the worlds and making both styles work together for me.
My word for 2013 is Embrace.. So that's exactly what I've decided to do with my personal style. Rather than getting frustrated the pieces that don't work for my body shape, I'm embracing my instincts, reworking items that have been sitting in the back of my wardrobe for years, trying new combinations, loving eclectic accessories and finding a balance between my inner 50s housewife and 60s flower child. And so far, it's been a really fun challenge!
I would love to hear your thoughts on personal style.. How would your define your style? Has it changed over the years? Do you have one strong style or do you mix it up?