It’s taken me a long time to feel completely almost comfortable in my own skin. A big part of that was losing weight, but the fact that I’ve finally identified my style isn’t insignificant either.
Bodycon will never be something I will feel myself in, neither will something that is high-necked. Much as I love classic cream coats, I know the colour washes me out. Midi skirts might look fab on most people, but unless they’re from the petite range they just look like I’ve shrunk something floor-length.
But there are things I’ve found that do suit me, some surprisingly so. Playsuits have become one of my favourite things. Pretty and (more often than not) floral, yet without the worry of flashing my knickers on a windy day. Shorter skirts – the legs that I’ve spent years hiding are getting flashed a bit more, and not just in (several pairs of) thick black tights. Sandals don’t make my legs look short and fat. And I’ve found jeans that fit and look half-decent – as long as they are properly skinny and high-waisted. Pencil skirts for work are great, once I safety-pin the waist in. Black needs to be balanced out with colour. Pastels don’t work for me, but brights do. Surprisingly red doesn’t clash with my slightly ginger hair.
Ditch the fashion magazines for a bit.
Use them as inspiration of course, but don’t slavishly follow trends. I know damn well ripped jeans are ‘in’ right now, but I’m not buying a pair.
Take your mum shopping.
Or a close friend, just someone who’s style you admire, who is completely honest, and who you won’t to kill halfway through the day.
Identify your favourite bits.
I have a dress which I have owned for seven years (it was the first bit of clothing I chose myself on a shopping-with-friends trip at 14). It has set my style in my wardrobe, I know the shape suits me, as do the colours and the pattern style (and, W take not, it’s not floral!).
Pick your favourite part of your body and highlight it.
For me, I always want to highlight my waist as I have a true hourglass shape. I have a lot of belts, thick and thin, and I wear one with most dresses – it’s especially useful having lost weight as I can bring in clothes that are too big!
If you find something you like, buy several and in all colours. I have five of the New Look shirred waist dresses in various patterns, and two pairs of their high waisted jeans. I do the same with H&M lace tops (praying for them to come in this year as I need to go a size down) and Primark cardigans.
Don’t spend a fortune on one dress, but instead buy several cheap ones and splurge on a good coat or pair of boots. I always find that spending a bit more on belts mean they don’t look beaten up after a few months. I’ve got a huge amount of satchels – a decent bag would always been on the top of my splurge list!
Stock up on basics.
For me this is white shirts, black tights, and lace tops (see above point regarding H&M). I’ll always have an abundance of these in my wardrobe, but they will go with anything else I buy. And throwing on a pair of skinnies and white shirt is an effortless way to look presentable when I really can’t be bothered!
But above all, have fun with it. Experiment. Try on bits you love but wouldn’t normally dare to wear – you might be surprised. Don’t buy things just because it looks cute on your friend, don’t feel pressured to follow trends. Wear what you want, what you feel comfortable in, and I guarantee you’ll look great.
I’ve really enjoyed finding my own style over the last few months – though my bank balance hasn’t been impressed. Let me know if you want a haul post at some point! What’s your day-to-day style?