Over the years I have found myself struggling more and more to get dressed and be satisfied, and comfortable, with what I put on to face my day. If I try to deviate from my “uniform” at all (i.e. those 1-3 outfits you throw on without thinking about it and without looking too hard in the mirror) then my bedroom looks like a tornado hit it. Inevitably I try on nearly everything I own…and then walk out either in the same damned uniform, or in something uncomfortable that I end up yanking on all day. I’ve also, like a lot of women, put on some weight over the years and I was just flat out sick of waiting for that day I’d be the perfect size 8/10 again. The problem is, it had been so long since I really even thought about fashion that I had no clue how my own personal style might have evolved.
The first thing I did was look for a some help online. But guess what? Females in their forties are this weirdly forgotten group of people when it comes to fashion. Oh, there are magazines and articles out there that supposedly address – and dress -the forty+ set, but really all I’ve found are articles on what I am no longer allowed to wear, which is ridiculous, and fashion spreads that show me clothing that is so boring I’d rather stick to my tired old uniform.
In frustration I decided to switch tactics and look for a fashion icon instead; just one woman in my age range whose personal style I admired. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. After a lot of digging the person I settled on was the French model Ines de La Fressange. You can’t know how ironic this is because I was a teenager when she became the face of Chanel and I remember being disappointed with how rail thin she was. She is still rather thin, but she does indeed have some great personal style and is even eleven years older than me so I think hers is the kind of style I can emulate for quite some time. I even went so far as to purchase her book.
In the end it isn’t so much about actual clothing choices, it is about attitude and a careful carelessness. Putting together classic pieces with a personal touch added and always, always, always, being comfortable – both in your skin and in your clothes.
Finally I decided I needed to start getting a handle on my own style preferences without all the external “help” from magazines and web articles. A website that helped me define my style was Polyvore. It is really just a place to gather the things you like and put them together on a “board.” My style quickly began to emerge, and the nice thing about it is that when certain pieces start popping up across sets you get an idea of wardrobe staples.
Turns out my style is rather classic and simple. Some of the pieces I put together for myself on Polyvore are pricey, but I know I can duplicate these looks with more inexpensive brands if need be. And guess what? I like these looks so much more than any I’ve seen in magazine spreads I’ve come across to date. If you want to take a look at my personal style on Polyvore click here.
Yesterday I did some fall shopping and I decided to buy a pair of shoes I used to wear in high school; the classic black loafer.
Bass, black, tasseled Weejuns to be exact.
They remind me of back to school shopping back in the day. My sister and I would always hit a Bass outlet store in Kennebunk, Maine and get our new pair of loafers for the coming school year (usually the classic burgundy penny loafer). When I left the store I snapped a picture of my new Weejuns and sent it to my sister who is now online shopping for a pair herself. So out the window goes that old saying that if you wore a style when you were a kid, if it comes back around you can’t wear it again. Who the hell makes up these rules anyway? Idiots. Some things never go out of style and as long as I don’t wear it with a pair of elastic waist jeans I should be good to go.
Along with the Weejuns, I bought a couple of other fall staples – a classic black cardigan, and an army green cotton jacket. These things should carry me through the cool weather we will hopefully be experiencing soon.
I also picked up a cute accessory. An adorable, and inexpensive ($22.00) watch locket, which is just the kind of classic, but interesting and unique, accessory that can really make a simple outfit more interesting. And you can’t go wrong when it is only twenty-two bucks!