My Personal Style Evolution

Do you look at pictures from high school and gasp at the ridiculousness of your clothes or do you run to your closet to see if you still have those pieces? Did you follow the major trends in your school or did you make your own fashion path, critics be damned?

I've always loved lush fabrics, which meant gobs of velvet in middle school. Vintage has also been my thing for a while, and I'd gravitate to Victorian inspired jewelry -- cameos, lace, roses and chokers. Being a lover of hats, I was on the Blossom bandwagon without ever having watched the show. I wasn't very confident in my ability to match color, so I stuck with black. While I'd heard that everything went with black, I was far too shy to wear bright colors as that meant people might look at me; thus, the other colors in my wardrobe tended to be purple, navy, burgundy and dark green. Not having older sisters and not wanting to ask my mom, I didn't know how to apply makeup and had to experiment. My smokey eyes turned out looking like a bruised raccoon, and my plum lipstick frequently smeared. It's only with the perspective of ten years that I realize how goth I looked.

By high school, I started stealing vintage clothes from the closet my parents refused to clear. I went to private school and had a rotating selection of ankle length skirts, which I would usually try to pair with a fitted tee or sweater or something hideous from my father's leisure suit collection. (His orange, white, brown and purple shirt printed with Hindu gods, scarabs and geometric shapes helped teach me that somethings are too ugly to not love.) I started to explore eras other than the Victorian, and fell for 1940s brogues (which I called P.I. shoes), 60s shifts, and crocheted hippie everything. I stopped buying vintage reproductions from the mall and started scowering garage sales for true vintage jewelry, and I wore way too much of it at once. I started to explore colors and cemented my black/brown philosophy that I didn't break until this year. The goth makeup upset my dad, so I just wore mascara and lipstick everyday. Tired of fighting with my frizzy knot of hair everyday, I resorted to buns and ornate hair sticks. I was mocked mercilessly and briefly tried fitting in with carpenter khakis and striped polos, but that was far too dull to last.


At 25, I know more about design, proportion, fashion history and, most importantly, myself, but some things haven't changed. I still love vintage jewelry, but I don't wear it all at once. I still love lush fabrics, but I prefer cashmere, leather and silk to velvet. I still wear hats, but I stick with my trusty grey wool beret or brown leather newsboy. I still don't give a rip if other people think my clothing looks stupid, and I explore looks even more now.
Other things have changed tremendously. becca, another private school survivor, helped me purge my closet of anything that screamed "dress code" so the ankle length skirts are gone. My preferred length now is an inch above my knee as that makes me look taller. I'm a complete color addict, and have only recently begun to reconsider neutrals. I almost never wear makeup. It's not that I don't like it, it's that I want it to be theatrical. I don't have time everyday for winged eyeliner or ruby lips. I won the battle with my hair. John Frida anti-frizz tamed my savage curls in college, but post-college I have a Linda Evangelista style bob which I usually wear straight.
I dress according to mood, so one day I could be retro classic and the next eclectic, one day a colorist than next just some bright pops here and there.

How has your personal style evolved?

Comments

I stumbled across your blog some months ago, and it has become a daily read.
This post in particular compelled me to comment, I just recently started my own blog(although not half as polished yet as yours) and todays post echoed alot of my own sentiments.
Rachel said…
I liked reading your fashion journey, and have enjoyed being able to watch some of it (most noticeably from brown to color)! Mine isn't nearly as interesting, and mainly involves my mindset changing more and more towards "wear what I like and what looks good on me" above everything else. I also don't usually spend much money on clothes, and love hunting for great bargains on both new and used clothing.

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