After part 1: what are the cornerstones of my style?, here’s part 2: why do I wear what I wear? I found this fascinating to think about, and I’m not sure I got to the bottom of it, but it was fun! right then:
Probably the most defining characteristic of my style is that its colourful. But why do I love bright colours so much? I guess for me, bright colours are happy colours. They’re not sophisticated like black and white, or soft and beautiful like neutrals (there is nothing to say that brights can’t be sophisticated and beautiful of course – but I would argue that typically they’re probably not) – but they are FUN! this is how I see myself most (and want to see myself) most of the time, not elegant and mannered and beautiful, but interesting and fun to be with.
Colours for me are also a thing of youth, and while I don’t want to be younger again its important to me to indulge my youthful side, especially now that I have a fairly demanding proper job in which I am increasingly having to be professional and smart. I want the clothes I wear in my free time to signal to myself and the world that I’m off duty and ready to enjoy myself.
There is also a much more prosaic reason for the bright colours, which is that they suit me. I have yellowy/light olive skin, brown eyes and mousey brown hair, so there isn’t that much contrast in my natural colouring, and if I wear neutrals, especially browns, I end up looking really washed out and boring. Similarly, black and white on other people looks really striking, but on me, the cleanness and crispness is somewhat spoiled by the non-colour of my hair.
The colour blocking is also due to a practical reason. It wasn’t anything I’d planned, but I discovered that simple jersey clothes are fantastic because (1) you can get them almost anywhere (2) they are cheap (3) if they are made from poor quality fabrics (which too often is the case and feels almost unavoidable these days) this is not as immediately obvious as with prints (4) anything really goes with anything, making for a myriad of possible combinations (5) they make a great ‘blank canvas’ against which to wear more elaborate items and, or course, accessories.
The other thing that massively influences my style is my body shape. I am somewhere between an hourglass and a pear shape (hips/bum are definitely bigger than the boobs, but both areas are quite prominent), with a (comparatively) small waist. To make the most of this body shape, I almost always wear something that is fitted at the waist, quite often with a belt to further draw attention to this area. Anything loose and billowy makes me look like whale by making it appear that I have a big belly as well as big everything else.
I have two silhouettes, both of which exaggerate my shape. The first is a knee length pencil skirt look with a tight top. This is basically for the days when i am feeling fabolous and think that having a sticky-outy bum and ‘birthfriendly’ hips (this is what it in called in German, which I find hilarious. German is such a literal language) is a good thing and should be celebrated. The second involves big 1950s swishy skirts. The logic here is that they hide my big thighs and by being so big make my waist appear smaller.
** I originally wrote a big long rant on dressing ‘modestly’ here, but then I thought I better think this over a bit more first, so took it out. I might blog about this at a later point, if I can get my thoughts in order.
So anyway, what about you guys? why do you like what you like? what do your clothes say about you?