It took me a long time to find my personal style. Many years were spent attempting to squeeze myself into garments that didn’t work for my body shape, or forcing myself to adopt seasonal trends – even though I knew corduroy trousers and waistcoats really weren’t for me. (Oh lordie, please let 99% of the photos taken at uni never see the light of day…) Mistakes needed to be made in order to find the pieces that worked for my curves, the silhouettes that flattered and the colours that really could become staples I’d rely on; it’s taken the best part of two decades to really get to grips to what works for me, but finally I think I’m kind of nailing it. Saying that, you’d expect be to be a fan of a capsule wardrobe and investing in key pieces that would stand the test of time – and although that’s true to a certain extent (there are certain dresses that have seen me through the good times and the bad,) I’m a huge fan of dressing for fun and treating myself to fashion pieces that are a real talking point.
My wardrobe is bursting with colour, patterns and unexpected accessories purely to inject some much needed lightheartedness into my otherwise quite serious life; I dress for my mood and often a quirky dress or character bag is all it takes to lift my spirits or get me in the zone for feeling content. Yes a LBD is a classic addition to any closet, but sometimes you need to step out of neutral territory and try something a little different – whether you think you can pull it off or not. (Spoiler: you can.)
Take this palm tree lemon dress for example; I loved it as soon as I saw it on the mannequin in the Monsoon shop window, but I started to question how much wear I would actually get out of a yellow and green number knowing I only spend a couple weeks a year on the beach. Despite that I tried it on, squeezed in my boobs and felt pretty darn fabulous in it… Since then I’ve worn it so many times and have received compliments every single occasion, which just spurs me on to get it out more often. It’s not a classic, and to be honest I’ll probably be over it in a couple of years, but darn it I feel so happy while I’m wearing it that it overpowers my need to be sensible.
If you can’t quite bring yourself to wear a bold outfit or pick up something so colourful or patterned, accessories provide a great (and more affordable) way of injecting some fun into your look without the commitment. Whether you keep it simple with a pair of bold and colourful earrings (these tassel numbers are a really affordable £3.00 from Primark,) opt for a quirky pair of sunnies (like my £2.99 heart-shaped eBay bargains) or go all out with a shaped bag (this Kate Spade pineapple bag is probably one of my favourite possessions, despite it only being used a handful of times a year!) it’s amazing the difference it makes to how you look and feel. Who said you have to dress grown up just because you’re a grown up?
I’d love to be one of those people who chose each piece carefully, ensured her entire closet was in a complementary colour spectrum, was able to pick items she knew she’d love in a decade and found the simple lines that worked for her body shape – but the truth is I’m not, and I never will be. I’m the person picking up the random dresses nobody else thinks they can pull off, stocking up on the boldest accessories and channeling her inner child even in her mid thirties. Because fashion is supposed to be fun, and to be honest I’m so busy having fun that I’ve forgotten to be stylish.
How about you: do you dress for fun, or do you prefer to stick to classic, styles and shapes?
Pictures taken by Kaye Ford
Monsoon Palm Print Dress | £59.00 | LINK
Kurt Geiger White Sliders | £39.00 | LINK
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