#13 of the challenge is style analysis. This is LONG; but it is also a helpful exercise. 🙂
Write about your style evolution from childhood until today.
Strictly from memory and without referring to old pictures, my summation is this:
From Mama-Curated to Curated-by-Me
Mama has an elegant sense of style – but very different from mine in some cases (she likes Dockers, which I kinda hate, and peasant tops, which I like for her but not on me – earthy tones and dainty jewelry).
She also is hugely talented and hand-made many of my clothes when I was a kid. I generally could pick what I wanted and she could make it happen. Try getting her to sew something now though…forget about it 😐 Regardless, I am thankful to her, my beloved grandmothers, aunts, and elder cousins for being the stylish ladies they are/were and imparting that to me.
0 – 10
I recall my faves – a plaid short-sleeved ruffle shirt and a green and white gingham ruffly dress. Mama picked it all – but let her tell it, I had demands…ruffles! She gives the impression that I had budding diva tendencies…glass houses Mama 🙂 [love my Mama!]
School age! I wanted to look like everyone else – so loud and garish standard mid to late 80s fare! LA Gear, Jellies, loads of pinks and neon, cut off denim…everyone looked like their crayon box melted and spilled on them. Fun times but I won’t be breaking out those pictures just yet. 😐 or 🙂
11-13 -> Middle School
For some reason I recall a lot of red. Outfits were basic and as much like everyone else as I could manage. Sticking out then wasn’t ideal. It was like wearing a bulls-eye on your back 🙂
The norm was:
Jeans…sneaks…color…bows…Starter team coats…hoop earrings…same as everyone else. In retrospect, how boring lol 🙂
I don’t think I often deviated from my top ponytail either.
Trendy. Brands – KSwiss, Tretorn, Starter, etc.
14-19 -> High School Through Sophomore Year
High School – 90s <Grunge>
Jeans…sneaks…tees…cute mini skirts with graphic tees and heels.
Still not standing out…I like what everyone else likes – no real effort at creating something new.
Just trendy – except for church I preferred more understated dresses with clean lines.
Brands – Nike, Tommy, Nautica, and other random stores that likely out of business
Freshman year -> vestiges of high school dressing still in tact…learning from my new environment what is common and of that lot, what I like. Casual cuteness for class and cute for parties.
Sophomore year -> Cute for class and bold for parties 🙂
Still trendy. Brands – Gadzooks, Nike, Nine West, Enzo Angiolini, Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, Express, Lerner (NYCO)
College (Pre-Infant and end of Me 1.0)
Day -> Cute shirts, jeans and heels mostly. Some dresses and skirts. Express, Lerner (currently known as New York and Company), Wet Seal, Nine West, Enzo Angiolini, Gadzooks, Wet Seal, etc.
Night -> parties and dates. Trendy and garish!
As needed -> dresses and suits (Kasper – a huge deal LOL) for church and interviews.
Start of a fitness journey though I didn’t know it.
Post-Infant (start of Me 2.0)
Work -> Business casual – many hand-me-downs from Mama and The Aunt…TY Jesus for provision because Infant now consumes all of my money!
Non-work -> Jeans and a cute shirt…simple, all wash&wear as I have a baby now.
Church -> Pretty and very Baptist looking ensembles from Mama and The Aunt.
I wore my favorites, and was very stylish in them. I was a Mama/Aunt replica – which is funny as our family genes are strong anyway. I was very grateful also because if I had to buy all of that, I would have had far less…and of far less quality.
Fitness -> home DVDs for yoga, Pilates, and short segments to fit in between assignments and baby whims.
30s – Part Une
This decade has turned out to be one of my best…in terms of both growth and style. All that 20-something angst about turning 30 was for not.
Carried over work and church gear from the 20s – why mess with it…the budget was still strict. I did add sleeker jeans, slacks, heels, tees, and bags. Bad taste in first husband affected me and style hugely.
Fitness at a gym – but the workouts are as mediocre as the fit gear.
My money and courage returned to me. I’m glad he is out. Lord have mercy I feel like I am floating! Maxi and I get to live it up! Activities and friends – man God is good – why did I keep that dude around so long? Life is better without him and his sinful stench! What, what?!
Respectable clothes for court of course – I want to appear likable [God gave great favor rendering my clothes useless! Grateful forever!].
Appropriate clothes for work – I need this job now more th an ever.
Cute dresses for church.
Stores I frequented: Maurice’s, Cato, Ross, Macy’s Marshall’s, Dillard’s, Express, NYCO, Body Central, Forever 21.
‘Many you come alive when it is warm’ – no – I come alive in the absence of oppression!
But on the flip – court is ugly and the incited anger is uglier. Romans 8.28 kept me going though I did repent for anything that could have been perceived as untoward on my part.
Fitness pursuits limited to in-house and free passes.
30s – Part Deux – Post Battle – 180 Degree Transition – Me 3.0
From There to Here
Me – Post Battle Reflection
After being thoroughly chastened by the Lord via various means – I repented [said the same thing He says about my former folly] and started doing things consistently that I should have been more attentive to. Assembly, reading (always did but life experiences make the text pop off the page), the appropriate care ministry, service ministries, personal Bible study, and keeping like-believing friends close. All that to say – I have learned it is better to obey!
I am not that same spoiled semi-rebellious girl. I think that is why I love Scarlett O’Hara – she went through it, same as I did, and persevered. Of course I credit God and not myself. 🙂
My life can be summed up by Psalm 23.
I found I gravitate toward understated beauty for basics with an edge or pop. I like getting ready quickly without sacrificing style – so I need pieces that lend themselves to that! Because I am larger, I also have to consider what underpinnings will make my clothes look better 😐
I see the need for reliable pieces that are good quaity and versatile as well as delaying the impulse to shop. I accept that I may not look like the others in the crowd and that is okay – nay, preferable. Who wants to be redundant? A stutter of someone else. No thanks.
Some of my fave outfits now are:
Jeggings, Moto Boots, Tee, Moto Jacket
Sheath, Cardi, Sleek Pointy Heels
Half Tucked Button-up, Jeggings, Wedges
Fitted Dress, Kimono, Belted, Sleek Heels
Redundant save for accessories!
Brands/stores: Express, NYCO [Eva only], BR, Macy’s, Dillard’s, J. Crew, LOFT, Ann Taylor, Via Spiga, Frye, Rag & Bone, Nine West, Michael Kors [shoes only], Nordstrom, DKNY, Kate Spade, Calvin Klein, and others intermittently. I’ve learned not to write off any store as they may have something of value at just the right price 🙂 Inspection is half the fun!
It took some trial and error but I like cute tops, a layered tank and a cute tank. Great sneakers are a must. Shirts with sleeves don’t live long due to semi-malodorous sleeves.
Brands/stores: VS, Old Navy, Marshall’s…but I am interested in any brand with great compression. Compression is essential. Jiggling is unseemly.
Old people say, He’s brought me a mighty long way, and I can concur fully. 🙂 Thank God for keeping me!
From trendy to mostly minimal, I’ve arrived at a style I’m happy with and that fits my life. I evaluate what is offered and truly see if it fits me. I can get dressed quickly most days.
My Mama mostly approves too – though, she doesn’t prefer any body-con items 🙂