You’d think that after photographing and writing about others’ style, I’d feel more inspired and confident in my own. That is at least what I expected. Yet oddly, the reverse is true.
Lately I’ve been feeling restless. I look into my wardrobe and no longer see myself.
Now it could be the season. Spring always triggers a few crazy buttons in me. Or middle-aged hormones (also known to trigger mental health issues). It’s the school holiday’s too. And we’re renovating. All triggers for not feeling right in ones skin. Or maybe I’m changing, maturing in my sense of style? Perhaps Silk Purse, Oily Rag is shifting the goal-posts for me?
Whatever, something’s been moved on my mantlepiece and things don’t look the same. What worked before isn’t working anymore. What am I going to do to change it?
I could do lots of things. If advising a client, I probably say something like, “put together a scrap book or Pinterest board of things that you love. Start collecting images of things that inspire you”. I would encourage her to think about her favourite icons of style, women she admires and brands or labels she resonates with.
I would also advise her to empty her wardrobe and do a thorough overhaul.
In order to really see what you are working with, you need to take inventory and decide what to do with each item. As you look at each garment, decide whether you want to keep it, get rid of it, alter it, or mend it… – Nina Garcia, from Style Strategy
Under my strict instructions, I would have her refine and review everything she owned and purge her wardrobe of anything that no longer fitted her, suited her or was consistent with her newly emerging sense of style.
Then I would have her list her favourite things. Her winning ensembles, and the things most suited to how she lives her lifestyle. I would advise her to think hard about how she spends most of her time, and when and where she most wants to look her best. We’d inventorise her greatest hits. Then, using this information, we’d begin to get a feel for her sense of style. We’d discuss wardrobe basics, foundation garments, a shopping wish list and some strategies for making good shopping decisions, consistent with her personal style.
These are things I regularly advise others. But what to do myself? Actually, for now anyhow, I’m going to do none of those things. To be honest the thought of it is just too exhausting. Fashion isn’t actually the issue here.
Sometimes, our feelings about ourselves, life, style, self-esteem, identity and personal style, have nothing to do with the clothes in our wardrobes. Or indeed anything at all that is happenning on the outside…
Sometimes, the feelings are just life’s way of telling us to stop and listen. Sometimes, we’ve just got to sleep on it for a bit.
This too, shall pass.