As a teenager, I was the world’s least fashion-conscious girl.
The running joke amongst my friends was that I never took my sneakers (trainers) off. I dressed purely for comfort, and never gave a thought to how I looked. Frankly, the fact that I was reasonably overweight at that age no doubt played a factor, though it was only a small part of the overall reason.
I sneered inwardly at all those girls who bothered with make-up and whatever the latest ‘fashion’ was (and they probably sneered at me for being such a frump – geez, teenagers can be cruel!).
You see, I was brought up to value my intellect, which thankfully worked out for me as I was comfortably smart enough to do well at school. I was an only child who lived through the fabulous stories I read, and I thrived when praised for my academic achievements.
I wore hand-me-downs from babydom upwards, and don’t remember ever owning anything with a brand label on it.
I didn’t care about fashion.
In fact, I still don’t.
That is, if you define fashion as ‘a current popular designer trend’. To this day I have no desire to own a designer anything.
What I have come to appreciate is style.
Actually, if I re-define fashion as simply ‘the clothes and adornments we choose to wear’, then I have come to care about fashion quite a lot!
As I’ve grown through my 20s, I tried different styles and fashions. I feel that only now – at 30 years old – have I started to develop a ‘signature style’. I have found a style that suits my temperament, my body type, and my sense of aesthetics.
And through this, I have finally come to realise that fashion is just a way for grown-ups to play.
Just like when we were in kindergarten, and we got to play ‘dress-ups’ – using the big box of clothes in the corner – we try on different styles as adults until we find one we can settle into.
And then, if the mood so strikes us, we can play with it!
It’s fun. Simple as that.
I like scouring the internet for a new vintage dress. It’s like a little game of hide-and-seek!
And when I find the perfect something, I love getting the parcel in the mail – sometimes, it’s even more of a thrill when I’ve forgotten I ordered it! It’s my own personal pass-the-parcel where I always win.
I love trying on my new clothes, deciding which shoes go best, adding accessories. I like taking photos of my sartorial experiments (or, more accurately, convincing my very patient husband to take about 100 photos of which perhaps 5 will be presentable).
And I love sharing them with you, and elsewhere online – because it gives another insight into who I am.
By writing my thoughts, I share one part of me. By curating the wonderful work of others, I share another. And by indulging my sense of fun with the clothes I wear – which becomes the image I present to the world – I share even more.
There is no doubt a narcissistic element to the practice of style blogging – the ‘look at me’! aspect. And you know what? That’s okay. Because any form of blogging/writing/or creating is narcissistic – all who create want their creations to be looked upon and adored by others. It’s just a little more obvious when it’s your physical form that you’re putting out there.
However, luckily, I’ve moved on from my younger self – she who would have rolled her eyes at such behaviour.
Because life should be fun.
And I was FAR too serious for my own good back then.
So I will continue to indulge myself. I will continue to play dress-up.
How about you?
Further Reading – more focussed on the body image aspect of fashion blogging – a thought-provoking read by Gala Darling
P.S. the photos above are part of a style challenge. My friend @AinslieHunter suggested I photograph myself each day during my 6-week journey in the UK… and I’ve taken her up on it! So I’ll be doing weekly ‘what I wore’ roundups… and I’ve already found some cute stuff in thrift stores over here…