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Recently, I have been reflecting on my own personal style. It has become apparent to me that the things I wear may have evolved since I was a teen but the essence of who I’ve always been is still alive and kicking (the recent 90s throwback trends have not helped haha). I have always loved a rock n roll tee-shirt, ripped everything, black mini skirts and bright colour in my hair (something the 12 year old me was peeved about my mum not allowing)! I have days where I feel like laying low with a casual look that blends in and I have days/nights where I want to go all out and get glammed up. Sometimes I’m super feminine. Sometimes I just want bad ass grunge.
I’m married, I just turned 33 and I have a kid who goes to a private school. While this shouldn’t factor into my daily wardrobe choices, it really really does (even when my kid and husband are nowhere to be seen).
I get scared of judgement if I go out on a bit of a limb. Obviously I am mature enough to understand what’s appropriate vs what is wildly inappropriate in certain settings, but I’m talking about personal style rather than say a person dressing like a stripper at a school function for example!!
I am constantly surprised by the old school attitudes towards women who dare to dress differently. I’ve seen women torn apart in the media for daring to look sexy – “She’s a mother now! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!”
What year is this???
Like being a parent stops you from ever being allowed to bare any hint of cleavage or to go out and have a good time while looking gorgeous, because for once you got babysitting and time to actually put an effort into your appearance!
Coupled up girlfriends have faced comments like, “If you’re dressed like that, you look like you’re out on the prowl!”
What the actual fuck? Isn’t that a slightly sneaky version of slut shaming???
Can’t a woman dress for herself in something that makes her feel gorgeous without people believing it’s an invitation for men to have a crack?
Sometimes I get scared. Do I look like “mutton dressed as lamb” if I wear that ripped tee? Is it OK for me to wear pleather? Does my hair look ridiculous with the splashes of turquoise? When will I be too old to do as I please?
I’m not actually very wild, by the way. I look quite ‘respectable’ by old school prude terms. I just have a hint of rock chick about me on good days (i.e. days where I feel confident and actually have more than 5 minutes to put myself together). But I want to be braver. I think perhaps I’m too dialled down to the point where I feel like I lose who I am and I get frustrated. I think I could get away with being dressed a little more like ‘me’, but I often don’t out of fear.
I have so many style crushes on women who break the ‘rules’. Sometimes it’s because I wish I had their style, but mostly it’s because I wish I had their courage. I wish I could just not give a fuck what people might say/think if I dare to be different.
I think it’s time to throw out the ‘rules’ based purely on a person’s age, gender, marital or parental status. We should be thinking about what fits, flatters, shows our personalities and makes us feel awesome.
I have a feeling that like me, a lot of my friends dress down when they really feel like dressing up or that they dress up when they really want to dress down. That makes me feel sad. We should dress however the hell we want and celebrate each other for it!
I love when one person has the courage to just be themselves – it makes me feel brave too. I think it’s contagious.
I hate when I feel over-dressed/under dressed and keep comparing myself to other people. I hate when people make passive aggressive remarks about someone’s choice of high heels. Or ask them “aren’t you cold in that?” when the person is perfectly comfortable. Why do we do that to each other?
A friend told me that she was told that mothers shouldn’t wear short shorts. My comment back was along the sarcastic lines of “Yeah, you have to be careful because your uterus might fall out after all that birthing of children.”
I hate that some men think we’re dressing just for them if we put an effort in, and that women perpetuate this myth by telling each other not to be too pretty or daring or not to show boobs AND legs at the same time – god forbid.
I say that if you look and feel good (whatever your shape or size), if you can carry off a look with an air of confidence and dignity, then fuck the rules! Rules are made to be broken! There are always exceptions!
Every memorable style icon I can think of broke the rules at one point or another. That’s how they stood out and became so admired. Let’s remember that!
Now I must go and try very hard to take my own advice.
What is your personal style? Do you feel like you’re truly able to express yourself? How do you feel about the ‘rules’?