Style Searching.

Somewhere between August and November of 2010, I challenged myself to wear skirts for a week. The reason being that I knew I was girly but nobody else really did, and I hated myself in jeans. Sure, I would wear pretty dresses to church on Sundays or for special occasions, but that was the height of my fashion excursions. So I decided that I’d go a week without jeans, and see if I could survive. If I decided that I wasn’t cut out to wear skirts and dresses all the time, I would go back to jeans. If not, well…

All of you have seen the results of that one little self-challenge. Over the past five months, I’ve been posting (almost) daily outfits, and only three of those have consisted of jeans. I am much more confident in how I look today,  more comfortable wearing skirts than pants, and I no longer think of myself as “heavier” or “difficult to dress.” In fact, most days I’m very glad I have curves.

And while I do feel I’ve grown more comfortable with fashion, I still don’t quite have a grasp on what is really “me.” My fashion sense is still all over the place– I’ve been hippie, bohemian, eclectic, fifties, cowgirl, simplistic, and sort of businesslike just in the past month. And I’m not saying those were bad outfits,  but when you’re looking at the archives of a really stylish person, there’s usually an overall theme. With me, there isn’t. I have never been able to define my style.

[edit: I didn’t say this clearly enough. This isn’t about  me finding a label for my style. It’s about me finding ME in my style, which I haven’t found yet.  I’m getting closer, but I’m not there. And once I find me, my style will have a cohesiveness that it currently lacks. That “theme” I mentioned where stylish people are concerned… it isn’t a certain label, it’s a feel or a look. It could be colors, silhouette, patterns, whatever. There’s just something that pulls everything that person wears together, and makes it them.]

The only outfit I feel really hits how I would always love to look like is this one. It’s colorful, whimsical, clean, unique, feminine, simple, and absolutely perfect. Contrary to what many of my multi-pattern outfits might say, I tend to love simplicity in an outfit better. While I will never feel complete without colors and patterns, I don’t wear a lot of jewelry or accessories. My outfits are usually pretty basic: skirt/dress, belt, cardigan, shoes… maybe a ring, and that’s it. And even though I love mixing patterns and colors… I like there to be an overall cleanness to what I’m wearing, so that everything flows.

This is another good example of how I like my style. There are two patterns in that outfit, but one definitely dominates the other, and overall, it’s simple. I don’t have a million colors on, it’s not overwhelmingly patterned, there isn’t anything going on with my hair. (I have noticed that I tend to like outfits wherein I had to do the least to my hair and my face.)

And again, my birthday outfit is one of my favorites. There is more pattern and color (and I’m wearing more jewelry than normal), but it’s still an easy outfit. Dress, cardigan, heels, belt, done. On a normal day, I would have foregone the cupcake necklace, but y’know. It was my birthday. 😉

One big thing I’ve noticed about my archives is that there isn’t a good solid color scheme. As with my style, my colors are everywhere. Since I’ve been sick, I broke my “no fashion blogs/chictopia” rules, and I’ve noticed that most of the fashion bloggers I really admire tend to stick to three main colors (excluding neutrals.) Me? Yeah. Not so much. If you look at my closet, there isn’t a single color that stands out. Not even black or white.

So I went through the past two months, and then just the last month, and I counted the times  I wore each color. It came out like this:

All of this to say… for the next month or so, I am going to pare down my closet to blue, green, and orange (the top three most-worn colors of mine that aren’t neutrals) and take away ALL the other colors… and just wear those three. With neutrals, of course. It shouldn’t be too drastic, as most of my skirts and dresses are white, black,  blue, or brown(otherwise known as khaki…), and almost all of my favorite tops(aka cardigans) are blue, green, or orange.

It’ll be an interesting experiment. I don’t know if it will help me focus on what my style is, or if it will just teach me to remix clothes better.

The one last thing that helps with style and creating an overall theme is hair and makeup. If you read fashion blogs, you may have noticed that the most put-together bloggers tend to have the same hair and same basic makeup day after day. It works for them, so they stick to it. Me being me, I love to play around with hair and makeup, and I’ve never settled on one good look.

So that’s something else I’ll be experimenting with, especially while I’m waiting for my hair to get longer. I’ll probably end up settling with the blogger’s bun, as they call it– it’s easy, looks good, and isn’t too perfect. Makeup wise… well… it’s interesting doing makeup with glasses– shading that looks just fine without glasses looks really heavy and overdone WITH glasses. So my old makeup routine is out the door.

But I’ve always liked the look of more natural eyes with bright lips, so that might be my new go-to. I’ve always loved lipsticks. I’ve just never been brave enough to wear them, because I used to think my lips were too small to be highlighted.

I feel like this post is going from interesting and informative to rambling. Sorry. I’m still sick. I think I’ll end this with what I WOULD have worn today, had I been feeling better.

Mom bought me this shirt last night, and I had to try it on with my favorite skirt.

I love it. A lot.

I like the little details.

And I think that would be my go-to daily makeup. No eye makeup (not even mascara), foundation, blush, and lipstick. I don’t know why, but I just like the way it looks.

This is my face today– I had to try out my new foundation, as it’s a shade darker than the norm (sunshine! How I love it!) and I needed to be sure that the store lighting wasn’t doing tricks on my eyes. It’s a tad bit darker than my natural skin tone (except for my forehead, where it matches exactly) but it works just fine so long as I remember to blend it well. And knowing me, I’ll get darker because the sun has been out a lot. Which means I’m outside a lot. 😀

Okay. Enough rambling. I hope you are all having a lovely Thursday! I’m going to stay in bed all day and get well. And possibly write. I’m feeling creative today. As creative as a sick person can be, anyway…


  • Georgia

    I completely agree with you, I really find it hard to define my style at all. It’s all over the shop! But like you, I wear blue the most, probably followed up by purple 🙂
    Speaking of blogs and fashions, I’ve decided I probably won’t have a blog up and running until November/December (When I finish school FOREVER) and I have free time. Also, I’ll be off to university (unfortunately with a $50,000 HECS debt on my tail for it) so I will definitely be dressing nicely every day I have Uni and not in my school uniform so it will be easier.
    Eh, rambling again.
    So what I was trying to say was that I’ll let you know when it’s up and running so that you can come and check me out 🙂

  • someonetookmyusername

    I don’t really feel a need to label my style. I guess it goes back to the stereotyping thing, but I just wear whatever appeals to me and leave it at that. There’s a lot of solid colors and layers though. 🙂

    At any rate, I like your style and I think that, although you may not be able to give it a name, there are three things you can say about it: 1. It works for you. 2. It looks good. 3. It’s your style. 😉

    • Mara

      I think I’m less concerned about labeling it and more about… finding an overall cohesiveness, which I don’t have.
      And while I do like most of what I wear, it doesn’t usually feel *really* “me.” There’s always something missing. So I’d just like to figure out exactly what is missing, and get myself on the road to always feeling me, rather than hit-and-miss.

  • Avra-Sha Faohla

    I’m like Charlie. I’ve got no style and I’m fine with it. My modest wardrobe is random, but I could care less, as long as I have something to wear in which I don’t feel uncomfortable stepping out of the house. 😀

    I think you’ve got a style. Not that I could name it, but I think you have it. Then again, this is really about you and how you feel, not me. And what do I know about fashion, anyway?

    By the way, your natural, non-made-up eyes look beautiful. You’re really lucky you can pull that off!

    • Mara

      Hehe, I’ve gotten a lot more into fashion these past few months. I think I’ve always been very into being girly and pretty, but it’s evolved into… I don’t even know. 😀 Whatever this is.

      It really is just about my trying to figure out how to make myself look like the idea I have in my head using what I already have. It’s almost a challenge. 😀

      Thank you!

  • Sarah

    I love this blog post. I think it speaks to me the most. Just how you talk about finding what feels like you and making that your style, regardless of what that turns out to be. For the longest time I thought fashion was all about taking someone elses style and making it fit me. What I’ve come to realize from reading your blog is that it’s actually about finding what I am comfortable in, and working with that to create a style that feels like me. You know, I love the classic look, the 50’s look, and although it speaks to me, it isn’t me. It took me a long time to figure that out, and you helped with that unknowingly. So thanks. 🙂

    I love that while you are narrowing your color pallet, I’m expanding mine, lol. Is this an opposites attract moment? Kind of odd since we’re so much the same in almost everything, haha. As I told you earlier, I really think you should wear your hair down more. Maybe after our trip to the salon you will. 😉

    I’m not sure if you were trying to say this, it seems like you were, but as you learn and become increasingly comfortable with who you are, I think your style will begin to really narrow down to match that. Kind of what is happening with me right now. There are outfits, some recently bough (like last birthday time), that are just gonna go away for now because they really aren’t me, as much as I wanted them to be. So as I find that I’m a gal of simplicity my wardrobe is going to match that. It’s what I’m comfortable with, and feel most beautiful in, simple outfits. So I think, not to say you don’t know who you are and aren’t comfortable with it, as you develop who you are, your style will also develop, change, improve, etc. Does that make any sense? I feel like I’m rambling.

    • Mara

      I’m glad that my style searching is helping you get more comfortable with your own sense of style! 😀 I love how we tend to do things at the same time. Hehe.

      I know, weird! What’s with that? 😀 Yes, maybe after we go to the salon, I will.

      That’s exactly what I was trying to say. It’s not that I’m *uncomfortable* with who I am, just that I am finding myself a bit more, especially where style is concerned. And I think also because I didn’t really *have* a style until… this year… I’m still settling into it. So yes. Your rambling wasn’t rambling and it made perfect sense.To me, anyway! Hehe.

  • Demy

    Hi 🙂 This is an amazing post. I think that the challenge that you decided to do is really awesome and intriguing! Personally, I’m not a colors person and I’m trying to change this (baby steps at least), so what I really really love about your blog is that you’ve got style! I can understand what you’re saying about not all outfits feeling ‘you’, but I’ve always loved your versatility and that you were not afraid to experiment with your style. It’s inspiring you know. And as for wearing mostly skirts, I have to say I admire you for this as well, because I think I only have two skirts? Yes, definitely I don’t have more than two! I’m pathetic, but it’s just that I can’t wear skirts and feel comfortable. So I really love your blog for the new ideas it gives me and I’m happy that you decided to find YOUR style and make it more cohesive. It’s gonna be interesting! 🙂
    Plus, I’m loving the make up! I don’t think that you have small lips, in the contrary actually! You look gorgeous and this shade of pink suits you greatly 🙂 You look adorable 🙂 Love the outfit as well, the top is gooooorgeous! Perfect perfect 🙂

    • Mara

      Hello, beautiful!
      You and your black and white. 🙂 You know, I think the only color I remember you in is that amazing coral/pink sweater. You definitely know how to work the black and white, though, so I say stick with what you love and what makes you feel beautiful.
      Haha, yeah. Skirts all the time isn’t for everyone– I’ve always been WAY more feminine and girly and… generally just always loved to dress up more than anyone I know, so I feel right at home in skirts. Like some women wear skinny jeans all the time, I wear skirts. Hehe.

      I’m glad you like the makeup! Thank you, my dear!

    • Mara

      Thank you! I found it at Goodwill, so unfortunately I have no idea where you might get one similar. Good luck in your searching!