me, myself, my wardrobe

These were my main influences before this year -

inspiration - casual
From top left: Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin for Vogue Paris, unknown, Tommy Ton for Jak and Jil, Garance Dore, Scott Schuman for The Sartorialist, Peter Lindbergh for Vogue Paris (all clothing pictures mine)

I dressed very casually most of them time, throwing on a nice jacket whenever I knew I had to spiff up a bit. But my clothes didn't seem to matter too much in my profession then.

This year, my influences took a slightly more tailored turn-

inspiration - work
From top right: Tommy Ton for Jak and Jil, Venetia Scott for Margaret Howell, Garance Dore, Peter Lindbergh for Harper's Bazaar 1993, Anne Valerie Hash spring 2009

I think I spent the past year trying to move from dressing like the former to dressing like the latter. It's a function of growing up - I turned 26, I finally feel like I left my slacker student days behind, I've held down a job for a few years, I've learnt what kind of impression my clothes make on people (more varied and extreme than I'd expected).

It took a little while to hit the sweet spot between the two. It also took a long time for me to learn how to wear my clothes - sometimes I feel like I buy beautiful pieces but I don't always put together the perfect outfit that not only feels absolutely right, but also right for the occasion.

It's easy to feel inspired by things I see in shops, in magazines, in film, on the streets, in books. What's hard is somehow translating that into what I put on. Also hard is learning to admire beautiful things without needing to own them.

I want effortless style, but style is actually considerable effort, as is the case when things are done well. I admire people who make that effort daily, on top of everything else, and I've been trying to do that.

One of the things I've also come to understand is that there's no need to set too many "rules" or define my style too much - whatever I choose is my style because I choose it. The important thing is not to feel self-conscious. I know I got it right when I don't want to change out of my outfit.

Moving into a new job meant no more jeans at work, and it was a valuable learning lesson having that crutch taken away from me. I felt trapped by the black trouser tyranny and found myself constantly borrowing things from my sisters' and mother. I usually like uniforms, but this time it felt stifling.

Eventually, I figured out that my favourite eternal chic option was an ankle-length skinny pant and a ballet flat, and one very well-made dress is a fail-safe fallback - and there will always be room in my closet for these things no matter where I end up working.

There is a likelihood that I may end up working somewhere else next year, and maybe I'll go back to those Converse-wearing days on a more regular basis. But this time, I'll do it with more grown-up flair.


Anonymous said…
Wonderful - you're summing up what's been humming in the back of my head for a considerable amount of time concerning my evolving style over the years.
I like how I can still see the style evolution. I like the styling of the Vogue Paris picture at the top left in the 1st collection, the stack of jeans, and the mocc/loafers in the bottom left corner.
If Jane said…
fab i say fab!
Vegalyn said…
nice post!

Although I work in a non-fashion sensitive environment, I still care about fashion and like to define my own style.

and I love converse too...
lin said…
Anon: Thanks. I think everyone has a style evolution, and I'd love to hear more about everyone elses, actually.

Pret a Porter P: As you one said, Emmanualle Alt styles one hell of a jeans editorial. And she wears them so well.

If Jane: Thanks!

Vegalyn: Thanks. I have a dress code at work, but people are not especially style conscious. I do like making the effort to get the say started on the right note though.

Converses are the best. How many styles are as enduring?
cheap shopping said…
Fashion is basically not for specific persons. In that advance word have some know how about fashion and try to wear as much he/she can according to advance fashion. I really like your unique dresses and their styles. theses are simple but eye catching. :)
Anonymous said…
i loooooooooove MH. didn't know she used venetia. interesting.

and i would like to know more about those moccasins pictured in the bottom left.

that shoot with amber valetta was so great.
lin said…
editor of that blog: I'm waiting for the day where I get to shop MH in person! yes venetia scott has done quite a few campaigns for her.

those are from massimo dutti, a spanish brand, sort of like J Crew, but better - amazingly comfortable.

that amber valleta editorial is absolutely one of my favourites. i always look at it.
editor said…
it's one of the many (ha ha) that are burned in my brain. every time i see it, i am captivated. thank you for posting it.

i've shopped MH in paris, does that count? ;)

the moccasins look so comfortable.

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