18 May 2011

Going In And Out - Word of the Week

(Style n: a mode of living, as with respect to expense or display. Etymfrom L. stilus "stake, instrument for writing, manner of writing, mode of expression," Meaning "mode or fashion of life" is from 1770; that of "mode of dress" is from 1814.")

So, in case you'd not guessed, I'll be turning 30 in July. And this whole, leaving my 20's, officially being a grown up with a job and a mortgage and a husband and broody feelings and a blog and (thinks what else makes me grown up....er, nope, nothing)anyway yes, it made me think about how much I've changed in the last 5, 10, 15, 20 years. And that made me look at a bunch of photos - and I realised how I've kind of, grown into myself  and started to develop my own style a lot.

Style is something that over the years - decades, centuries - is something that appears to be dictated to us. Every single magazine or paper or website or blog sometimes, even, seems to contain the ideas that although, on the one hand, style is something that is intrinsic to a person but yet, on the other, if you buy just the right dress/shirt/shoes/lipstick/perfume you'll be stylish. Or so the marketing gurus would have us believe.

And yes, I do believe there are style icons out there - people who take clothes and wear them in ways, that although they aren't always outlandish and exciting, just carry off something ordinary with a great deal of panache. What they wear, how they look, how they carry themselves becomes their defining style. I can list off the top of my head, several such women - Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Jackie Kennedy, Ava Gardner, Clara Bow, Cleopatra and so on. Currently, we have Madonna, Lady Gaga, Vivienne Westwood, Erin O'Connor, Liv Tyler, Zooey Deschanel and so on.

But to me, what makes them stylish, is not what they wear or how they wear it, but simply having the confidence to try something new and yet to be utterly themselves at the same time. If it doesn't work, try something else - reinvent yourself. To me that is what style truly is. You cannot buy it in terms of the latest lipstick shade or shirt, but you can buy it when you spy that timeless classic mac, the perfect cowboy boots, the exact right fit of jeans - or just a piece of clothing that's totally you!

Over the years I've felt like everyone else received some sort of memo or handbook on how to `be` them, how to be cool and easy and get through life. In fact, what I've only recently realised is actually, everyone is winging it just as much as me. But that hasn't saved me from constantly feeling that if only I looked different or better or was more attractive then I'd be happier and more successful. Which clearly I am coming to realise is a total load of bollocks.

I've realised that the more I ignore fashion magazines and the more I watch films, go to art galleries, people watch, go to new places, the more I become confident in what I wear - and thus who I am. Style is part of my cultural identity. Don't get me wrong - I wear jeans and tees just as much as any other girl, but when I want to dress up, I do it my way and not the magazines' way.

In fact over the last 12 months I've properly started to give a shit a lot less about what I'm supposed to wearing or looking like. Skinny jeans and crop tops - no thank you, I have an hour glass figure. Tulip skirts - why hello there GIGANTIC hips of mine. Deck shoes with no socks - athletes foot isn't sexy on anyone.  Instead I've fronted up to what my body really looks like and what I really like and what I think is stylish. And I've had a whole lot more fun. I've also shopped a lot less - and saved a lot of money by doing so. For a start, I've been wearing dresses and skirts a lot more. It is a fucking nightmare trying to buy jeans when you're 5"8 and need a 30/34. Not possible in most places. So you know what, I just don't bother any more. Dresses go with everything and skirts just need a sweater or t-shirt. Simples. I stick a belt on and voila I have a waist.

Today for example I wore jeans and a t-shirt - except I did it my way. I wore dark denim jeans rolled to just above my ankle and a navy blue satin t-shirt with puffed sleeves. I added a small fake pearl necklace (haha you smutty people) and some black satin shoes that lace up the front and a little black angora cardie. I finished with tiny angel wing earrings. I got so many compliments in that outfit. And it was totally me. I didn't give a shit that I didn't look totally 'now` or whatever but it suited my figure and I felt happy and fun.

I can see that the writers out there are (as usual) wondering wtf navy satin shirts have to do with writing - and I can say well, not a whole lot really. But style in clothes and look can be translated to books and blogs and all kinds of creative endeavours. I've said it before and I'll say it again - you need to stay true to yourself. When you dress yourself, when you create your look - it's exactly the same with writing. Yes, there is advice out there, but be yourself - in order to break them you gotta learn what the rules are in the first place.

It's been a bit of a short WoTW tonight - I know i've been blogging erratically this week, I'm really sorry - I seem to have had a social life. I'll stop that pronto. Meantime, keep reading, keep commenting, keep telling me where I'm going wrong or right - and also, send me some links to your stuff people, I need to do a `share the love post` of some decent new blogs and sites. If I like it, I'll stick it in the future blog post!

So remember, stay true to yourself, see through the bullshit and no one can say you're not stylish! We've got to be our own icons sometimes.

Thank you and good night,

Stupidgirl has left the building


  1. Not so Stupid at all, dear StupidGirl! :) I love your style and reading this reenforces that I need to be me, for me and by me. Awesome.

  2. Style is what you have. Fashion is what 'they' want to sell you. I don't know much 'bout this, but was Dame Elizabeth Taylor an icon? Was Marilyn Monroe. Cary Grant? Fred Astaire? Also, I'd think lots of people are tall these days. Don't they have a 'tall' shop near you? Could u buy a 32/34 and have them altered to fit? And as for turning 30, don't worry. 30 is the new eleven, or something like that. Believe me, it won't feel any different than 29, only now it ends with a big, fat zero. Look at what's her name, Kirstie Alley on Dancing With the Stars, she's 60 (coincidentally, I think HER jean size was recently 60 too!) but she's STILL youthful...in a 'Hon, does this milk STILL smell good to you?...sort of way. So enjoy your July birthday (I'm July too, July 1st). It don't mean a thing, if you still got that swing.....
    AND IN CLOSING------Have U encountered that REFZIP search engine yet? Lotta ppl on timeline DID and they do pull in amazing hit numbers...WOW! Can it be for real, or just glorified followback/promo stuff? Seems like magic. Thought maybe you or some of your minions might know. Gracias.

  3. Style is, to me, the image you choose to project when in public.

    Style is definitely something defining about the person and not about following the crowd. The so called fashionistas who set the trends, such as Alexa Chung, do so, not by mirroring others, but by selecting their own image. It works for them because they know how they want to look. To copy them therefore misses the point, because you are choosing to match a style that is not your own. You can maybe ne inspired by it, but never influenced. The same applies for men or women. the most sylish live by their own rules and don't compromise.

    I do believe some people are incapable of style and whatever choices they make clash with their looks, rather than compliment. But I believe you should always applaud someone who tries to be different, rather than look down on them for not fitting in.

  4. Style...well mine is that of being dragged through a hedge backwards. (not easy when you have a sister who can make a tatty sack look like Chanel)

    You are so right though...it is all down to confidence. If you wear what you like and it makes you feel good, then the confidence seeps out and others see you in a different light.

    MUST get out of these jeans and t-shirt/jumper combos.