Finding my own style is something I've struggled with for a long time, many years in fact. Although, the older I get, the more I am beginning to pick pieces that make me feel, more like me. Looking back, I think I was my most stylish when I was four or so. I'll explain a bit...
When I was a little girl, my mum dressed me in cute ensembles whereby all the pieces matched from my white jelly bag to the clips in my hair. Apparently, I latched onto this very quickly and wouldn’t leave the house unless I was ‘matcha!’ In a playschool photograph, all the kids are sporting grass-stained cords and tees and I am wearing pink tartan pants with a pink blouse and bows in my bob of carefully tonged hair. Stylin! Perhaps, I should let my mum dress me again - just with less pink?
At the age of 10, things started to go a bit pear-shaped. Literally. For one, that’s the shape my body began to take (Why, God, why!?) and two, I started wearing black cycling shorts with over-sized Mickey Mouse T-Shirts. I must have thought I was dead-stylish because I even wore that to the Roxette concert. Cringe. Fest.
By 14, I was all about the ripped jeans, flannel shirts and koki-covered converse. Roxette was out and Soundgarden was in. It was the 90’s and life was tough, man. I was an angsty teen who wore a Pantera shirt to civies day. My poor Mother. (Who, let me add, has always an amazing sense of style even when perms and shoulder-pads were a-go-go.)
Then it was 1998 and the Spice Girls were huge. Everyone was wearing hipster jeans and lycra dresses from Coco Bay. I decided to give the ‘pop’ look a bash. My mum bought me a lavender dress and some patent black heels which my mates dubbed ‘the Classies!’ They sure were classy compared to the converse. I enjoyed the change-up although I still didn’t feel quite myself. Plus it was a nightmare moshing in heels. Bless.
By the early two thousands, I had wandered into style-less territory. The 90’s were over and the Spice Girls had parted ways. For the next couple of years, my look was kind of hippie-chick(not chic) meets grunge misfit. I really wanted to find clothes that reflected who I was but I guess I didn’t know that person yet.
Then in 2008 I moved to London for a year and that’s where my education in fashion began. Suddenly my eyes were opened to all the styles and possibilities that are available to everyone. Doc Martins, Americana dresses, fake fur coats and technicolour hairstyles galore. There, people (mostly) wear whatever they want and no one judges or cares really. If you’ve been there, you know this of course. What I found really interesting is how the magazines do such a brilliant job of showing their readers how to put clothes together in cool, wearable ways. And the window displays! They're so slick you want to snap up each and every piece. Urban Outfitters does the best layered looks and I lusted after them all. Pity I was saving every penny for my travels.
Coming back home, I found myself among a sea of shorts and t-shirts again. Durban is a tropical town and not the sort of place wear you can wear knee high socks and gigantic hair bows to the Pavilion. I think Durbs is probably more like LA - home to beautiful, tanned people in flip flops - just without the movie sets and designer homes.
So did I find my style in London? Not entirely. I found hundreds of looks that I liked and many people and places that inspired me. Now I need to learn which pieces to buy and how to put them together to suit me. I know I want to go for something that’s part vintage and part boho-chic but finding the clothes, that's the fun slash super hard part, eh?
So that's some stuff about me, but what about you? I'd love to know more about the people I'm sharing my erm, forays into fashion with. What is your style and who are your inspirations? Tell, tell, tell!