By: Carol Rood
I was reading an article this past week, and a question was asked as part of that article. The question was, How do you find your fashion voice and cultivate your personal style?
This is a difficult question because when I thought about it, my first thought was, “what style?” I am not sure I have what I would call a “fashion style.” However, when I sat down and really thought about it, I realized I DO have a fashion style, or at least I know what I like to wear and I also thought about the way that has changed over the years. Some of the change has happened due to necessity, as my body at 46 is not the same shape it was at 26. So I can no longer wear certain shaped clothing or body hugging clothing as I did many years ago. Some women are fortunate and their bodies don’t change much over the years. That has not been the case for me. Due partly to genetics, partly to my sweet tooth, and partly to the fact that I did not adhere to a strict calorie count in my early 40’s, I am what I would refer to as plump. I do not feel I am morbidly obese, but I could stand to lose 30 pounds.
Which brings me back to the question of: How do I find my fashion voice and cultivate my personal style?
After some thought, I decided that I find my fashion voice through color. And by color I don’t mean pastels…no ma’am. I mean bright jewel tones. Red, blue, green, purple. And I love designs. No solid colors here. I have not always loved bright colors and designs, and I think some of that started after I joined the military. I spent 20 years in the Navy wearing a uniform. I worked in a medical clinic, so there were no cammies for me. I wore white clothes (uniform shirt, and slacks or skirt) every day from April to November, and black clothes from November until April. Then back to white, then black, then white, then black, over and over through a 20-year span. I did get to wear desert cammies for the three months I was in Bahrain in 2003, and a jumper for my last year when I was in a squadron, but that was my only reprieve from the black and white monotony. So I wanted to NEVER have to wear drab monotone clothing again. When I retired and started working for a local dermatologist, I bought the brightest, most colorful scrubs I could find.
So my fashion voice has evolved and I am less inclined in my 40’s to be a slave to what the fashion industry says is vogue, and more inclined to wear what I want. I wear scrubs to work, and spend much of my days in sweats or gym clothes. But when I go out, then my inner fashion diva comes out.
For running around during the day I like to look cute but still be comfortable. Jeans and cute flats in the winter or capris and strappy sandals in the summer will be paired with a cute, bright top. I do like a nice pair of heels, but I have toned down the heel from 3.5 inches to 2 inches as my waistline has expanded and the candles on my birthday cakes have increased. I LOVE a beautiful pair of high heels, but since I can only wear them comfortably for about 10 minutes, I usually get a lower heeled shoe I can wear for hours. I suppose that is me choosing practicality over beauty. Sigh…
I do like to break my own “rules” on occasion however. I was going to attend a holiday event with Bluebell and I had found just the right red crushed velvet top to go with a pair of black pants with a flared leg. I HAD to have a pair of red peep toe sling back heels. I dragged my BFF The NewYorRican all over town looking for what I wanted and finally found them at The Navy Exchange of all places. I bought them and was thrilled they only cost $30.00. I had the outfit and was ready to go, and then the event was cancelled.
Not to be silenced, my fashion voice found three other events to wear my outfit to that season, and those red shoes were on my feet for at least an hour each time! I may have even been the best dressed gal watching: “War Horse” at the movie theater!
So ladies, I advise you to find your inner diva, fashionista, and wear what you like. Wear what is comfortable, and looks good on you! Forget what the New York Fashion show says you are supposed to wear, swim against the flow, and be happy with your own personal style!
Tell me, what does your inner fashionista want you to wear??