Monday, 25 February 2013

A Few Thoughts On Fashion

Maybe it's because Fashion Week has been upon us, but when I started this blog, I recall describing myself as someone who is interested in fashion, but to date I haven't really created a post yet on this subject, so I thought I should start somewhere and would do this by posting about what fashion means to me.

I'm not fashion obsessed or any kind of expert fashionista, whatever this word means, but I do like to think that I take a healthy interest in clothes, looking presentable and feeling good about myself and it is to this end that I am interested in fashion.  I don't slavishly follow the new trends on the catwalk, but do like to flick through the odd copy of Vogue and see what is happening in the fashion world.

I am a great believer in having your own sense of style, and of wearing things that you like, that you feel good in and that flatter you.  I also believe, rightfully or not, that it is important to make an effort with your appearance on a daily basis, if only for your own self-esteem.  Just because I work from home or am a stay at home mum, doesn't mean that I slop around not caring what I look like.  I must admit to feeling slightly irritated when people say to me, with surprise in their tone quite often, that I look smart, as if I do nothing to merit making the effort.  Call me oversensitive but talk about a backhanded compliment!

I used to be quite interested in fashion and clothes when I was younger, and then somehow I lost interest for a while and lost my way and I have many photos to prove how awful I looked through these years, but more recently I feel that I have found my way back to a place where I feel a lot happier with myself.  It has taken a long time getting there, so I really don't want to slip back again, as I feel so much better for it.

I know that personal appearance isn't everything, and that it is what is inside a person and strength of character that is important, but unfortunately in this world, not everyone shares this view, and many people do judge you on your appearance, whether you like it or not.  I don't like it, and therefore try to give people as little opportunity as possible to do it, frankly speaking.

Don't get me wrong, I am no perfectly coiffed, immaculately dressed clotheshorse, as I neither have the time nor the money.  Much of my week is spent in my gym clothes, but on the days that I don't go to the gym, and when not in workout clothes, I do like to look at least half decent, dress in an interesting and coordinated way and at least wear a little makeup, lipstick being an absolute essential.

Neither am I particularly slim, but I have come to accept my size and try to make the most of myself.  I work out regularly, try to eat healthily - salads most days for lunch (although I'm sure people don't believe me when I tell them this!), eat lots of fruit and I keep an eye on fat and sugar contents of foods.  I do of course indulge in treats, which I feel the exercise allows me to do, whilst maintaining my weight.  Without actually saying what my size is, I am no longer the size 10 or 12 of my youth, but I don't think that this should preclude me from looking my best.  I'm not dead yet, thankfully, so I refuse to give up trying to live and dress well.

This can prove difficult on a limited budget, however,  and as I don't have a huge walk-in wardrobe of clothes, and don't even buy new clothes that often, it is not without it's problems.   I do therefore, try to look after the clothes I do have, by washing and storing them carefully, and wearing them all, but none too often, so they stay looking good longer.  I also try to invest where I do, in classic(ish) styles, prints or colours that will last several seasons and I am not averse to being a little eccentric in combining prints and colours that fashion magazines might advise against.

To me, fashion is not about dos and don'ts, it is about having fun and doing what feels and looks right to you.  Yes, we may make a few mistakes but that just makes us human.   In future posts, I will drag some of my favourites out of my wardrobe and post pictures.  I hope you enjoy these but don't be expecting any expensive labels or couture, much as I'd love to have a wardrobe full of them!  I will also show you some of the items I like to wear that I have made or bought in a charity shops or jumble sales, and share with you other aspects of my personal approach to fashion.  These posts, however, are not prescriptive, as I wouldn't presume to speak for anyone else, but if anyone finds anything I have to say on the subject useful or interesting, then I am happy that I might have helped or entertained them in some way.

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