My Unspoken Style Rules: My Tips, Quirks & Mantras

‘When in doubt, wear black’ – Anna Newton, 2018

HAPPY BANK HOLIDAY ALL! I hope you’re having a cracking one so far. I’m currently writing this on a lazy Sunday afternoon, melting in a pool of my own sweat and wondering why a drink chocker-full of ice cubes just isn’t cold enough. Where is the U.K weather and what have you done with it? I mean, I’m not complaining because I’ve actually been able to leave the house without an emergency cardigan and we’ve had a whale of a time this weekend celebrating our one year anniversary, eating out at one of our favourite restaurants and then somehow managing to snag the rest of our meals at other people’s houses – thanks Mum and Grandma! I also cannot stop buying makeup. But that’s a topic for another day seeing as we’re getting pretty close to my summer capsule wardrobe reveal – HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS PEOPLE – I thought today I’d have a chat about all things style.

More specifically, you know those unspoken rules that are ingrained in our psyche that dictate our preferences when it comes to purchasing clothing items. With makeup it’s pretty obvious. Throw me a waterproof mascara, a dewy foundation, a nude lip and something bronze for the lids and stick a fork in me. However with style I feel like they’re hidden a little deeper. I do try to step out my comfort-zone from time to time and try new things, but inside there are a set of rules that I always abide by and when I go against the grain, I ultimately end up falling out of love with the rebellious garment pretty speedily. Here’s the thing though, they’re not necessarily a bad thing. In fact they make shopping a more streamlined process. So let’s scratch the surface and unpack them further and unravel my tips, quirks and mantras when it comes to clothing…

The Leopard Print Love. My love for leopard is timeless. I really do believe it is. It started in my early teenage years, followed me through Uni and even now I’m already eyeing up a faux fur leopard print jacket for the winter. That’s how obsessed I am. Yes the majority of my wardrobe is denim, black, white, grey and navy, but that injection of leopard print – whether it be in bag, skirt, shirt or shoes – is what adds the seasoning. An extra dash of spice to my outfit formulas. So when it comes to pattern I have tunnel-vision for my animal print fave. However there are a few other patterns that have pushed their way through the net. Firstly, we have polka dots, which in a way are a second cousin to leopard print. Secondly, we have stripes, because I mean – who doesn’t love a Breton top? Sometimes a stripe and some denim is just what the doctor ordered.

Every now and again I go off piste with a floral here and there, and although there’s the odd exception to the rule (my Ganni Dress being the main one), for the most part they are never my favourite for long. It’s been an expensive lesson to learn, but that’s why these days I stick to my spots and stripes only mantra, for guaranteed longevity.

Arms & Ankles. I must preface this paragraph by stating that the patches of Psoriasis on my legs are the main reason why I don’t get my legs out often. I know that it’s not a daily occurrence that people ask about them – although the most common query is that I look like I’ve been bitten to death by mosquitos on my legs! – but they’re just my thing. We all have things. It’s completely normal and that’s mine. Every summer I work towards feeling 100% comfortable about it and every summer I inch a little bit closer. I’m getting there.

So that provides a bit more background into the reason why when I’m putting outfits together, unless it’s weather that I literally might melt in (a.k.a today), then I’m more likely to either whip out my arms or my legs. It’s such a classic move and I’m not really sure why I do it, although I feel like it probably has something to do with the fact that my brain just can’t handle worrying about a boob flopping out of a camisole and me flashing my pants under my skirt at the same time. In a way it makes putting summer outfits together a BREEZE and is the reason why a midi-skirt is top of my shopping list right now…

Floaty Numbers & Feminine Styles. Summer dressing is not my ideal clothing category. Once you factor in the previous point about ankles or arms and the fact that I quite like to dress in head-to-toe black, it’s no surprise that I spend about 95% of the summer complaining that I’m too hot and walking around like I’m doing that teapot nursery rhyme because I’m worried about how epic my sweat patches are going to get. I know this is all self-imposed, so over the years I’ve tried new things. I’ve tried floaty skirts. I’ve tried romantic neckline tops that billow in the wind. I’ve tried slip dresses (which actually I’ve had mild success with). However, overall I’ve figured out that floaty numbers and styles that skew towards the more feminine side of dressing, just ain’t for me.

Give me jeans and t-shirt any day of the week. Instead of experimenting with so many skirts and dresses I’ve realised that jumpsuits and dungarees are more my bag and if I am going to dish out dosh on something short, my money is best spent on something a little more form fitting like denim skirts and shift dresses. You live, you learn and realise that denim is never a bad investment, eh? Am I right? 

Photos by Lauren Shipley

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