I’ve heard Lorenzo Caprile talk about style as If it was a language we have to learn. He says it requires the same effort and learning. That struck a chord with me, because I’ve always subconsciously thought that people are born with style, and it's just been me that’s taken so long to figure themselves out (?)
My best friend through secondary can attest for my fear of the annual ‘non school uniform day’. Looking back it was more than a little nonsensical, but it could be argued that most dreads are. I knew I had a love for dresses that no one around me seemed to agree with, and I think I just felt so confused every time I thought about what looked ‘good’. The whole subjectiveness of that word felt totally overwhelming.
What made me want to talk about this topic was just how ‘myself’ I felt when I pulled into this top in the dressing rooms. I hadn’t seen anything that had excited me from Mango for a long time, so I went in more than doubtfully- but actually gasped when I saw this sweater on the rail. I would tone this down for you, but it seems a shame to excuse the truth. I found myself wanting to know who had designed it, which is something I’m not sure has ever come to me before, because I wanted to see if they had more clothes that would click with me too. The button details of course had a lot to do with this. I love the sense of authenticity that multi toned buttons give, a nod towards the old and worn instead of brand-new.
With time you learn though what you feel good in. It’s a wonderful sort of inevitability, because the more clothes we wear the more opinions we gather. Pieces that sit on my waist like this top- along with ribbed knit- have been in my wardrobe since fourteen. But what I also found in this top is the v-neck I've been enjoying so much recently. It's become a definite staple, again, the phrase 'feeling myself' in them, comes to mind.
On queuing (don't think I'll never spell that right without using google) to pay for this charming little sweater, my eyes also laid on these leopard hoops. I don't know how I've managed to hold up my mama as inspiration in almost every post, it's been unintentional, but again, my mama wore big and bold hoops, and it only made her look more Latina. I feel the gold contrasted her darker-than-olive skin in a really complimenting way- but I'm not convinced gold jewelry does the same for my pale skin tone.
So when I saw this print something just felt so right about them. When I was talking through the contents of my Mango bag with my cousin, she worded my feelings much better than I ever could have. Laura said "They're the perfect transitional piece."
The perfect transitional piece...
Being unsure about the audacity in hefty gold or silver hoops, its true; these brown tones that have harmony with my hair do a lot to make me feel totally at ease.
I'm currently writing this in my pyjamas, balancing a hot water bottle beneath the computer-because I've got some mysterious cramps that won't go away- and at the back of my mind wishing I always felt as relaxed as I was whilst shooting. I'm definitely not the best at dealing with self doubt, and in social situations can often be awkward to say the least, so having a space where I know I feel comfortable has been really important. I believe that's crucial for everyone, regardless of whether or not self criticism is something that comes a little too easily for you.
I'm finding more and more that I'm not afraid of the camera, in fact I find some sort of relish in it. When a camera is in front of me, there is no choice but to deal with the thoughts wanting me to back away and listing dozens of faults. This has probably been the only time when I've allowed myself to fight them, because the camera provokes me to have to face them. It's either pushing ahead and answering the thoughts with positive voices, or else the simple act of giving up.
This is a real jumble of edited and unedited photos, and even a few experimental flash pictures thrown in (I wanted to branch out and try this out- and was really pleased with the result. Sort of gives that overexposed, retro look, that could almost have been taken on film). I usually try to be a little more consistent with editing, but I don't think that means a mixture can't work too- and you never know till you try.
In response to Lorenzo Caprile, from my own experience, I think I'd describe knowing what clothes to wear as a journey sooner than a language. That's a real
cleché, but I hope you'll allow me the thought... I've found it's about adapting the clothes you wear as you're self love takes its dips and turns.
Learning your own style isn't a straight road up like developing a new skill- I have weeks when I hide in pyjamas because getting dressed and facing my body is just too hard- but I hope someday I will feel like I've learnt the skill of coping with the thoughts that hold me back from exploring fashion.
I'm not sure any of us will ever become fluent in the know-how of style; the phrase 'looking good' is far too ambigious for that- but I do believe that self acceptance runs very closely with the clothes we wear. So perhaps if we address that, at the same time we'll be able to treat personal style as a language ready to be learned.
Sweater- mango https://shop.mango.com/gb/women/cardigans-and-sweaters-tops/short-sleeve-sweater_43075022.html?c=06&n=1&s=search