Please keep in mind that these are just my opinions/preferences and what works for me. You are free to think and do whatever you want, and I won’t judge you for it. But I won’t necessarily think it’s something I should try.
So. This is not a full-out style or fashion blog, despite my attendance at TxSC. However, I do occasionally do outfit posts, and I wanted to be clear on the purpose of those for me. I am not a fashionista by any stretch. And that’s ok. I’m not trying to be on top of every trend. I am just sharing my personal style because clothes have become interesting to me (they were not always so), and I’m just having fun exploring new ideas and figuring out what I like and don’t like, and what works on my body and what doesn’t. I’m not trying to be a trendsetter or a trendfollower, I’m just trying to be me.
What does that mean, exactly? I’ve been considering this a lot lately, in trying to define what my style is. And while I don’t have a handy, one-word definition, I have narrowed in on the factors that go into any outfit I wear. For any What I Wore post you see here on Dragonflight, you can assume the following played some part in putting together the details:
- Comfort Trumps All. I like looking cute and well put-together, but I absolutely hate being uncomfortable. Whether that discomfort comes from a too-short skirt, too-high heels, itchy material, not being warm enough or just having to fuss with constant readjustments or layers – not a fan. This is why I say ‘it’s so comfy’ about one item in pretty much every single outfit post. My outfits typically revolve around that idea. Comfort for me: I like soft things. I like fitted things that aren’t too tight. I wear my hair up a lot because it annoys me when it’s constantly in my face. I wear fewer skirts in the winter simply because I get cold really easily, and pants keep me warmer. I wear flats more than heels because I don’t like ouchy feet or being taller than my boyfriend. Comfort also includes dressing appropriately for the weather (I check the weather forecast every day) – so, if I had planned to wear a cute dress and do an outdoors shoot, but it’s going to be colder and rainy, the outfit plan changes.
- I’m a Simple Gal. I own exactly two things of real make-up: mascara and eyeliner. I also have some lip tints, though I’m not sure those count. That’s it. So no crazy make-up for this girl. This is mostly because I like being able to get ready quickly, and because I am uncomfortable with the idea of a completely made-up/unreal face. This is what I look like, and I’m quite ok with that. I’m also pretty terrible with hair (though I’m working on that, slowly) which means you’ll see repeats of my hairstyle looking exactly the same. I have hair that is really fine & hard to work with, and on top of that hair-wrangling is just not a skill that comes naturally to me. So the two or three hairstyles I can manage are on repeat a lot, haha. Also, on the subject of nails: while I paint my toenails, you will never see me with painted fingernails. I do far too much with my hands during the day, and see no point wasting time painting them when it’s going to chip almost immediately.
- Quiet, Please. While I am trying new things for me (layering things in new ways, belts in different ways, new color or pattern combos, etc.), I am not trying to be loud while doing so. I’m a designer by trade, so I like color, but I don’t want to hurt people’s eyes (my own being the primary critics). You won’t catch me in neons, or in head-to-toe brights. Part of this is because these are (for the most part) just everyday life outfits, meant for sitting around the house or running errands or whatnot. I’m not in any kind of high-profile or fashion-related industry, so can ignore what trends I choose. And for the second part, I just simply gravitate more towards neutrals and less saturate colors. I do like to include brighter colors, but not in an overwhelming way. For instance, if the top is bright, the bottom will not be. Or brights will be limited to accessories, or shoes.
- That Pesky Budget. This is not the blog to go to if you want lots of outfit posts with high-end designer labels. Not only can I not afford those kinds of clothes, but it seems incredibly silly to me to spend $200 on one skirt when I could get 20 things at Target for that same amount. If I was going to spend that amount all at once, which I rarely do. Target is probably my go-to shopping place (I <3 Mossimo), and I stalk sales/clearances at places like ModCloth, Victoria’s Secret, etc. I also love coupon codes and deals for clothing retailers from Groupon/Living Social. And while shopping at places like Ross or Marshall’s or local thrift/vintage places takes a bit more time to find the diamonds in the rough, I have made some good finds there, as well. The bottom line is budget. I’m a self-employed chica, I don’t have piles of cash to spend on clothing. I think this is why I’ve fallen in love with the idea of swapping clothes – I get rid of things from my closet that I don’t wear anymore, and get new-to-me things in return, for nothing more than the price of postage. Win!
- I Have Favorites. You will see me in jeans a lot, because I happen to wear jeans a lot. I find them incredibly comfortable, as well as practical for life’s everyday messes (ex: I have a puppy that loves to play and thereby drop slobbery toys in my lap). I also love necklaces, so there is one to be found in every outfit post. I love lace. I love purple. I love flats. I love subtle & interesting textural details on a piece. So while I am branching out and trying new things (current new obsession: polka dots), these kinds of things will be a recurring theme.
- I Have Unfavorites. On the flip side, there are things you will never see me wear, because for whatever reason I don’t personally like that particular style/material/whatever. This includes things like velvet, rompers, platform shoes, really chunky jewelry, oversized rings and fabric rosettes/flowers. Platforms in particular are the trend currently annoying me most – so many cute shoes that I would otherwise purchase if they weren’t platforms!! I don’t need to be an extra inch taller on top of the 4 inch heel, thanks very much.
- Environment. I work from home. So, I don’t have an office dress code I need to meet each day, or even a particular abundance of “work” clothes, so more often than not you’ll see me in casual get-up.
This seems like a lot of things to consider when choosing an outfit, all listed out like this, but in reality it’s not. Most of this is done unconsciously. This is where my style is at right now, and while it will continue to evolve, I think these are the core things that will always determine what goes into what I wear. Of course, my Favorites/Unfavorites will be probably be added to or changed over time – and hey, maybe the budget will change, too! One can dream…
What kind of things determine your personal style?
Colors: Rust, Turquoise, Black, Fuchsia, Medium Denim
Sweater: Forever 21, here.
Layering Tank: Forever 21, .
Jeans: VS Love skinny jeans from Victoria’s Secret.
Necklace: the Bleubird Necklace from ModCloth.
Bracelet: Gift from my sister on a birthday a few years back.
Shoes: Marilyn Thai Silk flats by Rocket Dog
Sunglasses: No idea, probably Walmart or Target. I’m cheapy when it comes to sunglasses.
Cute outfit! I hear ya on cheap and comfy. I’ve never been very good at ‘trendy’ and most of my clothes are hand-me-downs (so, sure, I might be in a $100 dress, but I didn’t buy it :p) so piecing things together is tough. But if we all dressed just alike, life would be so boring! Thanks for the post, you always look great to me!
Thank you for your kind words! 🙂
I used to get a lot of hand-me-downs and hand-me-ups too – 3 sisters! But since they all live far away now, that doesn’t really happen anymore. I’ve had to fall back on thrifting and clothes swapping to fill the gap, haha.
Thanks for linking up lady! Personally, my favorite outfit posts are from people just like you! That you are true to who you are and not all about just trends or name brands. I love the big fashion blogs, but when it comes to finding inspiration for my wardrobe, I like to see what other people who are similar to me are doing! Great post!
Thanks, and I agree! I like the big fashion blogs, but a lot of them are a bit out-there in style, which works for them but would not work for me on an everyday basis. I like seeing the everyday outfits of people similar to myself as well.
I am so glad to have read this because, to be honest, I skip fashion posts, all of them. I skip them because I don’t know a bit about fashion nor do I care to. However, my other reasons are right there with what you clarified. I go for comfort, I’m on a budget, I keep it simple.
I love that you say clothes have become interesting to you and weren’t always. I was never into fashion. I don’t care for name brand stuff and don’t follow trends just because they are trends. However once I got into DIY projects, printmaking and realizing I can make my own, did my interest go up. It doesn’t change that I seek comfort, simplicity, budget friendly outfits that don’t make me a billboard for some company. It just makes me say, hey, maybe I have a statement I’d like to make with my wardrobe and so, slowly I’ve been doing that.
Like you I wear flats more than heals. Actually I don’t wear heals at all or I can’t remember the last time I did (wait, it was when I went on a cruise and had to get dressed up for one night). Outside of flats the only thing else I wear are flip flops and sneakers for when I work out.
I love what you said about makeup. If I wear makeup, which is rare these days, it’s two things as well, mascara and chapstick. Okay, maybe chapstick isn’t makeup but if it goes on my face then I consider it makeup. 😉 If I feel adventurous then I do a light eye shadow but I only own two eye shadow colors.
I haven’t put nail polish on (and don’t own any) in seven years. It’s mostly because I used to bite my nails a lot and I’ve gotten better at that but also because I’m cheap and the idea of paying for something (no matter how little) that will just wear off feels like a waste. I have been thinking, I will admit, of doing it once, for ole times sake, just to remember what the heck it was like.
Thanks for the clothes swap link! To be quite honest, my only friends are my family and people out of state. So I don’t have anyone to swap with but now I’m going to check out that swap.com!!
I agree with the other Amanda who commented above. I really always skip over outfit posts because I feel like they are coming from people with money to spend, who care about trends a bit too much (in my own opinion), care about pleasing others and not themselves and end up being like 10-15 pictures of themselves at different angles. Now I know that you are like me on the topic of clothes and will pay more attention to your outfit posts now. I think if I ever did outfit posts I would need to do a post like this. I do plan on talking about some of these things anyway.
To answer your question at the end, which I’ve sort of answered. My personal style is comfort, cheap and simplicity. I do love color. I won’t wear all neon but I don’t mind a neon sweater that pops, along with a casual pair of jeans. I used to wear a lot of dark. I wasn’t “goth” or anything just found that most of my wardrobe consisted of black, grey and brown shirts. I have since purged most of them and focus on color. I love it and it makes me feel better. I’m not much of a jewelry wearer. For some reason getting into DIY has increased my interest in jewelry. I don’t do chunky either because it’s clunky. In the end, as with everything for me, it has to be functional.
Well I should stop talking now. I’m quite surprised but this is one of my favorite posts because I am thinking “finally someone like me on the topic of fashion and clothing.” So thanks for this clarification on the intent behind your outfit posts and what goes into your choosing an outfit.
I’m so glad you liked this post, and that it’s made you consider outfit posts in a new light! 🙂 I had a similar kind of brain shift when I first came across blogs that did fashion posts. I’d love to read your post about this topic whenever you get around to it (though I think I got a pretty good overview with your comment!). 😀
Sadly, swap.com’s clothing swap section was retired last month, much to my sadness. I’ve yet to find a good online replacement for swapping. The local Austin group is ok and I’ve had some good finds, but it’s a fairly small group, so there’s not a whole lot of choice or guarantee that someone of your same size will show up to that particular swap. Le sigh.
Something new that has developed since I originally wrote this is that I’m trying to up my sewing skills so that I can modify thrifting finds. Have you heard of the blog ReFashionista ( http://refashionista.net )? I feel that you will love it, given your thriftiness. She takes things she finds at thrift stores, sometimes these horribly awful gaudy unfashionable things, and completely remakes them. It’s fabulous. She’s totally inspired me, and I want to learn to do similar refashions.
Related note: we should go thrifting together some time. You know, like in real life. If that’s not too creepy/forward of me, haha.
Well I wouldn’t say it’s made me consider outfit pots in a new light, but more specifically your outfit posts. I still won’t be tuning into outfit posts where they so far out of my ballpark when it comes to what I consider with clothes: comfort, cost, color and simplicity. So that nixes A LOT of outfit posts, but yours. 🙂
I love refashioning clothes! One of my posts, titled “Peek-a-boo Cat Shirt,” I do that where I cover up a hole in the shirt with a cute kitty. 🙂 The post I did recently on dyeing with a paint brush was a refashion. It just didn’t involve any cutting or sewing. It cost me $2 for the shirt at a thrift store and I gave it a new look. I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated it refashioning and want to incorporate it more and more into my blog. 🙂 A DIY I’m working on in the future involves refashioning some shoes I found at the thrift store. So you are right on, I do love it!