Seasons Change naval gazing

The change of the seasons, and some wonderful threads here today are spurning my own naval gazing for a moment.  My style has changed a lot this past season, thanks to your encouragement and suggestions.  I've discovered color, I know how to tell whether my clothes fit, and I've experimented a lot.

However, all winter long, I've been enjoying this wonderful world of bright colors on this island of YLF. Any time I've ventured out in public, I've been well-hidden inside my below-knee-length puffer, which is brown.  Now that the time to ditch the coat is approaching, I feel really unsure of myself in bright colors.  Yes, I love them, but am I really ready to go into public with them?  Will people think I'm weird? (As if they don't already, I know.  It's hard not to be weird when you walk around with five kids).  Do I really have the personality to wear such attention-getting clothes?  I'm NOT dramatic in real life (or at least, I try not to act dramatic... I try to be very laid back).

That to say, I have no idea where my style is going.  I don't know who I am style-wise, nor who I want to be, nor where I'm going.  Somehow I'm okay with this not knowing when I can hide behind a brown coat.  But now my experimentation will be in front of the entire world.  It makes me want to retreat and hide in safe little frump-ville.

Okay.  Enough for tonight.  If you actually read this, you're a saint.  This is just me, musing at a keyboard.  

Do you ever second-guess your style?  Does your public style and your ylf style differ?  Or your public and private style?
This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Runcarla replied 7 years ago

    I love your colourful WIW posts, for the pure joy of happy colour, and for your great casual style. You, along with MaryK and DayVies do the most amazing things with colour, using clothing and sometimes accessories as your palette. It is an inherent part of your style.

    I think you should be comfortable taking off your brown coat and revealing your true self! I believe people will be more inclined to volunteer that your colourful outfits make them happy, and that they wish they had the skill to come up with the combinations that you do.

    What I post for WIW is me and how I dress now. I'm just starting my journey, and learning lots just by taking the photos and examining the outfits from a different perspective. I'm trying to post the good, the bad, and the ugly so I can learn from the mistakes, and celebrate the successes.

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    I know how you feel wearing lots of color. Last spring I got a bright orange blazer but it took quite awhile to wear it in public. The same thing happened with my first moto jacket. Just keep wearing those colorful clothes and pretty soon all the doubts and second guessing will be gone.

  • DonnaF replied 7 years ago
    Your red jeans look so fab on you, and you can style them in so many ways.  How can you NOT go out in public in them and show the world how fab you look?  Plus, color is such a HAPPY thing!  Don't we need more in this world?
  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago
    I think it is important to feel confident & comfortable in our clothes yet at the same time push ourselves a little to experiment. I'm not sure how uncomfortable you are feeling about taking off your coat but maybe you could start slowly - wear one or two colours with a neutral to "ground" them. Then when you feel more confident you can gradually add more colour. If this feels too tame then go for it:)
  • Astrid replied 7 years ago
    Looking back at my WIW post I'm not wearing every outfit equally often and not all outfits everywhere. The (to me) more risky outfits get mostly worn when I'm going to be out on my own or meeting with friends. I'm usually going with less risk for Uni and I'm mostly playing it safe for work. I still don't wear my red skinnies very often and I've not worn them to work yet, I think. Mostly it happens naturally that I start wearing stuff in my 'safe' circle of friends and than slowly start wearing it elsewhere too. So give it time. I like the idea of others to start with less color and more neutrals mixed in and then if you feel comfortable with that, start adding more colors.

    As for where you want to go - don't you have any idea at all? Maybe try taking notes on the outfits you feel best in to see what they have in common.
  • replied 7 years ago

    First off, your outfits don't look weird. You look great in bright colours and it doesn't look clownish or out there. Spring I find is always a weird time. You get used to having a coat and being bundled up, and you can feel naked just going out with pants and a shirt, or whatever.

    If it makes you more comfortable, start with more neutral outfits with one shot of colour like your skinnies or whatever, and then add on from there. It took me months to wear skinnies and boots out in public the first time if you can believe it! And this is a silhouette I wear all the time now!

  • replied 7 years ago
    I relaly enjoyed reading your musings and I enjoy you WIW's. I think you have already been given some good advice about starting slowly to get confident if you feel a bit unsure. I think everyone takes time to feel comfortable, just remember to make sure you are true to you. I like that you say you don't really know where your style is headed as I think it sounds fun :) You can experiment and see what tickles your fancy.
  • amiable replied 7 years ago
    Ahh - Thanks you all.  I think Ceit hit most on it - I'm simply feeling naked without my coat. 

    Color is definitely part of my style.  I'm wondering though if it's really more that I want drama to be part of my style....  I'm not sure.  I love the shapes (especially the assymetry) of a more arty style, and find myself wondering if I could really enjoy similar shapes too, but them in bright colors might be over the edge for me.  Perhaps I should try something like that in a neutral color... hmm...
  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago
    I think Ceit has a good point about spring being difficult sometimes after being bundled up all winter.  I know that it always takes me a while to get used to wearing shorts after a whole winter of pants (and it's so hot here in the summer that shorts are an absolute necessity).  Maybe start slow in some of your favorite outfits that make you feel the most confident or with less color, as others have suggested.
  • unfrumped replied 7 years ago
    I have really enjoyed your WIW's and outfit options. I thought most of them were super hits and you have a fab ability to combine things. So, please be encouraged. Start with your absolute favorites--or if not sure, the ones you got a lot of positive feedback on. Can't go wrong there.

    I have not got color-phobia so much but I can still relate, as I had to gear up my courage to wear my new types of pants, and that even though it was only in lower-stakes environments--church, evenings out with DH--no real peer pressure or professional settings, except my resort-location business meeting. Still, I have not seen a single person in my community, or on my transcontinental trip, wearing anything similar, yet.
  • Thistle replied 7 years ago
    You look beautiful in color! I would be very sad to see you give it up unless you were actually feeling your style shift.

    That said, Ceit made some great points.

    Honestly, if you know you look fab, which you do, so will everyone else  :)
  • replied 7 years ago
    The only way you'll know is to try! You might get some attention, but it will be good attention. :)
  • JulieJohn replied 7 years ago
    We all have so many elements that make us unique, many elements to our styles. A style is a moving target. In your search to find out just what your style is, relax. It's in there, and it will come through. It can't help it.
  • texstyle replied 7 years ago
    I think Ceit is right about using color in one spot at first and getting comfortable in it. We probably all have to force ourselves to wear certain styles, colors, etc. at some time or we might always wear ONLY our FFBOs. For me that could mean wearing navy, white or black tops with jeans or jean shorts every day!  I crave color to some extent and try to figure out ways to incorporate it into my wardrobe without it shouting too loud.

    Balance is key to me - I like a bit of casual with a bit of higher end sometimes, or maybe one thing like a necklace or handbag that feels a little boho but not the whole outfit. I think if every piece is crying out for attention when you look in the mirror, then maybe take one of the pieces off or opt for a neutral replacement to tone things down.
  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    I think of your style as happy -- and that's largely because of the way you've embraced and played with color. Whether you keep color high on the list or not as your style evolves, I think your personal "look" will continue to have a happy aspect to it. Also practical. You really need to be able to move around with five kids! 

    I think the advice to ground the colors in neutrals is really good. Your red jeans with white or cream or classic stripes is an example. Bit by bit, people in your more public world will get used to this -- and look forward to it, just as we do, here on YLF! 
  • rachylou replied 7 years ago
    I definitely have 3 distinct modes of dress: office, bakery, days-off. I go East Bay native on my days off. That's a style that should definitely be second-guessed if you're thinking about wearing it to work. But I have to have a little drama, a little quirk, every day - and so every work day I have a good think about how much and what. I think it is worth thinking about how much attention you want. The attention may get in your way. Who, indeed, are you? What will you actually be doing? Sitting in a chair? Pulling weeds? etc. etc.

    Anyways, tho, as I see it you've been doing a good job keeping you're brights tempered with basic foundation pieces. Also, you're good at dressing appropriately for the situation. A bright sundress is one thing and a bright evening gown is another.

    Btw, I don't think five kids is weird... unless they dress in matching lederhosen/pinafores and march in line like the Von Trapp children... and/or cluster like they've just waded into the devil's pool party...
  • amiable replied 7 years ago
    LOL Rachy - nope, my kids aren't THAT weird!  But I do attract stares, and not the positive kind, when I'm out with them.

    Suz, I love the style descriptor Happy - I think that does suit my style direction.  I like the arty shapes, but fear that they're too moody - I want to be more happy-go-lucky, I think.  And that almost certainly includes plenty of color - yay!
  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    Ami -- when I first started here, I focused almost exclusively on colour. Why? Well - two reasons. I love it, felt comfortable (relatively speaking) playing around with it, and I was shopping mainly in thrift/ consignment stores, and playing with colour was easier than trying to play with line or form (especially since I don't sew beyond a button or a simple hem.) 

    Eventually, I narrowed down to some core neutrals and signature colours -- the ones that make me super happy. Which is not to say I'd never try another colour. I certainly would. But at least now I know which ones are really most flattering. 

    As soon as I felt like I understood what I wanted in colour, I started getting more interested in line and shape. Not just in terms of what is current, but also in terms of what works for my body type/ facial features. Line is super important. 

    Your attraction to asymmetrical or arty looks may be an expression of an emerging interest in line and structure, and you may need to play around a bit to find the right shapes for you. I think you already know that frills and frou-frou aren't really the best for you. 

    I know for me, asymmetrical anything has enormous appeal -- and if the cut is right (not too overwhelming for my frame) angled patterns and shapes are super-good with my somewhat angular face and shape. They echo and reinforce it instead of fighting with it. 

    I am not sure how this might translate for you, but I put it out there for your consideration. 

  • amiable replied 7 years ago
    Ahh - Suz, brilliant point (and thanks for sharing your style journey too!).  I think I did choose color because it's the most thriftable, and therefore easiest to experiment.  And I suspect that I'm beginning to progress toward thinking about line.  And "line" is definitely less thriftable!  I see myself spending some time sewing soon :)  I haven't necessarily found "my" colors yet - but I know I like bright, saturated colors :) 

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