I participated again in A Week in Feminine Dress over at The Catholic Lady. Stop by to see what her readers and I have been wearing.
As I was looking over my photos before sending them to her, it occurred to me that I've finally found my own personal style. I know what sort of clothes I feel happy in now, and that's all I let myself buy and keep. I'm attracted to bright colors and bold prints. I like clothes that with a bit of a boho feel to them, and I accessorize with colorful jewelry.
For too long, I let myself be limited by what the latest styles were - in other words, the often disappointing selection for sale in the stores.
I was twenty years old when I decided to start increasing the number of skirts in my wardrobe, and to otherwise strive to dress more femininely (previously, I was a self-professed "jeans and a t-shirt kind of gal"). That was almost ten years ago now. Over that time, popular styles have gone through several periods where it was almost impossible to find a skirt that wasn't a mini-skirt or a top that didn't show half my chest. I would be out shopping, searching in vain. And then I'd spot the one skirt in the store that was slightly on the longer side and get so excited by my victory that I'd just buy it right away without a thought to whether I really and truly liked the style and the fit. So I amassed a closet full of clothes that may have met my impression of feminine, but just weren't fun to wear.
And when you don't feel pretty in the majority of your wardrobe, you begin to just feel frumpy. I would find myself wearing a preppy polo shirt, or a pink lacy top, or a silky floral skirt and just feel as if I was wearing a costume. I was dressing like someone else, instead of like me.
I suspect this might be one reason some women hesitate to start wearing more skirts, even when they're attracted to the idea. They imagine that they must dress to fit some mold, or some very specific notion of "feminine." They know they don't want to look like they just walked out of Little House on the Prairie, or a Jane Austen novel, or the Duggar house (God love 'em!).
But the good news is, you don't have to look like anyone else! Think of all the ways women have found to dress over the centuries in ways which fit their unique personality, yet still respect their feminine nature. There's a look for everyone, and I guess my advice is to just pick pieces that you love and stop following the latest trends.
I'm pretty sure the reason I finally arrived at a point where I feel that my wardrobe is all truly "me" is because I stopped shopping at the retail stores. When Sly was born, I quit my job, and we suddenly had to survive on a teeny tiny tiny budget. I had already been using thrift store clothes to supplement my wardrobe, but at that point I had to learn how to start shopping at them exclusively - or else get no "new" clothes ever. At thrift stores, you're not bound by the current hot trends. Everything in there is at least a year old (sometimes as much as thirty years old!), so you have a wide range of styles to browse and try on. You get to know what you like, what works on your body.
It does take some time to build up your wardrobe with clothes that are "you", and weed out those that aren't. But when you arrive there, it feels so great to be truly comfortable and satisfied with almost everything you wear!
If anyone is looking to enhance their wardrobe with some beautiful feminine styles from eShakti (see my review of one of their dresses here), you can use the code "extraordinaries" to receive 10% off your order through July 21st.