Sunday, 15 June 2014

How Words Help Define Your Personal Style: Part One

In seeking to define my personal style as accurately and clearly as I can so I can make the best choices possible when shopping, I engaged in a bit of word play.  There really is no other reason to be aware of your personal style than that.  Unless you wish your personal style to be defined by randomness, that is. 
I started by listing words and word pairs that described what I like to wear in a visual sense, a tactile sense and my emotional response. I made the list quickly, not over-thinking it. 

comfortable            movement
silver                      quality
feminine                 edgy
strong                    sleek
draping                  muted
jewel toned            rich/deep
large florals            abstract florals
paisley                   narrow stripes
relaxed                  creative
celtic knots             beading
embroidery             velvet
lace                        earthy
purple                     teal
dark chocolate        black
pinks/mauves         oxblood
prussian blue          deep green
magical                  enchanted
fluid                       warm
natural                   leather
wood                      stone

No, alignment is not my thing.

After all this listing of words and pondering their meaning to me, ( what I define as feminine may not be the same as what someone else does)  I came up with a wordy description of what I think my personal style is.  It may not be what others see when they look at me, and it may not be what I have achieved with all of the items currently hanging in my closet, but it is what appeals to me and what I aim for.  The point of this exercise is to focus future shopping efforts, to avoid mistakes of the very kind I am prone to, which is buying something I really do like but that doesn't fit my vision which makes it more difficult to work with and less likely to be worn.

When I go shopping for clothing, in order to be considered for purchase, an item must seem to me to fit with my vision of.....
gothic-romantic, hippie- artistic- beatnik with a touch of rock and roll.  If an item fits into my vision of one of those categories I am bound to like it and feel right wearing it. You'll notice the word 'teacher' did not make the cut.  Two other useful words are comfortable and natural. I would like a wardrobe of exclusively natural fibres but silk and fine merino knits are not something I can readily find inexpensively so I  make do with rayon and polyester blends at times.  I like fabric to be soft and draping, and after colour catches my eye, followed by pattern, I must feel the garment and like the feel of the fabric before I will even try it on.

These guidelines are also useful when purging the closet.  I don't know really which of these terms this outfit fits with or if it really does, but I do know I like it and it feels like me.   I love the swinginess of the skirt, which is of course jersey!  Mum found it for me in a thrift shop.  I love this blue patterned cardigan and my knee high boots.  And I love my many silver necklaces all tangled together.  I know this outfit does not exactly shout 'Spring!' but then neither has the weather lately.  I did consider wearing sandals anyway but then I would have had to shave my legs and why do that if I don't have to?  I'm linking my booted self up to Patti's Visible Monday



In the next post I have taken a closer look at the colour words I chose and how they help me understand my style.  Stay tuned my poor dear readers. 

23 comments:

  1. Love the whole outfit Shawna, you look absolutely fab!! Xoxo

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  2. I think this outfit is actually a very good visual to the words you used to describe your style! I love the way you think...I need to come up with words for myself and stick to your rules!!! I have way too much in my closet that I never wear!

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    1. Thanks, I like to know I succeeded. :-) It is definitely an outfit that feels very me so I guess that's the bottom line. I'd love to see the words you come up with!
      xoxoxo

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  3. Blimey, that sounds very scientific. I just go by gut instinct - if I love it (and its cheap enough) then I'll buy it. Smashing cardi -it deserves an ode! x

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    1. Vix I don't think I can be called scientific in anything I do-lol. I'm just a woman who loves words. And given that, I definitely must create an ode for that cardi!
      xoxoxo

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  4. Nice way to approach defining one's style. And the outfit is amazing. It flows beautifully.

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    1. Thank you. I love an excuse to play with words! And I love a chance to wear a skirt too!
      xoxo

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  5. I'm enjoying being a part of your style journey. It is very interesting to watch your explore what makes you happy. Your Mum has a great eye. I too love the swinginess of skirts. This one is nice and can be worn with a variety of shoes.
    Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you, Glenda. My mum does have a great eye and dresses very well. She also knows what my taste is so I definitely benefit from that!
      xoxo

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  6. I love this outfit Shawna. The shape of the skirt is lovely and that cardii definitely deserves and ode xx

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    1. Thanks, Jayne! Pretty soon all my cardis will have their own ode.
      xoxoxo

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  7. as vix says - the cardi is fab! and the whole outfit is perfect for a rainy spring day.
    interesting collection of words. like a brainstorming for a professional fashion collection. this seems very helpful to avoid wrong buys. whats about a mood board with colors and textures?
    although i experiment a lot with colors and materials i have a picture in my head how the garments should be to flatter me. but it´s more instinct then thought.......
    at saturday i made a big haul on winter! wool garments from a second hand shop in dresden. have to wash it but then i will share some pics....
    xxxx

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    1. I am intending to make a really big moodboard in my spare room where I have lots of wall space but I have to admit it is difficult for me to find images that fit with my vision. I have lots of visions in my head but don't see what I want in magazines very often. It is a project I am starting though and when it is more substantial I will share it. I could really upholster a whole wall in colours, patterns and textures I like-lol.

      Looking forward to seeing the wool haul! Shopping out of season is one of the fun but also weird things about second hand shopping!
      xoxoxo

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    2. for the mood board you don´t have to cut out whole outfits or figurines - not even clothes! at college we made samplers from "national geographic" mag and such, cutting pieces of landscapes, architecture or animals if their color or texture fitted our needs....
      you can also add real fabric scraps or gift wrapping paper, tissues etc.
      xxxx

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    3. Thanks for the tips. I knew I could use materials beyond paper but I think I have tended to be very focused on the shape of an outfit or a garment, trying to find examples of what I like in a fashion world full of white button down shirts and trench coats which are just not me. In some ways my Pinterest boards are a mood board, and there are so many more available images in the digital world. But I like the idea of an actual, physical mood board on my wall and it can grow slowly. :-)
      xoxoxo

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  8. A lot of your words work for me, too, and especially the ones you use to describe your vision. Your outfit works for me, too - versatile, comfortable, pretty pattern and a cool vibe. And you (or I if I copy you) could wear it just about anywhere. I'd love to do pure beatnik, but I'd miss the colors and patterns!

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    1. Yes, I know what you mean. I have lately been really drawn to black- all black and black and white outfits which is odd for me in general and even odder at this time of year. Maybe my inner beatnik is fighting to come out and play with my inner hippie.
      xoxoxo

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  9. Love this task-what a good idea, ive never tried it!! I'm with you on the natural fabrics x

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  10. I think my own aesthetic is similar to yours - it's taken many fun years of experimentation to figure that out...and then it changes!

    BTW, your orange cowboy boots sound spectacular! Please wear them soon so you can share them with Shoe Shine. :) Also, Ally tells me that the pink boxing gloves are coming to me soon, and then over/up-Island to you. Hurray!

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    1. Yes, we have a similar aesthetic though you are more daring than I am. I think we like the same shapes and silhouettes. I have a picture of the cowboy boots on my Hippie Hippie Shake post a couple posts back but I will try to sport them again soon. I have to wear them with thick socks or I get blisters.
      Maybe I should wear them with pink boxing gloves.....hmmm LOL I'm excited that the gloves are coming our way. I found that out yesterday too.

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  11. You're obviously thinking about this a lot, Shawna! And as you are a verbal person, finding words that describe your style and your vision is clearly important to you. I haven't ever done this, I suspect because although I like words, I feel clothing/colour/texture/shape is essentially a visually creative medium, so I don't need to. The clothes do the talking! But it is very interesting to read your thoughts on the matter, and go along with you on your journey of discovery. xxx

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    1. Is there anything I don't think about a lot? LOL I am very verbal and very visual but not at all auditory. Though maybe I am because I don't like "loud" colours. ;-) I agree with you about clothing being a visual medium, and that is mostly how I respond to it too. Exploring it with words is a whole new experience which I am having a bit of fun with. The point of the words is to help me narrow down what I take home after I have had my visual response to things. I will see colours and textures and patterns I love but can end up with some incoherence in my wardrobe because of that. The words are intended to help me fine tune it. Thanks for following along and offering your support. :-)
      xoxoxo

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