“I’ll wear anything as long as it’s black.” That was my excuse for years. A safety net that morphed my wardrobe in to a giant bruise. Which is fine. Bruise is a strong look – but over time it left me feeling a little uninspired. We all have our safety nets and our comfort zones and my approach to fashion had become formulaic. At lot of it had to do with my mood and how I felt – awkward, unsexy, frantic – and as a result everything was boxed and hidden and frayed at the edges. Like my mind.
It wasn’t a conscious thing though but suddenly I started falling in love. With everything again. I’m a god damn culture sponge and when I’m in to something I’m in to it. Books, comics, movies, music – I was consuming everything and anything and just completely obsessed with just life. And of course there was fashion. Silly, sexy, irreverent fashion.
I’m not saying fashion is daft (though fuck it, I will over intellectualise the shit out of anything given have the chance) but my approach to it loosened up. Sure there was minimalist fashion angel who wants me to be this effortlessly chic girl that’s rolled out of Cos, but there’s that other fashion angel on my shoulder who seems to made up of this weird Dolly Parton/Tyra Banks hybrid by way of Courtney Love who’s approach is much more fuck it. “Darling have fun with it.”
Dress – Rip It Up Vintage
Belt – Topshop
Boots – Primark
Which meant slips and fishnets, frills and fringing and the real blindside, colour and pattern. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t done a style 180. The base of most of my outfits are monochrome. I’ll still start with basics (boyfriend jeans, t-shirt – finish with boudoir jacket and a stripper shoe) or just find one thing I love and work from there.
Colour has always been the one thing I’ve shied away from. I never really mastered the colour wheel in school and I’m MUCH better at working in shades of blacks and greys. But colour can just list your mood and totally change your approach to the day. Wearing a cheap slip dress and trainers to my friends leaving do made me feel low-key sexy (that’s allowed right? Fuck, I didn’t see that one coming) and this yellow dress? Powerful. Because I wasn’t sitting there thinking “am I dressed appropriately” or “oh what if they think I’m not professional.” And it was like something clicked. About being confident in my skills and what I can do and what I’ve achieved. Yeah, I’ve still got things I’m wanting to learn, there’s always room for improvement , but I’m comfortable with that. The weird unease and “ohmygodiwasjustsickinmymouthalittle” has eased up. Which is nice. And unexpected.
I’m not sure what came first. The fashion or the confidence – maybe it’s just some weird circle, or peaks and troughs or bizarro merry-go-round or “insert your own preferred metaphor here* but it’s a nice part of the journey to be on.
And spoiler. Black is always the new black.