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Living Upside Down

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I’m a Top 50 Style Dare Blogger!

At the beginning of last year, I was so very tired of feeling and looking ‘blah’. My clothes seemed to be uniformly drab. I owned 17 lipsticks, mostly in shades of brown, and my wardrobe was overflowing with ill-fitting clothes in neutral colours. It was suburban mum camouflage, helping me to blend into the background – nothing too tight, nothing too bright, nothing unusual, different or noteworthy.

Acknowledging my limitations and desperately wanting to get out of the style rut I’d found myself in, I decided to consult with a stylist. Enter the encouraging and supportive Alison Triffett, who helped me enormously and gave me lots of tips on how to liberate myself from the overwhelming beige-ness of it all.

I guess my big style lesson last year was realising how the way I dressed was influencing the way I felt about myself and vice versa. It’s not about wearing catwalk fashion or designer labels, but rather about working out what makes me feel good about myself and what kind of image I want to project to others, and keeping my style choices consistent with those goals.

So, what image do I want to project? Honestly, after years of blending into the background and striving to bland myself down to make sure that I wasn’t standing out too much or making anyone else uncomfortable, I simply want to be able to relax and be myself. I want to have a little bit of fun, but still keep things reasonably basic and practical. To be eclectic and quirky but not out-there.

Inspired by Alison and the same Anonymums book that prompted Andrea’s first fashion dare, I decided to ditch the brown lipsticks as part of my style overhaul. I fronted up to the Napoleon Perdis counter at David Jones and told the consultant, Tania, that I was looking for a red lipstick that wouldn’t make me look like a hooker or a clown. I was looking for a new style, but it’s still good to set some fashion boundaries, I think.

Tania picked out a few shades for me to try and then informed me that it often takes several minutes to get used to wearing something so bright. Maybe so, but I must confess for me it was love at first sight. I love my red lipsticks and have worn them regularly over the past nine months including during Andrea’s first ever style challenge, the #RedLipstickDare.

Red has become a colour that symbolises my rebellion against all things beige and blah. In addition to my red lipsticks, I also own the world’s most awesome Wittner red sequined shoes. I love these shoes. LOVE them. Knowing that I have a pair of such stupendous shoes in my wardrobe gives me a little buzz every time I think about it. Blah-beige women do not own red sequined, silver glitter-soled stilettos. (Thanks to Tiffany from My Three Ring Circus for the awesome shot of my shoes. The style name is Amber, but I much prefer the name Kim-Marie of Kimba Likes has given them: the ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto’ shoes.)

I’ve even dip-dyed my hair red, much to the disgust of my 12-year-old son who seems to feel that mothers should be too sensible and responsible to do anything so frivolous.

I love Andrea’s Fox in Flats blog. It’s a regular reminder to me to consciously avoid frumpy mum clothes and to instead have a little big of fun with the style choices I make. I like being bumped out of my comfort zone with her dares and I’m proud to be on her list of Top 50 Style Dare Bloggers.

When did you last shake up your style choices?

12 Responses to “I’m a Top 50 Style Dare Blogger!”

  • Oh damn Susan, that made me cry!
    I am so thrilled for you. It’s so easy for us to become ‘beige’, whether we have children or not. And you have articulated this so beautifully.
    Thankyou for joining in with the style dares, and for your kind words. When I started Fox in Flats I never imagined in a million years that it would be part of such a lovely story like yours.
    And, now, I’m off to buy me some of those Toto shoes.
    x Andrea

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  • Oh my goodness I am in LOVE with those shoes, and your feet look fabulous in them! I’m trying to get back into my fashion mojo lately sometimes succeeding . . .
    Laureny recently posted 1st Rusk

  • I totally get this and have been on a bit of a journey with this myself. I’ve just packed for the DPcon weekend in 10mins because finally my wardrobe is full of clothes that I like, that fit and that match. Now I am in LOVE with these red shoes – off to check them out!! x

  • Cat:

    Oh lovely lady! I knew some of your story already but it’s so lovely to read shoot your confidence. It is brilliant to hear that you’ve fought the beige and shocked your son along the way. ;) I agree with you that clothes can make you feel like the better version of yourself. You’ve inspired me to write a similar post myself which I will do. Thank you for sharing your journey. Xxx
    Cat recently posted Barely

  • good for you! great post! now I have shoe envy!!!
    thelakehousewriter recently posted Motivational Monday

  • Kek:

    Wow. You just summed up how I’ve been feeling about myself for the past year or two, and confirmed that I’m doing something awesome for myself by employing a personal stylist (who’ll be here in just a couple of hours to sort me out – squee!).

    LOVE those shoes. *sigh*
    Kek recently posted Are you feeling lucky….punk?

  • Kim-Marie:

    Aww, you made me cry too! I love a bit of a “journey” xxx

    Amber is too beige a name for those hot to trot flights of foot fancy! :)
    Kim-Marie recently posted Thank you, Baubles Bubbles and Bags!

  • I love this post. It made me smile. What a fun and happy journey you have been on. I love red too. At the moment I am sport red nails, carrying a red bag and wearing red lipstick. I have to break up the ‘beige’ somehow. I love the shoes, they would make me smile whenever I would wear them.

    Rachel
    Rachel from Redcliffe Style recently posted Bloody Insomnia

  • Those shoes are seriously awesome.

    And I’m hearing you – my wardrobe is mostly blacks and greys. I’m slowly adding more colours, but it’s hard sometimes. x
    Veronica recently posted 18 weeks

  • This did make me smile – I can identify with so much of the beige-ness, even though I love red… Congratulations for buying those shoes – they’re just wonderful!

  • Definitely digging those shoes – can understand why you love them so much

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Introducing…

Susan Whelan - freelance writer, wife, mother, Novocastrian, compulsive reader, user of big words and inadequate housewife. Contact me at susan@whelanflynn.com.

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