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?