floral 50s-inspired skirt and fitted top
floral 50s-inspired skirt and fitted top
floral 50s-inspired skirt and fitted top

Last week I read this post about the concept of writing a ‘Not My Style’ list, as a way to help define your personal style.

Now, to be completely honest, I don’t think I really NEED to write a list of the things I don’t like in order to know what my style is. I mean, I don’t wear all of these stilettos and big skirts because I DON’T like them, you know? I’ve always had pretty strong ideas about what I like and don’t like: I’m not really sure where that comes from, but I’ve never been the kind of person who stands in front of the mirror for ages wondering if I like something – in fact, as anyone who’s ever gone shopping with me will testify, for someone who obsesses over clothes as much as I do, I’m normally in and out of stores in a few minutes flat: I can tell pretty much instantly whether they’re going to have something I like, because I know my style – and also what’s NOT my style.

I might not need to make a list of the things I don’t like, however, but I probably COULD be doing with a list of the things I DO like… but which just don’t ever work out for me. These are the things I just keep on buying, even although I know they’re just going to hang in the closet until my next clear-out, at which point I’ll tell myself that I’m NEVER going to buy that thing again. Until the next time, anyway. I’m talking about things like…

01. Anything that creases easily

I hate ironing: like, absolutely detest it – it’s my most hated household chore by far. Unfortunately for me, though, I hate creased clothes even more, so I spend more time ironing than I’d really like to (Yes, I know this is shocking to most people, who seem to take a huge amount of pride in never ironing, but my clothes are always super-creased when they come out of the dryer, and I couldn’t stand wearing them like that!) (No, hanging them up/steaming them/whatever you’re about to suggest doesn’t seem to make much of a difference…), and that’s why I’m hereby pledging never again to buy linen, thin cotton, or anything else that creases the second you look at it. Some creasing is inevitable, obviously – you have to be able to LIVE in your clothes, after all. I’d like to be able to live in mine without knowing that no matter how carefully I iron them, by the time I get to wherever I’m going, it’s going to look like I plucked them off them floor, put them on, then rolled around in them for good luck. So no more easy-crease fabrics, Amber: please take note!

02. Black fabrics that pick up lint easily 

You know those jet black trousers that might as well be white, because a few minutes after you put them on, they’re covered in lint? I HATE those freaking trousers. Also the skirts and dresses in the same fabric, that I buy and never wear, because OMG ALL THE LINT, WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? (And yes, I have a lint roller in every handbag, but it still drives me crazy having to … roll… myself every few minutes.)

03. V-Necks

Last week I bought a couple of cami tops from Dorothy Perkins. I’ve been searching for this kind of top for ages now, and these were a really nice quality for the price, so I happily ripped off the tags, put one of the tops on… then glanced down and was like, “Oh yeah, there’s my bra! Hi bra!” I spent ages adjusting the straps, pulling the thing up, and even wearing ANOTHER camisole underneath it, then I finally gave up and put on a different top just as my parents pulled up outside to take us to see the Dixie Chicks with them. “Oooh,” said my mum when she saw me, “There’s your bra!” And yes, there it was AGAIN: GAAAAAAAH. I dunno why it is – I guess despite my freakishly long torso, I also manage to have freakishly high-set boobs or something? – but anything that isn’t relatively high-necked will look borderline obscene on me. Like, if I’m wearing a v-neck, I might as well just go topless, you know? And STILL I keep on buying the things…

04. Boyfriend/girlfriend/any kind of ‘friend’ jeans

These jeans are NOT my friends, basically. No matter how many times I try to befriend them, baggy jeans HATE me. I know they look good on other people, too, so I’m just going to have to face facts, here: it’s not them – it’s ME. (It’s also them, though…)

05. Brightly coloured shoes

“Oh look!” I’ll think, “A pair of bright blue shoes! I love bright blue AND I love shoes: I will REALLY love the bright blue shoes!” So, I’ll buy the bright blue shoes, and yeah, I’ll basically look like a cartoon character in them. I can’t even count the number of pairs of bright blue shoes I’ve bought over the years (OK, I can: it’s three.), which I’ve then never actually worn, because every time I put them on, I basically look like a Smurf. It’s weird, because the size of my feet is one of the few things I’m NOT self-conscious about. My feet are a perfectly normal size, but give me a pair of brightly coloured shoes, and it’s like I AM my feet. They’re all I can see.

Strangely enough, I have a couple of exceptions to this rule. Red, for instance. Some yellows. Those purple slingbacks I have that I love so much. I can wear all of those, and feel fine about it, but, for the most part, these days I prefer my footwear to be a little more muted: I know it’s boring…  but I just can’t seem to make myself care.

So! These are just five of the things I solemnly swear I will never buy again.  (Unless I DO buy them again, in which case just ignore this post – thanks.) What’s on your list?

floral summer skirt

Wearing: ChicWish skirt* (old); Zara top; Carvela shoes*

  1. Oh gosh my favourite pair of work shoes are bright blue from H&M! I’ve never made the smurf connection although I might now, it’ll make me chuckle and thing of you! 🙂

    There are things I avoid like the plague of course but right now I can’t thing of anything except dungarees / overalls and those lace up sandals / shoes, too much faff. Basically I avoid a lot of “trends”… not sure what that says about me!

  2. I could probably write a whole post (and hey, maybe I will some day!) about the things I won’t buy again, but the crease thing… ugh! I hate ironing and I’m one of those people that never does it unless I’ve bought one of those pieces of clothing that you just can’t get away with it for. So mostly I don’t buy those pieces of clothing and everything I own has a lot of elastane in it, which somehow seems to help. But not always. To be honest, if I knew the materials that did and didn’t crease and could look them up before I bought anything it would be a life- and money- saver. Oh and by the way I am still here reading your posts, just having a very busy time of it the last few weeks so not piping up much 🙂

  3. I appreciate the reminder to identify items one is unlikely to wear. On occasion I struggle to avoid the temptation though – after vowing to refrain from purchasing black dresses due to ‘the lint problem’ I weakened and bought a black Lindy Bop dress that I will likely never wear…

  4. Oooo, I love, love, LOVE your outfit!! I pretty much agree with all the items you wrote about! I love V-necks because there’s more room for a necklace on bare skin, but I think I must have the same high-set boob issue you do, or else I’m just really short between my shoulders and my bust line. And, it doesn’t help that I’m, well… let us say “blessed” in the bust, so showing cleavage is always an issue. In fact, looking down at my outfit today, I notice that the cami I have on underneath my V-neck top has also slipped down so that I’m showing more than I like. 🙁 *sigh* As for ironing, I used to hate it, but I once read a woman’s comment about ironing after the 9/11 attacks. She said that the event made her re-assess what was important in life and ironing became therapeutic for her… that smoothing out the wrinkles was a way to feel some calm and setting of things right in a world full of chaos. Ever since reading that, I’ve had a new appreciation for ironing. I still don’t make as much time for it as I would like, but setting the ol’ ironing board up in front of the TV and ironing while watching a classic movie isn’t as bad as I once thought it was.

  5. I agree about easy wrinkle clothes and in shops am known to scrunch up a handful of fabric and walk on by when it is really wrinkled. The exception to that is linen – the more it wrinkles, the more I like it. That’s what linen is supposed to do. On holiday in Thailand a few years ago I carried a linen shirt rolled up in my bag to use as a cover up under the sun. It looked like a rag, but a Lebanese man in the rag trade touched my arm and said, “that’s Irish linen, it’s the best in the world”. When I pointed out how wrinkled it was, he said it didn’t matter, it was beautiful.

  6. High necked shirts with ties at the top. Even if I like it, I feel silly in it and never want to wear it. But it works out ok if the neckline is a little lower.

  7. I think you’re wrong about the bright blue shoes—I think it’s just your perspective as you look down, but in reality our shoes are about 10% of our outfit. I think you should do a post to prove me wrong (or right—it happens occasionally :)). Post the same outfit a couple times with different colored shoes—one with the bright blue ones!! I’d love to see it!

    1. I don’t actually have any now… It’s just personal preference, though – I don’t think it’s really “wrong” as such to prefer one colour over another: people like different things, and bright shoes just aren’t really my taste any more 😀

  8. For me it’s anything that needs altering. I will buy it thinking how perfect it will be with just a bit of altering and tweaking, and then be too lazy to actually take it to someone who can do said altering and tweaking. Then I’m just left with pretty clothes I will never wear, or if I do wear them, it’s by improvising a silly solution to the problem and then feeling bad wearing it all day long. The most recent example – a year ago I bought the cutest romper, but the pants were too long for me. The only time I wore it, I stuffed the ends into my shoes… Since then it’s been sitting in my closet.

  9. Anything that flashes too much flesh, tops made out of man-made fabric, anything with a daft slogan on it and cheap undies – all to be avoided I think.

  10. I wish I could be super definitive about what I liked/looked good on me! Still trying to define my personal style…

    Things I will not buy: heels online any more. Tops that need special bras you do not have. Gladiator sandals. Peplum.

  11. Just remembered sheer tops. If I have to wear something underneath it defeats the point of a summer top. ‘STOP BLOODY BUYING THEM’ says me to myself

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