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