‘Lil bit money, ‘lil bit rock’n’roll

Photo Credit: thedayhascome via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: thedayhascome via Compfight cc

If pressed, I would modestly describe my personal sense of style as “a little bit money, a little bit rock’n’roll.” If pressed, the average person on the street would variously describe my style as “inconsistent”, “nondescript” and “borderline homeless” depending on the day. To be fair, that might be mostly because of the hair, which – due to laziness – is usually in a style that Germans practically refer to as a “ficknest” (literally, the nest your hair makes after you’ve been f- …, uh, I mean, in bed for a while).

While in my mind I wander around looking Nina Proudman-esque (a quirky Australian TV character from the show Offspring with a whimsical, alt-boho look that’s somehow also sharp and pulled-together), in reality I’m pretty much wearing the same black skirt all the time. Like, alllll the time.

Nina Proudman

Or black jeans. Which my boyfriend once described as my uniform. No, actually he said, “I don’t think I’ve seen this outfit before.” To which I replied, “Really? I wear it all the- ohhhhh, I get it.”

What I do have is an extreme abundance of mismatched jewellery which I think reflects not only the styles I have dabbled with, my indecision, my inability to find/decide on/commit to a “look” but also the various emotions I experience when inside a shopping mall.

Here, I was thinking “if you don’t walk faster, I’ll smack you in the head.”
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Here, “this music is amazing! I’m going straight to a club!”
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“I long for the simple days of life on the prairie”
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And finally, “I need a Bovril and a lie down. Because I have clearly lost the plot.”
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I hardly wear any of this stuff, and there’s lots of it. I tried to estimate how much money I would have spend over time on things I thought I would “try out”…I’ve lost count, but it’s a big number.

I have definitely gone through phases in my dressing career. I was allll about purple in my early teens – long before Marie in Breaking Bad, I might add. Then I went through whatever ridiculous and ill-considered trend was in at the time: surfer chic, disco girl, ranch owner, hip-hop star, middle-aged virgin, polo-playing aristocrat, heroin addict. I just played along and while I always added something of myself to the style, it was definitely dictated by whatever was in magazines or on my friends. Except heroin addict, that look I owned.

For the longest time, I refused to wear shoes. This continued into my university days, where I was threatened with being thrown out of a lecture if I didn’t show up next time with a pair on. I also refused to brush my hair, which my poor mother remembers as “my entire early adulthood.”

I guess I didn’t really either care too much, or know enough about dressing and style. There are some people whose whole appearance is a natural form of expression completely their own, an artform. I have friends who can put on a poncho, moccasins and a ballgown and it’s still somehow all part of their personal style and they totally rock it (Selena, I am looking at you!). I’m not smart this way. Dressing is not something I “get”, it’s not a language I speak. For me, it’s mostly a way not to get arrested for indecency.

But I have started to take notice, mostly inspired by my Ma, of what I feel comfortable in and what I receive compliments in. I have found that these are usually one and the same. I’m slowly evolving a kind of actual style. My own style. It’s pretty relaxed – mostly jeans or skirts and plain t-shirts layered over with blazers or biker jackets. The occasional wrap dress and jewel-toned sweater. And boots. Pretty much always boots.

It’s not rocket science or a massive breakthrough, but it helps me get dressed in the morning. It really does. And it’s something I’m now trying to develop while unable to purchase anything new. It’s forcing me to get a bit more creative and bit more adventurous with what I mix and match. I’m trying not to be afraid to shed and cull things that don’t fit with me, even though I can’t currently replace them. But I think once I’ve properly nailed it, it will save me lots of money and heartache in future.

I cannot be the only person who has purchased a bias-cut, gold-sequined balloon skirt in the store, only to get home and realise they are actually a 36-year-old woman with Spanish hips. I get too distracted by what the mannequin is wearing and how the store makes me feel. This is even true of online shopping. I had a look back through my purchases and I have about a 50% success rate of keeping things vs sending them back. Allowing for errors in sizing, a lot of what went back were things that just clearly didn’t suit me or my body shape. But the model wearing them was definitely pretty.

I think going in with a clear idea of what I have in my closet already, what shapes suit my figure, and what makes me feel comfortable, will increase my success ratio in future and will definitely limit the amount of money I waste on sombreros and onsies.

And I’ve got a whole year to figure it all out!

Do you have a definable style, or are you just throwing shit on in the morning to comply with decency laws? Is style and dressing something you “get” or is it a struggle for you too? I’m interested to hear what everyone else goes through here!

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About colonizethemoon

36 years old. Reformed smoker. Unreformed drinker. Antisocial neighbour. Sometime shower-singer. Speaker of appalling German. On a quest to become a grown up. In all the good ways and none of the bad. Originally from Sydney (via Wales, Spain, and Newcastle, NSW) now living and working in god's country - aka Munich, Germany.

Posted on August 28, 2014, in Game on, My Purse is Closed and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Hey, I know where you’re at. I have no piece of advice for you, I’ve covered my nudity most of my life. I think though that I might just be getting the hang of putting a few items together that looks OK!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You should totally check this out http://www.un-fancy.com – read her capsule wardrobe posts. I’ll start doing this as of September.

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    • Holy crap!! This is my most favourite new thing in the whole entire world!! Thanks!
      I can study her for a year and then do my own capsules! I think 37 pieces is quite a bit, especially every 3 months (I probably only have that amount of stuff right now), but if I write it into a budget and stick to it…Oh, I just love this!

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  3. Well you don’t buy 37 new pieces every three months… That’s how much you have in total. The idea is to “roll over” as much as possible from your previous capsules and only replace what you really need or absolutely don’t love anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, then that makes more sense. I will check it out properly this weekend when i have some time – it seems like a brilliant idea though!!

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    • Loving this site more and more, Claud! Wish I could go on a shopping spree at Massimo Dutti, but I have settled for cleaning out my closet this weekend. I’m not down to 37 pieces, but I definitely don’t have 9 bottoms! Bottoms are always really hard for me to find. And shoes. Next year I will definitely need more shoes… Thanks again SO much for introducing this concept to me!

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  4. I’m not sure I’d say I have a style, necessarily, but I have found certain things to be true. I look like boiled barf in blazers, my shoulders are too wide. I’m not a formal girl. I feel best in bright colors or black. Given that my feet are quite large, I wear sandals. A lot. My taste in jewelry is incredibly eclectic.

    Since I work at a university, I can get away with being a touch odd in my fashion choices. But I always select my outfit the night before, including shoes and jewelry. I’m no good for anything in the morning, so that helps.

    And I’m also trying to find new ways to combine the clothing options I have on hand. I’m trying my damndest to not buy anything new if at all possible. Although I found this amazing pair of knee high black boots online that may actually fit….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can I be the devil on your shoulder and say go buy them?? I think black boots are irreplacable in a wardrobe! Jealous that you’re at a university – you can be so much freer there! I work for a big corporate insurance company. Although I have to admit, they’re pretty flexible on the dress code. I think combining is the hard thing, isn’t it? You basically have to invest a couple of hours just trying shit on. And great idea about picking the outfit the night before…I think I will start doing that and saving myself some angst. Not to mention a few extra minutes with the snooze button!

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      • I have every intention of buying them – right after I pay the bills this weekend. This place is both online and has local stores, and if the shoes don’t fit you can take them to the store for a refund or exchange. It’s killer.

        The university is a bit more laid back, though my group still holds to “business casual” most of the time. Today I’m wearing a knee length denim skirt, black v-neck t-shirt/blouse thing, zebra stripe earrings I made, and cheapo black flip-flops. I dress nicer when I’m teaching and a little more casual when I don’t have plans to see anyone outside the department.

        Getting your outfit out ahead of time is an amazing way to save time and anxiety. Plus with me, I have so damn much jewelry that sometimes picking those pieces out takes more time than picking my clothes, and I would never be able to pull that off in the 30 minutes I allow for getting ready in the morning.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think we all need a bit more zebra stripe in our lives! I love black and white. So lucky you can wear flip-flops to the office…although half the time here it’s snowing, so not sure how that would fly! 🙂 I am definitely going to give the night-before clothes setup a go. I allow myself 1.5 hours (but that includes a long breakfast, cup of coffee, the readio news bulletin, shower, hair styling (or what passes for such), makeup and getting dressed. Somehow that’s never enough time!

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      • Nope, I need as much sleep as possible, so I get everything I can done the night before so that in the morning all I have to do is take a quick shower, attempt to tame the afro, finish putting bits in my backpack, and hit the ground running. I’ve got a personal sized fridge in my office and I keep milk in it and cereal in the cupboard so I just have breakfast there. I usually up by 6:15 and at the office by 7.

        This is kind of related – if you need any virtual help with the wardrobe stuff, email me. I am excellent at figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of. 😉

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      • Oh, thanks!! I will take you up on that! 😀 But first, omg! Up at 6:15? In the office at 7! You’re my hero. I set two alarms and basically ignore them until 730 or sometimes 8. I’m usually running in the office door at half 9. I SO wish I was a morning person!!

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      • If I get there at 7 I can leave at 4 and avoid most of the assholes who drive in rush hour. 😀 And, hardly anyone else (besides K) gets in that early, so I avoid most of the assholes at work for a whole hour. 😀 WIN!

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      • Haaaa! Love the strategy! That’s a win indeed!! 😀

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