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I cringe a little inside when I think about my awkward teen years and how insecure I was as a young adult. I was always interested in fashion but I always felt like I was behind the 8-ball and missed the mark on so many of my outfits. In high school, coming from a single parent household, there was little money to spend on clothing so I felt like I was playing catch up once I reached university and started earning my own money through my casual jobs. My naivety didn’t help me make any smart fashion decisions – I just followed the crowd and bought into all the trends I could afford, even if they didn’t suit me.
It wasn’t until my late-20s that something twigged and I realised I hadn’t properly honed in on my personal style. The internal shift felt monumental and I stopped caring as much about what was in this month’s glossy spread or what others were buying into. I started adopting a more considered approach into my purchases and honed in on what suited me and made me happy. Personally, I find it so empowering now that I’m picky and will only entertain trends that are worth my time and money.
So here are the style lessons I learned over time, that I wish I knew as a doe-eyed young adult:
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#1 – Comfort is the key to being stylish
Personally, I’m not one for showing too much leg or too much skin. But those shorter hemlines and strapless tops from times past suggest otherwise! And while I tried my very hardest to “fake it till you make it”, the sad reality is that young Vee never quite made it… in fact, she didn’t even come close!. Quite frankly, there’s really nothing stylish about fidgeting with a strapless bra, constantly pulling down the hem of a dress or clomping in heels because of the beginnings of a blister.
I’ve come to realise that whenever I wear something that I’m comfortable in, it allows me to walk and act with confidence. So ultimately, whether that means jeans, higher necklines and kitten heels, I feel stylish.
#2 – Less is more
The phrase “less is more” is advice that can be applied to all aspects of our lives, and when it comes to fashion, it evolves depending on the trends of the time.
I pushed the boundaries a fair bit in my 20s and probably went overboard a few too many times, whether it was due to the fact that I often made garish colour choices (hello neon!) or paired too many statement pieces in the one look. In saying that, without trying and testing fashion ideas, I wouldn’t have developed the personal style ideals I have today. These days, I get a lot of joy from wearing pieces with more muted tones and I focus more on flattering cuts and fabrics.
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#3 – The Best Is Yet To Come
…arguably the most important of all the style lessons. I really feel like I’ve come into my own in my 30s. Naturally, there’s more disposable income (and more responsibility!) but with a sense of self, my experimenting years are behind me and I know what works for me and makes me feel confident.
I can’t tell you exactly what my personal style will be in another five or even 10 years, but right now, I don’t feel any pressure to know, because my fashion inspiration doesn’t fit into a specific box. The most important thing I’ve learned is to be happy with how you present yourself to the world.
I hope these style lessons provided some insight for you. As always, thanks for stopping by.