Hello there, you gorgeous lot. Apologies for the quiet week on the blog but I’ve been crazy busy in the kitchen! I will share pictures of what I created next week (though, if you are following me on Twitter, you may have seen them already). I fell down the rabbit hole whilst working on some rather intricate cupcake designs. It was loads of fun but many hours of work. Then my brain collapsed in on itself and I got writer’s block. I think I’m good to go now.
For this week’s Fashion on Friday, I thought I would respond to a question that I am so often asked…
Do I always dress like this?
The answer is both yes, and hell no.
Whilst I can motor around quite happily in stiletto heels, I have not yet found a pair that work for me in the gym! I work out 4-5 times a week, attending high-intensity classes like bootcamps, Body Pump, and spinning. My natural dislike of physical activity in public (a hangover from my school days as a serial PE dodger) along with a deepset fear of anyone who looks too good whilst exercising (again, school trauma) mean that I am not at my most chatty in the gym. Frankly, I am not me when I am not dressed as myself.
I do have one friend from the real world who often attends the same classes as I do and we have both agreed that we cannot really interact with the outside world without our eyebrows on. If you are working out properly, you cannot wear make-up; aside from being terrible for your skin, there is nothing worse than sweat-smeared warpaint!
So my gym attire consists of trainers, sports bra, leggings, and an assortment of vests and old band T-shirts. It’s not a great look so I will never share it with you. Sorry. You don’t get that girl, you get this one.
This is me. This is how I see myself and how I wish to be seen. I think that image is the most powerful thing.
I keep a tiny notebook in my handbag for ideas as they arise. Sometimes I write down compliments in my notebook – do this, save your thank you notes, keep your love letters – so that they pop up again once in a while and make me smile. This is one that I get quite a lot; I like your style.
I wrote that particular note on the train in Munich last October as I had received this same compliment three times in an afternoon. It stuck with me and I liked it. It’s not a comment on my looks but rather how I dress myself.
I’ve described my style as ‘retro eclectic’. In my clothes, hair, and make-up, I take inspiration from past decades and mash them up. If I have time the night before, I love a wet set, so that I wake up with curls and volume. A quick do for me is a 1940s inspired style constructed of victory rolls, which works far better on day-old hair. Neither do takes me too long to create these days, as I have many years of practice under my belt, but forethought is required!
All of this effort, coupled with the outfits that I put together, mean that I do appreciate the compliments I receive when I am out and about. It’s bizarre. It’s addictive. It’s powerful.
When we dress in the morning, we empower ourselves with an image that we choose to present to the world. Mine is based upon how I know that I will feel most confident, most like myself, and get a positive reaction from my fellow humans.
My style is so intrinsically linked with how I perceive myself that when you tell me that you like my style, you are in fact telling me that you like me. I like you too. You are awesome. The kindness that comes with paying a compliment to a stranger or to a friend you have just met, cannot be measured. If you want to watch someone light up from within this weekend, just tell them that you like their style.
I wish that I could change the world from the computer screen that I am staring at. I wish that I could make everything OK for all those who are suffering or afraid. Unfortunately, I am just one impeccably dressed woman and I have cakes to bake so this one small act of social rebellion will have to suffice for today… pay a compliment to a stranger this weekend.
And herein lies the problem with writer’s block; it turns out that what you wanted to say at the beginning of your piece turns into something completely different by the end of it. I offer no apology.
Come back on Monday when I will be baking a cake for a true style icon! My writing will be cohesive by then (one hopes).