Personal style is experimental. We feel our way around how we want to present ourselves, what “fits” us, and what our clothes and personal taste say about who we are as a person. And naturally, as we grow, our style evolves and changes just as much as we do. While it certainly is an outward presentation of our personalities, it also says a lot about a time in our life, a time in fashion or society, and the way we wanted to be perceived (both consciously and unconsciously). All of us can look back on a photograph and think “WHAT the heck was I thinking wearing that??” And although I don’t have many older family photos scanned into the computer for a full examination of my personal style’s evolution, you get the idea from these few…
Sarah’s first day of Kindergarten-1993. Please note that the Barbie belt I added as “the icing on the cake” to this ensemble. And yes, I dressed myself. According to my blessed mother, I’ve been dressing myself since the age of 2. Err…refusing to wear anything with buttons or anything I deemed unstylish. BUT anyway, Barbie was my ultimate style icon at age 6 (and kinda still is). And I, like every other kid in the 90’s, was a poster child for trademark merchandise. It was around that time that companies like Disney and Mattel figured out they could mass market anything from beach towels to elastic belts with their characters plastered all over them and kids would go CRAZY over it. But I digress…this belt was definitely a statement of my girly style. And I thought I was hot stuff.
Ahh the beginning of the awkward years. Unfortunately for YOU all, I don’t have photos of the terribly awkward years uploaded…so they won’t be featured, but you get a glimpse of it here. On a family trip to Paris in 2000, when I was turning 13, I was nothing short of ecstatic to be in the City of Lights and the City of FASHION. Although, thanks to all the sightseeing we did (for which I am eternally grateful) I was left paving most of the streets in Grand Paris in sweaty tank tops, jorts and tennis shoes. Would you believe in that photo I’m dressed up for a night out? Oh. I was. And I totally thought I was lookin’ soooo cool. Too bad you can’t see the kick ace long flowy skirt I’m wearing. I was trying to channel the Olsen Twins a’ la Passport to Paris. I notice now how often I wore terribly baggy clothing throughout most of my middle school years. Partially because Mom (ehem) had an aversion to all things form fitting, and partially because the awkward years of too tall for tween clothes, too skinny for adult clothes often left me with some pretty lame choices.
Enter high school. Junior year to be exact (2005). Trust me…I skipped several bad pictures here. Laguna Beach was my biggest obsession, Hollister and their sunny California advertising were blowing up my bank account, and I was intense about wanting a tan. Thus, flip flops, tank tops, jean skirts, and super casual became my staples. Funny how one TV show can alter your entire wardrobe. But it more or less did.
Derby Time! In 2006 I was allowed to accompany my Dad to the Derby while he entertained for work. OH was I excited. I could officially join the ranks of sophisticated Louisvillians in “the box” at Churchill Downs. My outfit was extremely mild compared to all the high society women in bright colors and big hats. It was the best place to people watch ever. But like my current wardrobe, I was starting to stick with the classics. Nothing outrageous, just like me.
Come college graduation time I’d pretty much cemented my style with simple classics. Pencil skirt, basic tee, solid suede pumps (but with a 4.5 inch heel). My look aligns with my philosophy: Less is more, Classics will always look great, and Simplicity is Elegance. I think this look will be my staple look for awhile, but who knows, 4 years down the road I may decide stir it up.
How has your personal style evolved over the years? Don’t be embarrassed…we all have photos we’d rather no one see! Did I mention these photos are pretty limited and censored? I’m no fool, I’m makin’ myself look pretty darn safe when it comes to fashion mistakes.