My Style Evolution

September 20, 2013

I’ve been thinking about why I dress the way I do. I tend to over analyse things so it comes as no surprise.

When I was a kid I mostly wore what my parents/ grandparents bought me. When I got to around age 10 I started enjoying picking my own clothes. Then something happened: my parents made me go to a private school, which wouldn’t be too much of a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that I had to wear a uniform. For those who don’t know, only private schools have uniforms in Portugal unlike say, the UK.

Look at it: isn’t it the most hideous thing ever? I should add that 20 years ago when I left the school we didn’t have the ill-fitting blazers. Gives me the chills to think that I had to wear this horrendous outfit for 7 years of my life…

Wearing a uniform in school was a traumatizing experience. On weekends I’d have to try and make do with the clothes available and it was difficult- I didn’t like what the preppy/posh girls in my school wore and the concept of high street back then was unheard of. I wanted something else (by this time, at around 14 years old I was listening to Post Punk and the such) but nothing that was available to be bought really fitted the bill. Really frustrating and the reason why there are so little photos of when I was a teenager – I tore up all those photos because I didn’t recognize myself in them. It wasn’t who I was or saw myself as inside. Around 15 I sometimes jazzed the uniform up with heavy metal tees and Dr Martens boots. It wasn’t popular with the teachers but sort of kept my sanity. (or maybe not…)

I have to say that things got a little bit better around 16/17 years when I discovered I liked old clothes from my grandmother’s closet and actually moved to a very artistic high school (no uniform, yay!). Although I wasn’t comfortable with the more feminine styles I enjoyed rummaging my grandmother’s closet and soon discovered there were more old clothes at the flea market. I remember I bought a Pierre Cardin jacket that I never wore, at the time was a bit too bold and I couldn’t work it into the more boyish looks I was wearing back then. I wish I still had it today though, I’d totally rock it!

In the late nighties, early noughties I went to uni and found that my dad also had a closet full of his 70’s garb. I wore his bell bottoms thin and still own some of his bike riding leather jackets. How he fitted into those things it’s something I’ll never understand! A few years later I discovered I was ready to start wearing garments that were a bit more feminine and started experimenting with skirts and dresses a bit more. I think that up until then you’d never catch me in a skirt unless it was my school uniform.

Here are some of my looks from 2007. That was the first time I ever bleached my hair. I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the haircut but it was still fun. It’s true when they say blondes have more fun. That blue dress was a St Michael vintage number and I think I don’t have it in Lisbon anymore as it was a bit too big. I kind of regret it now, it’s so cute and it doesn’t look that big on the photo, come to think of it. I still have the Zara gold dress and the vintage yellow shirt though. I think that I’ve had more or less the same style since this time, although I think I am a bit more adventurous these days. Having moved to England made me feel freer as in my home city people tend to be a little bit too conservative (and very rude about it). Plus there is a lot more access here to great stuff either vintage or second hand!

I believe that this is probably the main reason why these days I enjoy having fun with clothes so much. And this is me now, with confidence in spades!

Details: Turban– present from my friend Maud, Bedazzled T-shirt – Zara (on sale, on my trip to Belgium), Mustard Bolero – H&M (thrifted in Stamford), Red Shorts – H&M (via Ebay), Shoes – Blythe by Irregular Choice (via Ebay), Tights – Primark

What now? I feel like I will be experimenting for a while longer and getting inspired by other lovely ladies. But sometimes I do feel a bit tired. It might not seem like it but styling yourself everyday can be hard work. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll settle down with the likes of Peter Hahn or some other grown up and proper brand. For now, I’m enjoying this ride, for as log as I feel like it.

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  • Reply MIS PAPELICOS September 20, 2013 at 14:33

    I was in uniform from 3 years old, so you can imagen how much I hate to look like anybody else, hahahhahahha.
    I understand you soooooooooooooooooo well.
    Looking fabulous then and now.
    Love, love, love.
    We can write in Spanish if you wish.
    Mil besos y feliz finde.

    • Reply Mrs. D September 22, 2013 at 19:04

      Funny how we have these things in common, isn’t it?
      Besitos guapa!

  • Reply PinkCheetahVintage September 20, 2013 at 15:16

    Nice personal fashion history!! I still have a pair of my dad’s old bell bottoms and cut off jeans shorts and several belts—I agree with you… It’s like, HOW DID HE FIT THESE??! lolzzzz

    • Reply Mrs. D September 22, 2013 at 19:03

      Thanks hun! I still have a couple of stuff of my dad’s although I don’t think I can’t fit into some of them anymore lololol

  • Reply pastcaring September 21, 2013 at 18:25

    No, don’t settle, Sara! Down, up, or anyway! Your style is great, long may it continue to develop.
    I never minded a school uniform, either for myself or my kids, there are still plenty of opportunities for creativity out of school. Maybe it even makes people more creative, as a reaction? It’s interesting to think about why we dress as we do. xxxxx

    • Reply Mrs. D September 22, 2013 at 19:03

      Thanks Curtise!
      I think the uniform serves a good practical purpose but at the time I hated mine and quite frankly I still think there are some nicer choices out there 🙂

  • Reply Hollie September 21, 2013 at 23:54

    Great story about your fashion evolution! You a super cool inspirations person!

    • Reply Mrs. D September 22, 2013 at 19:01

      Thank you Hollie! I’m glad you enjoy reading my blog. xx

  • Reply Hollie September 21, 2013 at 23:55

    woops, inspirational I mean.

  • Reply Ariane September 22, 2013 at 11:49

    I was about 10 too when i started picking my clothes- I remember vividly the first dress i picked myself, it was a purple dress, i loved to death and was so thrilled that my Mom agreed with my choice, i felt so growup!
    It’s true when you say one gets tired something styling yourself every day, but i do it anyway and plus i keep the casual stuff fun too for weekends –
    Montreal is conservative too but you can get away with original styling, people like it, i get a lot of good positve comments – As far as how long will i do it, always i think, i can’t see myself wearing neutrals, or the more appropriate age wear for Ladies of my decade – I see so many older Ladies with colorful original styles that i say to myself, well nothing to worry about for the next 30 years!


    • Reply Mrs. D September 22, 2013 at 19:01

      That’s really funny. I remember a particular shopping trip with my mum to this big shop that no longer exists in downtown Lisbon. I remember the clothes I got there so well… Good but quite emotional memories.
      Sometimes I do get tired of having to think about what I wear so much but fortunately it goes away quickly 🙂


  • Reply ella September 22, 2013 at 14:10

    Ooh I just clicked the Peter H link having never heard of it, eek I really hope this never happens to you!! You look fab, I love your original style! Did you see http://www.channel4.com/programmes/fabulous-fashionistas? I loved this and it’s definitely how I plan to spend my latter years!

    • Reply Mrs. D September 22, 2013 at 18:23

      I’m definitely watching it now! Thank you for the suggestion 🙂

  • Reply Jocy September 22, 2013 at 17:07

    I also went to a school where I had to wear uniforms but I was very relieved. We didn’t have a lot of money so wearing a uniform at least didn’t reveal the fact that I didn’t have many clothes (or branded clothes) as starting 15 I went to a school with more ‘posh’ students.

    I keep reinventing myself all the time but don’t want to put any labels on it besides colorful 😀

    Love the red shorts in your last outfit pic!!

    • Reply Mrs. D September 22, 2013 at 18:23

      Yeah, the uniform can be positive because it levels people’s appearance. But to me it was terrible 🙂
      Beijinhos !!!

  • Reply The Style Crone September 23, 2013 at 02:42

    I enjoyed your style evolution and love that you’re wearing an absolutely fabulous turban with the Bedazzled t-shirt.

  • Reply ollieotson September 28, 2013 at 13:02

    és a piquena da primeira foto?? ohh queria ver :p quando era miuda gostava de ter ido para um colegio militar por causa da farda, mas acho que me fartava passado uns dias. nao imagino andar assim durante tantos anos!

    gostei bastante de ler e aprender mais sobre a tua evoluçao de estilo.
    eu acho que estou a viver a tua experiencia mas ao contrario, porque onde senti mais liberdade foi nos meus teens, onde usei e abusei de tudo e mais alguma coisa em termos de estilo, i was a true mess :p
    mas mais em termos capilares, porque fui praticamente obrigada ate as 14 a usar o cabelo ate ao rabo (assustador), e assim que tive autorizaçao para cortar, ora toca a experimentar todo o dia de coisas!
    agora aos 25, ja “acalmei” um pouco, mas ainda estou a tentar encontrar um intermedio, pois adoro coisas extravagantes/prints/sporty e adoro coisas minimalistas/simples/chic, entao ainda ando meio nas fases de experimentaçao 😛

    tambem notei que estas mais “fun” e arriscas mais, desde que estas por terras de sua majestade. e eu gosto bastante! dont ever settle!

    (btw, ainda me lembro que a primeira vez que te vi, foi na feira da ladra, com um estilo mais boyish, de doc martens e cabelo rapado com franja (ou chelsea cut, acho) – i was in loveeee! :P)

  • Reply jane at the flight platform September 29, 2013 at 18:51

    loved that! Irregular choice shoes….love love love! Actually i finda like the uniform as well, but would want patent pink dm’s and stripy socks and pink hair with it!! x

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