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.