I have always been interested in fashion, style and beauty since I was young, eagerly devouring the fashion magazines, shows, blogs and YouTube hauls that popped up. My aim over the years has always been to have a great style like the women I saw. I thought that in order to do this I had to be ‘on trend’, so I would incorporate anything and everything I saw, as fast as possible. I set about trying to keep up with the latest trends, buying as many products as I could, clothes as I could and filling my wardrobe whilst at the same time ( and very unfortunately) emptying my bank account. It was exhausting!
I was constantly on route to ‘developing my style’ but never seemed to quite get there – there would always be something else I was supposed to have, another look I needed to try or another item that I just couldn’t do without. It was costing me money, I was getting frustrated and I had become good friends with the delivery guy seeing as I’d ordered so much. I got to a point when I wondered if I would ever get ‘there’ and how on earth I could keep a healthy bank balance whilst doing it. Wardrobe full, bank account empty, I had reached my limit.
The system wasn’t working for me and in a bid to change, I decided to look more into what style and fashion were – What does it mean to be stylish? How do people manage it? Is there a way to do it without breaking the bank?
After all my searching, the answer I came across was really very simple: Style and Fashion are different.
It should have been obvious and in fact it is, but it was like a new revelation to me because after all this time, I finally understood what they meant.
Those two words have been used interchangeably for years but they are not the same. If I had really understood the difference between them I probably wouldn’t have been in the position I was (but hey, you learn every day right?).
I’ve come to realise that a lot of people don’t know or more accurately, appreciate the difference between these two concepts and this can cost us a lot of time and money. Fashion is fast moving and has the ability to pull us along and direct us without us even realising. Style is stable and is a self cultivated a sense of expression through a sound knowledge of the basic rules and an awareness of yourself. All of these years I was following fashion when what I really wanted (and still want) to do was cultivate my own personal Style.
Keeping up with fashion put a great strain on my finances and being in my twenties, this is the time that I should be thinking about and planning very well for the future. I want to be financially independent but that is hard to do when you love shoes as I do! I was sure however, that somehow it could be done and so I started my journey to becoming what I call a “Financially Fabulous Fashionista” – somebody who is smart and savvy with her money but is still able to enjoy being creative with style and fashion. I thought that there might be someone else who wants that just like me so I thought that I should share the tips I learn along the way and see how this part of the journey goes.
I don’t think that loving great style or fashion should leave you poor and pretending (that you’re ok) or frustrated and overwhelmed. Style should be something that is personal to you, that does not need to cater to the demands of Fashion but can skilfully use Fashion to cater to your demands. I’ve tried out so many styles but really I just wanted to find what suited me and run with it. I thought that the fashion industry would do that for me but it should actually be the other way around. You determine your style and use the fashion industry to cater to it.
I personally love old Hollywood and Italian glamour, things that are classy, feminine, flirty and fun and for some reason I’m drawn to anything with a bow or butterfly!
Instead of just following the current trends now, I look to the things I’ve always loved (with the help of knowing what suits my body shape and personality) as my inspiration. I’ve always been inspired by fashion from the past, the stories behind the craftsmanship of a garment and the Icons of the past who were known for a signature style. Using that to inspire my choices rather than fashion trends has given me a lot more time, freedom and money and I’m really enjoying the process now. I might even take the time to make an item or two!
This is a renewed journey to developing a signature style and new journey to being a Financially Fabulous Fashionista. I may not get everything right the first time but it will be great to grow – so let’s see how it goes!