I sometimes feel that I keep buying the same clothes over and over again. Not exactly the same items, of course, but something very similar to what I already have.
That’s also what my husband always says when I show him something I’ve just bought: “don’t you already have something like that?”. Or, “it looks like you’ve had it forever”.
I don’t see it as a criticism, or a bad thing. Quite the contrary: it tells me that in his opinion the item in question looks good on me, and therefore belongs in my closet.
Besides, if other people can recognise certain recurring elements in my wardrobe, doesn’t that just mean that I have a recognisable signature style? And that’s not bad, is it?
Whenever I think about signature style, or always buying clothes that look similar, I think of my mother. Now, there was a woman with a signature style: simple, understated, yet always chic.
She never ventured far from her wardrobe staples: A-line (often pleated) skirts or streamlined, no-frills dresses (often in navy or beige). And just a few, very understated but carefully curated accessories, of course.
In a way, my late mother is my style icon, and I’ve often blogged about her style (see STYLE ICON, under categories, if you want to see these posts).
What made me think of her (besides the outfit I’m wearing here, that is) now? Well, maybe because Mother’s Day was just a couple of weeks ago, and my birthday is next month. And this birthday is significant, in a way: I will be older than my mother was when she passed away. That makes me think about what I want to do with the rest of my life…
poncho: Marja Kurki / top : Esprit / trousers: Repeat /
shoes: Marimekko (old) / bag: Furla (old) / sunglasses: Prada (old)
Do you think having a signature style is important?
Linking up with:
Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, High Latitude Style, A Labour of Life, Curly Crafty Mom, Doused in Pink, Not Dressed As Lamb, Living on Cloud Nine, Elegance and Mommyhood, Nancy’s Fashion Style, Shelbee on the Edge, A Pocketful of Polka Dots Style Splash, Away from the Blue, Mummabstylish , Mutton Years Style and I, Independent Fashion Bloggers
I surely can see how your mom’s style is part of your style too.
Thanks, Mireille! Yes, she has always been a big style influence to me.
I’m like you, Tiina, I buy a lot of similar things, because I know what looks good on me – and what doesn’t. You have a great sense of color and style. I know when I click on your posts, I’m going to like your outfit.
Having a birthday that you mom didn’t get to have would be very thought provoking.
Thank you, Michelle. It’s so sweet of you to say that.
You have found your signature style and know what works for you. That’s why you update your wardrobe with similar items. There is nothing wrong with it.
Thank you, Nicole. I like that you used the word ‘update’, that makes its sound better than ‘replace with something similar).
I’ve recently decided that I want my signature style to be Boho. Since I made that decision, I’ve worn very little in the way of Boho :/ I think mine tends to be more classic and very much like your mothers and yours. I’d like to be seen as an interesting person, but there’s so much to be said for classic styling. I love that red bag and your wrap and those shoes are fun! I’m big on wraps and most of mine do have fringe, so I guess there’s that for a little Boho vibe in the cooler months. I think it’s hard to force a style. It’s probably something that either comes naturally or you eventually realize you gravitate toward certain pieces and shops (thus, the husbands thinking you’re buying more of the same thing – mine says that, too, but you’d think they’d get it. They ALWAYS buy the same things over and over again). I love the pictures of your Mom. What did you use to remove the backgrounds?
You’re right: you can’t force a style. Either it comes naturally or it looks fake. It’s one thing to admire a certain style and another to actually wear it. I love seeing other people wear outfits that are the total opposite of ‘my style’, and I might even borrow an idea or an element to incorporate in my own style. Maybe you can use some elements of the Boho style to spice up your style, without going full-on Boho?
I’ve always admired classic style: it looks so effortless yet perfect, without ever trying too hard. I have to admit, I’m a bit envious of those women who wear something simple (even plain) in neutral colours and look fabulous. My mother was one of those women: she could wear a very simple outfit in beige (which, in my opinion, is the most boring colour ever) and look amazing. If I tried that, I’d fade into the wall… So, use much more colour and quirky details in my own styling. In a way, I’ve learned to adapt classic style to suit my natural colouring and personality.
I do the same thing as you – buy similar styles and colors and I sometimes think I should try something out of my comfort zone but then I think, no, it’s just a waste of money. I won’t wear the item and it’ll sit in my closet or drawer until I eventually get rid of it. One day my sister said “you know, I mostly have black and navy tops and my husband said all your clothes look the same”. It’s so funny because it’s the same with me. You know how to accessorize your wardrobe with pretty bags and cool shoes so your basic pieces look great. I love your wraps and all of your shoes! Your mother was beautiful! Love her style! You resemble her so much. Hope all is well with you these scary days. Arlene from NJ
I know: I hate wasting money on a passing whim (which I’s probably hate a few months later). I’s prefer to have a quality wardrobe that is also sustainable. But I do make an occasional mistake, so there’s always room for improvement.
Thank you Arlene! I never thought of my shoes as interesting, so thanks. I choose my shoes rather carefully (fussy feet, and I walk a lot), yet that’s where I still make too many bad purchases (= shoes I can’t walk in).
You certainly have your signature style and I see you share the key style elements with your mother.
During the winter I’d style crisis for sure. I felt only very few of my clothes were flattering. I felt my outfits were boring at their best and mostly hideous in a middle-aged-woman-stuck-in-out-of-date-style kind of way. Yet if I looked something new from the shops (this was before corona lockdown), they did not feel right either and I mostly paid attention to items which were similar than I already have. It seems that I’ve the key components for my signature style, but I need to reinvent the way I use them together. -q
Thank you. Yes, my mother’s style has certainly had a lasting effect on me. Of course, when I was younger, I tried to rebel against it (cue lots of distressed denim and leather jackets). But as I get older, I seem to reap the benefits of her ‘style lessons’, adding my own twist.
Well, if you already have the key elements of your style, then it’s just a matter of experimenting, trial-and-error style, and you’ll get there.
Tiina, I love this post so much! Your mother was a stunning and stylish woman and I see so much of her in your smile. My mother did not have great style, but she would bring to life my ideas on her sewing machine and I miss that so much. As I get nearer and nearer to the ages that my parents died (my father was 54, my mother was 58), it really does make me hyper aware of the possibility of time running out. And so I take better care of myself and embrace every day as if my days are numbered…because they are. Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous post at my link party!
Thank you. Yes, she was quite stylish.
Your parents also died very young. I know how scary that feels. Time is running out, and our days are numbered, as you said. We should keep that in mind, every day, and stop procrastinating the important stuff. That’s what I keep telling myself…
Your mum was very stylish. I think if you find a style that works for you and your lifestyle there’s nothing wrong with sticking to it – you have to feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. I love the classic red bag and those pretty floral print shoes. Thanks for linking up!
Thanks, Emma. Yes, my mother was very stylish, and she made it look so effortless, too.
Yes, comfort is key, and I think it only gets more important the older we get…
Your mum does look very stylish! it’s nice you have someone you admire to get inspiration from! Srry she is no longer here.
I think that being happy and comfortable with what you wear is important – and over time you’ll develop a signature style when you wear that a lot I think. More something that comes with time than an effort to develop it independently. I did a big thing a few years back where I declared I’d get rid of the tees and casual outfits in my wardrobe and dress more maturely…but then kids happened and it turns out I like wearing jeans and tees, so those things have worked their way back into my wardrobe, ha!
Hope that you had a nice weekend 🙂 Thanks so much for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup!
Yes, I agree, signature style develops over time, when we wear what we truly like and feel comfortable in.
And it seems that jeans and t-shirts are part of your signature style. And why not? You’ve been wearing something like that most of your life; why should you suddenly start wearing something completely different just because you’re a bit older?