What’s your style DNA?
Personal style is influenced by many things: fashion magazines, bloggers, popular culture etc. Most of these influences come and go as your preferences change.
But your style DNA is something more permanent: the style influences you internalised at an early age and to such a degree that they still guide your fashion choices, whether you are aware of it or not. It could be the climate in the geographical area you’ve lived in most of your life; your culture or religion setting limitations on clothing; or the very stylish mother you looked up to.
I have written several blog posts on my mother’s style, but this time I want to discuss how her style still influences my personal style and sartorial preferences in many ways.
For example, I can see my version of casual or smart casual style as an updated version of my mother’s very relaxed but classic everyday outfits that always nodded to trends rather than adopted them wholesale.
But maybe this isn’t much of a surprise. After all, she was the one who chose my clothes for a long time. And even though she avoided (most of the time, anyway) dressing me up as her mini-me, she certainly made sure our outfits were always coordinated.
As a child my favourite colour was red. Not pink, not fuchsia, but bright red. My mother never tried to influence my colour choices, either. Red was simply ‘my colour’. And blue was hers.
And now if I think about my mother’s style, it’s mostly blue clothes I remember. The odd thing is that while I never wore anything blue (except for jeans) until well into my 40’s, blue seems to be my go-to colour these days.
Or perhaps that’s just my version of wearing neutrals… After all, besides hair colour, I don’t have my mother’s natural colouring. She had that pale skin with yellow undertones that tans easily (whereas my skin has pink undertones and burns easily) and green eyes (mine a very pale and sort of greyish blue-green). So, while she looked amazing in olive green and beige, I’d better steer clear of these colours unless I’m going for some sort of wasting-away-terminal-illness look…
But as far as blue is concerned, I’ve definitely adopted my mother’s favourite shades.
My mother’s style was always very understated. While she paid a lot of attention to details, she didn’t like anything flashy. That was always more my style: find something to catch attention. Of course, my mother didn’t need anything flashy to get noticed: she was a very beautiful woman and would get noticed wherever she went. I, on the other hand, always felt like an ugly duckling, defiantly declaring that I wanted to be noticed because of my brilliant intellect but secretly wanting to be one of the pretty girls. Yes, having a beautiful mother can be bad for your self-esteem…
In spite of her preference for understated, classic clothes, my mother also knew how to claim the centre stage. And when that was what she wanted, colour was her best friend. But not just any colour: fuchsia was always her colour of choice. She would wear it with white or with something neutral, to maximise the impact, and kept the outfit streamlined. To this day, this is also my preferred trick: make one bright colour the centre of attention, and keep the outfit simple and elegant.
Just like your DNA contains the biological building blocks of your physical being, your style DNA is the basis of your personal style. And just like your health is only partly determined by your DNA (with lifestyle choices, environment and other factors having a huge effect, too), your style DNA is just the starting point, and it is up to you to decide what to do with it.
For sure, even for a (mostly) introvert person, I’m a million times more flamboyant than my mother. And no, that’s not an exaggeration. So, to feed the more exuberant parts of my personality, I have to look for inspiration elsewhere. But the building blocks of my style – casual, understated and comfortable clothes and attention to details – come from my mother. And I embrace that as my heritage, or her legacy.
What’s your Style DNA?
PS: for more posts on my mother’s style, go to Style Icon
Linking up with:
Not Dead Yet Style, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, High Latitude Style, The Pleated Poppy, Style Elixir, A Labour of Life, Doused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Fashion Should Be Fun, Rachel the Hat, Sincerely Jenna Marie, More Pieces of Me, Color and Grace, The Wardrobe Stylist, Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Nudge, Coco et La Vie en Rose, Living on Cloud Nine, A Well Styled Life, Elegance and Mommyhood. Posh Classy Mom, Nancy’s Fashion Style, Shelbee on the Edge Over 50 Feeling 40 A Pocketful of Polka Dots Style Splash, The Fashionista Momma, Tina’s Pink Friday, Fake Fabulous. Lazy daisy Jones, Vanity and Me, Sheela Writes, Jodie’s Touch of Style, Glass of Glam, Mummabstylish