Updated: Feb 5, 2021
How do you like to convey your femininity when thinking about your signature style?
I asked my mum this question recently. I never grew up with her as she had me very young and gave me up for adoption. But in meeting her 25 years later, we have cultivated a lovely long distant relationship (she lives in Michigan)
However, one thing I didn't know was her personal style. So in a recent conversation we got stuck in to the subject of all things fashion.
She said she liked a certain brand and the dresses she liked from them when I suddenly realised that I had never seen her wear a dress? I asked her - "but do you like dresses?" to which she replied “no” - oh the hilarity....
So when I probed a little deeper we realised that she really didn’t express her femininity through dresses but rather through her hair and especially, her make-up. I thought this was an interesting position as I am exactly the same, even remembering that she wore a pant suit to my wedding.
I love floaty summer dresses, crepe skirts and detailed cuffs around yet I am just not that “girl” .
It would be easy to think that you are not “girly” (what does that expression even mean?) but I am incredibly feminine - yet I would consider my hair and my shoes as the means by which I express that. It may be just a detail on the sleeve. I currently love a short puff sleeve tee that I picked up in TK Maxx for £7 or a gorgeous colour on my nails and feet. And I certainly don't go anywhere without a touch of lip tint or my signature orange matt lip when I go out-out.
I like celebrating all the things that God gave me - just not through a dress. And this brings me round to thinking about the word “sexy” - I have worked with a lot of women who have to feel “sexy” They express that by showing off their curves or wearing a deep cleavage neckline. But when we speak of professional branding (unless that is your brand) it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t send the right message.
I am a fan of the mantra - less is more! Having pieces of your outfit all competing with each other is just distracting.
A leather pencil skirt can say it all - team it with a silk shirt and pump heels or a slogan tee and blazer for that perfect Meghan style. Leather is sexy - it’s strong - it’s arresting! A popular military attire in the 1900’s it exploded in mainstream popularity in the fifties -
Think of Marlon Brando in the Wild One or James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.
It speaks of strength and bravado. A sense of being in control and taking the lead. Even a touch rebellious.....but with anything too much of something only drowns out the subtlety its message.
How we relate to clothes as a culture has a strong effect on how you will be ultimately seen with regards to your work attire and brand image. It’s just the way it is and unless you are wildly successful already - what you wear will need to conform, somewhat, to our predisposed ideas and psychological precepts of colour. So let's work with it and employ some creativity. Where there is a will there is ALWAYS a way. (cue wink)