Thursday, 2 August 2018

Personal Style the Aspie Way: If you've seen one version of Aspie style, you've seen one version of Aspie style.

Sticking to my guns, as the saying goes, I know what I know about what suits me to wear in addition to what I am comfortable in.  While it is quite possible that an artist or stylish dresser could be working intuitively, just throwing things together until what results is pleasing, there are others who learn the rules before they deliberately break them and I tend to be more of that type.  I like to explore but I like a mixture of happy discovery and deliberate choice.  Adding personal style to art and to dressing is about knowing what you like, what pleases your own eye and knowing what pleases the eyes of humans in general is important only if that is what you wish to achieve. 

Because I tend to approach things intellectually, and must know the hows and whys of all the whats and wheres I could not just go with what instinct told me about how to dress myself nor trust my taste because it tended to be all over the place.  I like too many varied things and in order to find out which of all the millions of things I like the look of are also things I feel right wearing, I had to immerse myself.  I had to learn, study, examine, try, explore, consider, re-consider, compare and contrast.  I had to overcome my biases and a mental list of shoulds and should-nots, and I had to learn to trust myself.  I trust myself far more in art than I do in dressing myself although all of my experimenting has given some who know me the impression that I have great confidence.

When all of life outside of my own home feels like a performance, it's difficult to find the real me.  Who is she?  What does she like to wear?  What suits her and communicates who she is?  I didn't know these things even though I have been dressing myself with apparent confidence and style for most of my life.  What I had learned was how to make an outfit and how to imitate.  Mostly I imitated my mother, sometimes my peers though not as often.  I set out to look competent and mature and believed that certain types of clothing and colours had to be outgrown. 

There are a plethora of opinions about style and about what lines or colours or shapes suit different people.  Some of them are informed opinions, some of them have valuable things to teach us but they don't all.  There was much sorting that needed to be done, to separate the rubbish from the gems, and even when I knew certain opinions were less valid than others, I still found myself swayed by them.  Statements made by confident people who were actually stating preferences planted doubt in my mind.  Style gurus and beauty editors who think hair determines your best colours and strangers on the internet who looked at one photo and announced that what they believed to be true about my appearance and my best choices all confused me. 

You might think this is strange if you are someone with a strong sense of your own style and best colours, a strong sense of what works on you and makes you feel good.  I was too muddled and trying to achieve some vague goals.  I didn't want to stand out but what achieves that best, looking like everyone else or looking like my best self so that I don't stand out as a mistake? 

 I am picturing myself featured in a magazine article with my identity hidden by a black line across my eyes.  Fashion Don'ts!

 I need to be physically and emotionally comfortable in my clothing but what brings me those feelings isn't always aligned with what I think looks appealing.  And as I've written often, how to find a style for a casual life, one that isn't too sloppy but also isn't too fussy.  So,  I took a break from all the studying of style experts and decided to study myself.

I asked, what do I consistently wear?  What colours feel right  to me even if I think I am not supposed to wear them?  What did I wear in the past that got compliments and which I am now not wearing now because I think I should have outgrown it?  What has always worked for me and always gets compliments?  Where are my boundaries for comfort?

And after asking these questions I observed myself to look for the answers.

There was a big theme.  I was craving lightness.  It showed up when Minimalism piqued my interest, when I created a simple wardrobe of light, neutral colours (denim, cream and light camel) and when I discovered my love of yellow.   It showed up in that no matter what palette of colours I was trying out, I always wanted the lightest of them.   An attraction to some sort of youthful spark was also there.   It made itself known when I first considered Dressing Your Truth type 1 and when I played with the Style ID calculator and felt in my gut that something about Ingenue was right.  It has always shown up in my attraction to gamine style. 

But there are some popular opinions out there which swayed me. 

  • Beige is boring.
  • Neutrals are boring.
  • Pops of colour and brightness are good.
  • Light Seasons are always blonde.
  • Ingenue style is inappropriate for adult women.
  • You can't be gamine if you are tall.
  • Dressing Your Truth type 1 can look tacky and silly (my own opinion)

I lost track of the things I know.

  • Colour is relative to the context-on the right person no colour is boring, garish or childish
  • Many people state opinions like they are facts; that doesn't make them so
  • Any seasonal colour palette can have any hair and eye colour, although some are more typical
  • Style lines are relative to the context-on someone with a youthful vibe, youthful lines will work
  • I have always looked best with a low neckline but detail on the upper area of the garment-including sailor collars, peter-pan collars, a bit of ruffle or lace, yokes and empire waists
  • I have always looked best in simple patterns such as small polka dots and uncomplicated florals
In recent years I have learned that I suit
-analagous and monochromatic colour schemes and not much value contrast
-perky hair styles
-light, sheer makeup
-hemlines just above the knee
-light-medium weight fabric
-a bit of swishy movement
-light colours with warmth

Which is the Dressing Your Truth style which I can adapt to my personality and taste without deviating from the style essence?  Type 1

Which is the Style ID that works for me?  Ethereal Natural Ingenue and Ethereal Natural Classic both offer me options which I know work. One category might be better than the other but I don't need to worry about that.  I've got the general idea now.

Which is the seasonal colour palette that works entirely without modifying it or limiting myself to only some of the colours?  Light Spring from Sci ART or Spring from the original Color Me Beautiful 4 seasons.
Note: in my experiments with True Autumn and True Spring I was often purchasing Light Spring colours and telling myself they were the 'light end' of the other palettes.

Does my personal style term Boho Redux still work?  Sure.  It's mine to play with.

Do I still favour simplicity and a smaller wardrobe?  Yes.  For one thing, I haven't got the income or lifestyle to justify a large wardrobe.

Will I still use my cream, denim and light camel palette?  Yes indeed! And I want to add light warm grey.  I feel fantastic in those light neutrals.

Knowing what I like was never the problem.  Finding the right combination of what I like, what flatters me and what is both physically and psychologically comfortable was a great challenge but it felt important.  Explaining why generally comes down to comfort.  I needed comfort and had not quite achieved it.  Much of my life has been spent in costume for a role I was playing.  Once I was just being myself I didn't know how to dress her.  Now I do.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds exultant. I hope it is!
    Xo Jazzy Jack


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