Overcoming a One-style mode is about getting over yourself, and who you think you are.
By the time we reach a certain age in our 20’s we know the kind of clothing style we like to wear and think is most flattering to us, down right to what colours we will wear and which ones don’t complement our skin undertone. But this can land you into a style rut.
For one lady, she swore by straight cut skirts and dresses. No matter how good a flare looked on her, she was convinced otherwise. I, for one, loved a wooden platform heel and for a friend it was boy-cut professional pants. But how much of one thing in its slightly different varieties can one buy before you are wearing derivatives of the same clothing style over and over again from season to season? So I did an experiment. I created a muse in my head. She is different from me. Honey, she likes a golden blonde weave at all times and wears heels regularly. She’s in her 30’s but the way she dresses is a youthful and vibrant take on the latest trends.
My new thing now is to get into the store and as soon as I see myself gravitate to my regular personal style, I stop myself and ask, what would my muse pick? I end up picking pieces that wouldn’t be my style. Shades of red that are ugly to me but, look good on me for some reason.
Sometimes overcoming a style rut is about overcoming yourself and the pre-conceived notions of how you will and will not wear your hair. What you will or will not wear and whether you would wear heels above flats, more often than not. It’s an interesting transformation because you find another woman lodged inside of you, who you have been saying NO to. She is youthful, different from the you that you know and, actually, has some pretty good taste too.
It has worked for me over and over again and I tell the ladies who come to me to have their houte couture made to take leaps of the unexpected when it comes to their choices. The moment they say, “oh no, I wouldn’t wear something that short,” I check if short actually looks good on them or not just in-case they’ve been saying NO to a good thing. I tell them all the time to buy petticoats so they can have outfits made without lining which works out cheaper. I tell them to put panty hose on that are the closest shade to their skin colour and put on those short-shorts they think are only for teenagers. Why? Because life is too short to spend it saying NO to yourself. It’s like trying a dish you’ve never tried at the local Thai joint. You know things can go really wrong but what if, in my case, putting on a garment in the colour brown, beige or grey, for some reason does look really good regardless of how I feel about these drab colours?
And that’s how you get out of a style rut. You reject what you would normally gravitate towards and choose something else . You say, ‘I don’t wear heels, they hurt but this one and a half inch one doesn’t so I’ll go for it.’ You say, ‘I don’t wear rings, necklaces and things but this cooling feeling on my collarbone of this metal ancient-Egyptian inspired neck piece kind of feels regal and queenly.’ You say, ‘I don’t wear a weave but I’ll get a Suzy wig to throw on now and then because I like what happens with my face when she’s framing my face with swirly and curly wisps of an Indian girl.’ You see folks, it’s all play, characters and dress up.
And just because you are now a 30 year of age woman it doesn’t mean you still don’t like dressing dolls. It’s just that this time, the doll is you.
By Nobuntu Mqulwana