Good day to you all, I hope you're not finding the whole "back to reality" thing all too depressing! I must admit it's taking me a little longer than planned and longer than usual to get back into the swing of things but thankfully for me, this time of year is always a little quieter so I'm revelling in this quiet time as I know it will soon be a little bit hectic around here.
I thought I'd discuss style comfort zones today as I thought with it being a new year and all that, it might be nice for us to all take one almighty step out of said comfort zone.
One of the biggest misconceptions about me is that I'm super confident. I take photos of myself a lot, I wear bright colours and clash prints and I share a hefty chunk of my life online so therefore I must have things pretty sorted in the whole confidence region. But alas if you've been reading along with me for some time you'll know that confidence isn't something that I'm all too familiar with. I wrote this blogpost a year or so ago about my struggles with self confidence and it's still one of my most rewarding posts I've ever written. The comments section of that post is so positive and so supportive and I know it helped me and a lot of you by talking about it. Growing in self confidence is something I've been working on for quite some time and I think it has gotten a hell of a lot better as I've gotten older, as many of you kindly assured me it would. Please do let me know if you'd like a recap post on where I'm at with my self confidence and the steps I've taken to get to where I am now.
But today I wanted to talk about style confidence. Many people presume that I ALWAYS feel super confident in everything that I wear and whilst that is partly true; when I'm rocking an outfit I adore, thats when I feel at my most confident, but every now and again a piece comes into my life that knocks me a little bit. It may be a piece I truly, truly LOVE but a piece that transfers a bit of self doubt within me and takes a moment or two or a wear or two to rock it with the confidence it deserves.
Now this might have shattered an illusion for some of you; The illusion that I'm not afraid of anything style-wise, and whilst, for the most part this is true, I still have the occasional time when an item throws me.
This coat was just that.
I'm certainly not afraid of a big, bold and colourful coat; a colourful faux fur coat has been a part of my winter uniform for many years now but there was something about this oversized, red, fluffy coat that took some time to get to grips with.
The sideways glances of passerby's doesn't usually bother me, but with this coat, it got a lot of attention- granted, it is rather out there and rather fabulous so I get it.
But for the first wear when I caught my own reflection in a window, I thought "Jesus christ this coat is a bit much" I even said the same thing to Rosie when we were shooting this very look, but vouched to style it a couple more ways before I made any hasty decisions to return it.
So that leads me nicely into my first tip for stepping out of your style comfort zone; wear it more than once. The first time is always the most daunting, particularly with a piece as bold as this beauty of a coat, but the more you wear it the more it starts to feel like a part of you. If you need more time wear it on mini outings and build yourself up to rocking it for a big day out.
My second tip goes hand in hand and that is to style it in a few different ways before making a decision whether to keep it or not. I styled it here with a matching red zebra print denim skirt, a statement piece of knitwear and knee boots- a gorgeous look in my opinion but not the most understated. The following day I wore the same coat simply with a white t-shirt and blue jeans and this helped me to fall in love with it all over again and in-turn make the decision to keep it... And boy am I glad I kept it.
Neutrals and dark shades such as black and navy are always a good place to start when you have that one statement piece that is throwing you off a little. Even I swear by these shades sometimes in order to get my styling juices flowing whilst I get to grips with a new piece. Take this look; if I'd gone for an all black look including denim skirt and jumper, I think it would have been an easier pill to swallow.
Accessorising wisely also really helps to pull down an out-there item, for example I didn't intend to wear a black beanie hat with this look or to have my hair in braids. However as soon as I combined the two, this look was toned down a notch and a real "cool girl" and somewhat "model-off-duty" vibe was achieved. It's those unlikely, almost accidental decisions that subconsciously boost your confidence when working with a piece such as this.
I also found that clashing my handbag worked too, in a rather strange way- I enjoy colour clashing as we all know, so throwing in a spot of mint green with my all new Mulberry Hampstead bag was just the ticket to allow me to feel at home in my new red coat.
But in all honesty I truly adore this look and have worn it a couple of times since, which brings me on nicely to my final few tips.
The first is take some photographs of yourself rocking the daunting piece as it's always nice to see how it looks from different angles in photo form, whether it's a photoshoot like this one or just a couple of selfies in the mirror- this is something I often do with different outfits whether they're throwing me off or not. It helps to have a visual aid of outfits I love, in-turn making it easier to get ready in a morning.
Seeing these shots on the back of Rosie's camera really allowed me to let go of those coat-related insecurities and to feel utterly fabulous once again- the way a coat like this is supposed to make you feel.
And finally, wear it around people that make you feel good. Compliments and comments from those you love and from those who boost you always make you feel better about a more daring outfit option. I get asked a lot about rocking bolder outfits in small towns and how certain towns around the world can't bare to see anyone being a little "out-there" with their outfits, but if you're rocking your fave colourful combo or your boldest print clash with your fave people who lift you up you'll in-turn feel fabulous.
A compliment goes a long way so make sure to tell your friends how fabulous they are and how awesome their outfits are, it's nice to be nice and to give those you care about that much needed confidence boost from time to time.
So there we have it, a bold af coat that knocked my confidence a little and the steps I took to overcome it and now I can't freaking get enough of it. I hope these little tips help you in some way and please remember that we all have those little knock backs from time to time, in all walks of life and in all kinds of ways but it's what we do to overcome them thats important.
Clothes and styling are my go-to's for picking myself up, it's the one thing that I feel I'm pretty good with so when something throws me off kilter I make it my mission to kick its butt... Red coat, consider your butt officially kicked!
Let me know if you can relate? If you have a piece in your wardrobe that just throws you off. Perhaps I can help you overcome it?