Finding My Style: Figuring It Out Over The Years

When my husband and I first got married, I was definitely still finding my style. we moved into a tiny cottage on the side of the road. It was near my family and a mile from our church, and it fit the bill for everything we were looking for at the time. We had no way of knowing that in about four more years, we’d go from renting to owning that tiny cottage and undergo a massive remodel to make it our forever home. At the time, I filled it with scores of thrift store finds. A blue bench there, an embroidered framed picture there. I was still figuring out who I was, and all I really knew was that I liked old things.

I was also in the thick of running my Etsy reseller business, so I took to dressing the part. Every day to work, I would don a vintage, floral day dress, winged black eyeliner and curls. It wasn’t so much of an outfit as it was a costume. I’d put on the strappy shoes, slick on some ruby red lipstick and suddenly I was a 1950s fly girl with a crossbody bag and dainty cardigan in case the A/C dipped too low in the afternoon.

It took me about three years of totally dolling myself up every day, then coming home to a house that was stuck in a midcentury time relic, to realize that maybe, just maybe, I was overdoing it a little. You see, part of what I love so much about thrifting is that you can go into your local store on any given day and find such a range of styles, from precious and vintage to modern and totally on-trend.

So, I started shopping around. I embraced things like button-down blouses, platform wedges, skinny jeans, and casual, cotton skirts that I had shunned for so long before. I used to pass by those sections and claim they were too hip to really be cool. Now, I was looking at each piece and really considering how it could complement my wardrobe. As a result, my closet slowly began to transform and I started getting a lot more creative with my outfit choices. Suddenly, I had so much more to work with! That’s how my journey to finding my style came to a head.

I realized that I was injecting modern items into my totally vintage wardrobe and for a litlte while, I wasn’t sure what that would look like. Then, one day at work, I paired my mother’s pale lavender blouse (a hand-me-down from when she served as maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding) with a pair of skinny jeans and a new pair of sparkly flats. It was the perfect mixture of old and new and I got so many compliments on that one!

I realized then that my the key to finding my style was a blend of vintage and modern. I now love to dress in a modern pant or skirt, then play it up with a button-up vintage blouse. Or, I’ll do the opposite and pair a modern top, with a high-waisted, long floral skirt. I love that this style affords me the opportunity to shop at thrift stores, as well as other retailers, and not worry whether or not I’ll be able to find a spot for a particular piece in my wardrobe. When the look is eclectic yet put-together, almost anything goes. I even stumbled upon a set of shirts from someone’s bachelorette party once and was able to transform them from tacky to tremendous by tucking them into a pair of high-waisted denim shorts that made each top look instantly cool.

These pictures were taken of me a few years ago, when I was in the thick of finding my style. You’ll see I paired the sweetest, light pink floral sweater with modern flared jeans that keep the look from becoming too precious.

Overall, finding your style is about taking elements of everything you like, then blending them all together to equal a look that’s totally unique. It might take plenty of trial and error and you may not get it right the first time, but like any important and meaningful journey, getting there is half the fun.

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