Do you ever look back at your old photos and go, “Wtf was I thinking when I wore that?!” I’m always horrified when I look through my photo albums. There was the phase when I dressed like a vampire, the one when I looked like a big pink candy cane all the time (that’s one I DON’T regret, though) and plenty of times when my clothes were just too big or fit the wrong way.
I realise now it’s all part of the process of growing up and finding your own style. You have to experiment with different trends, mix and match and copy what your fave idols are doing to find out what works for you and makes you both look and feel amazing. But, boy, am I so glad I was able to do that before the era of social media so I don’t have any digital proof of my mishaps – just a few Polaroids snaps in my mum’s photo albums. Phew!
Still, I thought it would be fun to share my own worst fashion mistakes with you and how fixing them improved my style and boosted my confidence:
Dressing well is a form of good manners – Tom Ford
1. Wearing clothes that don’t fit well
I used to dread trying on clothes in shops. That shirt sat wrongly on my shoulders. That dress was too short. And that jumper way too large. I thought there was something deeply wrong with my body. Why didn’t everything fit? The truth is that clothes sizes are standardised: that piece either fits you or it doesn’t. In the past, I’d stubbornly buy the piece even if it didn’t… and then look at myself in the mirror and complain that my body was too fat/skinny/short/whatever. Or I bought dresses in a smaller size hoping one day I would be able to fit in them (it never happened). These days, it doesn’t matter how much I love a dress or blouse, if it doesn’t fit properly, I won’t buy it. This saves me a lot of money and improved my relationship with my body. Now I know my body isn’t flawed. The clothes are.
2. Buying shoes you can’t walk in
Adam and I were about to celebrate our second anniversary. We had booked dinner at a nice restaurant in Central London. I wanted to wear a little sexy red dress but I didn’t have the shoes to go with it. I visited a few shops without luck. Then, I found them: a beautiful pair of black court shoes with a killer golden heel. 12” stilettos. Never worn them in my life. But, how difficult could it be? I happily paid the £150 for them and went on to practice. Walking in them turned out more difficult than I thought. I was walking so slowly and in such an awkward way. As we were getting out of the tube, I lost my balance. The heel got trapped in the escalator. We managed to get it out but the shoe was complexly ruined. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn them in the tube but I had worn heels there before – heels I could easily walk in – without problems. Lesson learned: it doesn’t matter how beautiful a pair of shoes is, if you can’t walk in them, you’re just throwing money away.
5. Being a compulsive buyer
Who isn’t guilty of this? I like to think I’m pretty good with my money and I would certainly never get into debt for a dress. But there have been times in my life when I shopped a little too much. I had just gotten my first job and was so thrilled to finally have my own money to spend on what I wanted. I went on a shopping spree and came home with lots of stuff that I never wore because it didn’t fit right or didn’t go with anything else I had in my wardrobe. These days, I am a more conscious buyer. When I see something I like, I sleep on it. If after a week, I’m still thinking about it, then I’ll go out and buy it (most of the time, though, I’d forget all about it by the next day!). I also have a buy one/sell one rule. For every new item I buy, I sell or donate something I don’t wear anymore. That way, I keep my wardrobe organised and always have something to wear.
3. Oversized Looks Like The Wrong Size
Talking about fit, the oversized trend doesn’t look good on me. Some girls can pull off that cute, slouchy sweater. Me, I just look like I’m six months pregnant. Anything just a a little baggy is off limits. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my body isn’t built for that. On the other hand, more form-fitting clothes or A-line dresses look great. It’s fine to experiment with trends but these days, I stick to what I know works.
4. The Head To Toe Black Uniform
I had a phase in my teen years when I’d wear only black from head to toe. I thought it was chic and slimming. But it only made me look like a vampire. I have pale skin and black has a way of draining all the colour out of my face and make me look even paler than I am. Not a good look! I still wear a little black dress with black court heels sometimes if the occasion requires it but now I accessorise it with a bright lip or a colourful bag.
Over to you, now. What were your worse fashion mistakes? Share yours in the comments below.