Sunday, 1 January 2012

What is my style anyway?

I have a nearly four year old. Small children are obsessed with "What's your favourite....". Her favourite colour is pink or red. Her favourite tv programme is Peppa Pig. Her favourite clothing is dresses. Her favourite animal is a giraffe (because it licks).

This is easy for her. It's very clear cut. She asks me "what's your favourite?" and usually I make something up - I don't usually have one I love more than the rest. But I do have a favourite book:

My favourite book of last year (!), my favourite sewing book ever, The Colette Sewing Handbook. It really is making me think. I am currently pondering page 32 "Editing for your style". This is about wearing things that make you happy. The author Sarai Mitnick suggests picking 5 things you love to wear to help work out your style. Thinking about them and what makes them special.

So here are mine:

Number 1:

This is a silk flower. It has a sort of crocodile clip in the back, I think it was for your hair originally. It was in  my stepfather's mother Eileen's  house when she died. She was nearly 100 (She had one child, late in life. My stepfather is 74 now) and it was over 10 years ago that she died. It's handmade and I like to think that either she or one of her friends made it and wore it in the 1920s. I wear it clipped to a shrug. I was going to wear it on my wedding day but it didn't look right in the end. It's a bit grubby but I daren't wash it - it would be ruined.

Number 2:

I bought this little handbag from ebay. It was the seller's aunt's bag from the 30's or 40s. It's battered but I love it. When I take it out I can't fit much in it but that's not the point.

Number 3:
My blue suede shoes from Monsoon. Spotted in a store in the summer but not bought because of the cost, they preyed on my mind until weeks later I tried to buy them online and they had Sold Out. Panic. Then I drove to my nearest Monsoon 30 miles away and luckily they had a pair. Phew.
Number 4:
This is my grandmother's opal and diamond ring. I think it was her mother's and I got it in her will. One of the opals was damaged and I got it mended even though I had very little money at the time. I wear it nearly every day and I just love it.

This is my Gran with my Dad in 1990:

Number 5:

This is my Colette crepe dress from earlier this year. I really like it even though I can see the flaws in it now and where my sewing was not that great. I made it on the old machine and the tension problems are obvious in the stitches now I know what I am looking for. But I was so proud of it and I wore it it Gemma and Dan's wedding.
You will notice I am also wearing the silk rose, holding the bag, and I have my grandmother's ring on. Only the shoes are not there, although this pair, also from Monsoon, nearly made it onto the list. I am also very fond of the glasses I am wearing in this pic.

I have no idea what conclusions to draw about my style from my "top 5". It seems I like things that are old, don't mind if they are grubby or battered but am attached to sentimental things.

What are your 5 top things to wear? Have you ever thought about it? What do your favourite things say about your style?


  1. They seem like 5 lovely things Charlotte! My top 5 changes pretty much daily but I tend to stick to bright block colours, especially mustard! I would say that is what helps me identify my style. It took me a while to realise that unless I had a plain cardigan for that printed dress I wouldn't have a outfit that truly represented me!
    At the moment i'm using the croquis from the colette book (Taking a photo of yourself like that is a harrowing experience but it gets better!) I am using that outline of my body to draw prospective projects and it is helping me get to grips with my own style and what works on my body and what won't! I hope you have a fab new years day lovely xx

  2. I think it shows you are very stylish in that 1940s way. It seems like you like slightly glamorous accessories, but since they're older they're a little worn but much loved still. I think it's great! I love the rose and the shoes especially. I've been eyeing up some blue suede shoes in Monsoon too! Here's hoping we all become better seamstresses from this book!

  3. Thats really lovely items and all have some emotional connection... xx

  4. Thanks for your comments girls xx
    Stevie I think you are very brave using the croquis idea - I am building up to it! I like a cardi too. I am going to try to knit myself one next, if I can.... have a good day yourself x
    Mimi, I think you are describing me: older, a little worn but (hopefully) much loved still. Tee hee! I would love to be glamorous though!

  5. I love your top 5!! I still need to get my paws on this book :)

  6. so lovely and thoughtfull. I really love your top 5. This is really hard, what is my style anyway? I like to be practicle it's something I do bang on about, so yoga pants with funky tops are great for the everyday. I do love to dress up too though. A few aother favourites would be my moon stone pendant from my lovely man and a good pair of leather boots!

  7. Charlotte, practical is a good thing, I have realised I don't dress up alot so although I like to make dresses for going out I should think more about what I could actually use more often. Your sew active idea was a really good one. Your moon stone pendant sounds nice, especially as your man gave it to you. I do like my engagement ring too ;0)

  8. Gorgeous post! I love the collection of items that make you happy. Lots of pretty, vintage accessories - maybe it means you should make garments that go well with them so you can get more wear out of them? Floral and blue seem to be coming through strongly as well. But that's just my thoughts. :-)

  9. Charolette.
    I love this idea of putting your 5 most favorite things together. I think I will do that too..
    When I see what you chose... I see a very loving girl who has very good taste.. From the very beautiful colette dress with the pretty cardi adorned with that pretty flower. Then adding the wonderful purse and ring.. I see alot of style too. And a sweet mama and wife..[and that is a very special thing].
    So proud you went back and found your blue shoes..So proud they were still there..They are so pretty.
    I vote "very glamorous!" and Caring,for you.
    Happy New year ..
    ps.. I think miss Mia has very goooooood taste too.. She's gonna be just like her mom..

  10. I would say simple an feminine with a bit of a story to tell. Wich is great because a story makes everything better, be it your favorite piece of clothing or homedecor or your favorite recipe :-)
    I think my top five would contain a hat and my green jacked I sewed this year ( and like your daughter my favorite clothing is dresses for sure. I think the wonderful thing about sewing is that you fit the clothes for your own needs. My favorite clothes are also the ones I wear most of the time, so they will sure look a bit battered in time but thats ok with me. And with the little sewing flaws it usually only one self who notice them anyway.

  11. Thanks for your opinions everyone, actually it is very interesting to hear your ideas, I was finding it hard to think about my style objectively so your thoughts are SO useful. In particular I am always being forced towards green because of my hair but I have realised I much prefer blue.... thanks all xx
    @Heldin I don't speak German but your blog looks very yummy indeed!

  12. We used to play "what's your favourite?" on long car journeys, eg "what's your favourite animal/cartoon"etc. We've even done "chair" once. You have to say why too. Given that there used to be six of us usually, it whiled away the time. Now they are a bit older though, they're not so keen and there's less of them with me at a time usually, we don't do it so much. I loved it 'cos you get a real insight into how they think and what they like without them realising they're actually communicating with mummy. Which is always a bonus :)