Step into your own Style

Megan Bancesco |

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A few months ago, I received a text asking me to “write an article about spring fashion trends”. As I love to write, and I love my friend who asked, I answered with an emphatic “yes” without much thought. But immediately after sending my reply, I had the realization that I have no clue about 2018 spring fashion trends. I don’t read fashion magazines, I don’t read fashion blogs and I spend as little time as possible shopping for clothes. So, what exactly makes me think I can write an article about fashion? I may not be a fashionista or a fashion blogger, but as a late 30-something, I’ve developed personal style which, in my opinion, is so much more meaningful than dressing for trends. So instead of writing an article telling you what’s “in” this season and what to immediately go out and buy, I’d rather do what’s authentic to me and encourage you to discover your own sense of style.

My mother tells me that as a very small child, I refused to let her dress me and demanded that I choose my own outfits. This fierce sense of style started to really blossom when I entered Jr high. Not realizing that the 70s weren’t in style for my demographic, I started the first day of grade 7 in a bright red pair of bell bottoms and loud flowery peasant blouse, drawing unwanted attention and comments from the older kids calling me a hippie in the hallways. Not exactly a low-profile way to start my Jr high career. When I think about it, my style hasn’t changed too much from that day – I travel between bohemian and casual/sporty depending on the season and occasion.

In my teens and 20s, I put a LOT of time, effort and money towards my wardrobe and certainly paid more attention to trends. As I’ve grown older, I’ve adhered to a more minimal way of life. I’ve also realized that keeping up with trends (researching, shopping etc.) eats up time that I’d rather spend on personal development or with friends and family. And I’d sooner spend my money on things that create long-term happiness like designing a beautiful space in my home, traveling or a night out eating amazing food with my favourite people.

If you have similar priorities, I recommend that you stop purchasing clothes according to trends and start looking for items based on comfort, longevity, fit and versatility.

Comfort – to be very honest, my main objective with clothing is to feel like I’m wearing pajamas while still appearing put together. This means stretchy, soft and flowing fabrics. If I have to suck in to make it look good, it’s not happening. With shoes, this means no heels. Give me an all black pair of Nikes or a minimal flat leather ankle boot and I’m a happy girl.

Longevity – as patterns are usually part of a trend, I stick with solids almost 100% of the time. And quality over quantity with non-trend items is the way to go. For example, each fall I pick up one pair of black Lululemon leggings and wear them all throughout the fall and winter. I wear these almost every day and just switch up my tops, shoes and accessories.

Fit – know what looks flattering on your body and what you feel best in. For me, it’s usually fitted bottoms like leggings or skinny jeans paired with loose tops in the winter and airy, flowy dresses in the summer.

Versatility – Can an item be worn to work, out for dinner and lounging on the weekend? Sounds like a winner to me. Versatility also relates to colour palette. Year round, my wardrobe consists mostly of neutrals. I don’t need to spend my mental energy figuring out which items go together for the first 20 minutes of the day. If everything is neutral in tone, it all coordinates no matter what I grab out of my closet.

What do comfort, longevity, fit and versatility mean for you?

When your closet is full of pieces that fit these criteria, getting ready for the day is extremely peaceful and enjoyable. You can experiment with mixing, matching and layering all these items you love (and don’t regret buying every time you look at them) and you don’t have to worry about them having an expiry date or making you appear dated.

When you focus on personal style instead of trends, you’ll automatically end up with pieces you’ll love for a long time since you didn’t buy them just because they’re in style. And occasionally, you’ll find a trend that totally speaks to your personal style (hello athleisure) which is so convenient for stocking up.

In a world that tells you should look a certain way this season to feel worthy/cool/accepted, I encourage you to put down that fashion magazine, stop scrolling through Instagram, stop thinking about trends and to focus on what works for YOU and your lifestyle.