What Do You Want to Look Like?

how to dress

What style of dressing are you most drawn to? Boho? Rockabilly? Classic? What style of dressing is the one you’d adopt if you had unlimited cash, unlimited time, a completely nurturing environment, and the ideal body shape to pull it off? Arty? Girly? Rocker? What style of dressing have you wished to emulate for years? What do you want to look like?

Now. Why can’t you look like that?

I’m not being cheeky, I swear! I want you to think about the barriers that stand between you and your this longed-for personal style. Consider what is keeping you from dressing, looking, and feeling the way you’ve always dreamed. Jot down a list. Seriously.

Then take a look at these workarounds. I’ve applied these, in one way or another, to the barriers that I’ve encountered on my personal stylistic journey. At this point, I’ve figured out how to live and dress around the roadblocks, and I look almost exactly the way I want to every day.

“Wrong” body shape
You want to dress like Joan from Mad Men, but you’re built like a granola bar. You want to dress like Agyness Deyn, but you’ve got curves galore. You want to dress like Michelle Obama, but you’re a shortie.

  • What key pieces can you appropriate? If you can’t go all-out-all-the-time, are there accessories, dresses, shoes, even styles of makeup that you can utilize so that you feel connected to this look?
  • What colors, accessories, and textures are key? Can you incorporate those into your daily wear?
  • Can you adjust this style’s signature silhouettes to your figure? Use belts to create waists, shorten hems to better suit a petite figure, pair specific bottoms with looser tops to accommodate a plus-sized figure?
  • Can you focus on details like necklines, footwear, hairstyles that fit into the style without adopting the look in its entirety?

You want to dress like Gwen Stefani and Posh and Madonna. You want designer styles and loads of bling and everything of-the-moment. You haven’t a penny to your name.

  • Can you shop thrift and vintage, with a list of styles in hand? Seek out pieces that look just like the designer duds currently sashaying down the runway, but for a fraction of the price. Very little is actually “new.”
  • Can you DIY? Learn to sew, bead, embellish? Can you rip out pages from mags, create an inspiration board, and figure out how to recreate some of the simpler stuff yourself?
  • Can you stomach knockoffs? Can you be happy sporting a STYLE you love instead of a label you covet?
  • Can you borrow from girlfriends who own the duds you lust for?
  • Can you make do with wish lists and very slow accumulation of key items?

Conservative/intolerant environment
You want to dress like a rock star, a pin-up girl, a circus performer, a mermaid. You want to do your hair big and wear monstrous combat boots and pile on bangles from wrist to elbow. Your parents or teachers or boss or officemates or friends or lover will be scared/disappointed/angry if you do.

  • Can you amass pieces and tools that contribute to your look, but deploy them in small enough amounts that it feels like your little secret?
  • Can you learn to deflect biting comments by laughing with the commenter? “Hahaha, I know! Isn’t this WILD?”
  • Can you talk to a select few people about why dressing this way is important, so that you have some supporters amongst the dissenters?
  • Can you dress down Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and dress up Tuesday and Thursday? Gradually get your environment used to what appears to be an experiment until the time is ripe for full transition.

You want to dress like Sarah Jessica Parker, Tilda Swinton, Sharon Stone. You want to break out of your rut, your shell, your feelings of boredom with how you look and dress and feel. But you don’t know who you’ll be if you do that, or if you’ll still like yourself, or if you can pull it off. You don’t want to be laughed at, or be disappointed in yourself.

  • Can you be gradual about trying the new style? Make your bedroom the testing ground. Get up 20 minutes earlier each morning and just PLAY in front of the mirror. Make yourself branch out just once a week.
  • Can you start by just wearing items from your coveted style around the house? Make sure you feel comfortable, love the look, have it honed so it feels like your own.
  • Can you wear one or two signature pieces at a time? Don’t go full-Carrie, just tack a giant flower to your blazer. Don’t wear a wiggle dress and bright red lips and a string of pearls, just strap on your Minna Parikkas with your simple sheath.
  • Can you take photos of yourself and look at them THE NEXT DAY? Get some distance and then evaluate. Learn how awesome you are one photo at a time until you feel ready to try out your new signature style in public.

Not enough energy
You want to cultivate your boho side, polish your prep, rock out with the studs and leather … but you’re so danged tired all the time. School, work, the kids, your pets, your lover, the house, the car, and your social life suck up all your time and there’s nothing left for a makeover.

  • Can you talk to the important figures in your life about how important this is, and get their buy-in? That way, they’ll be more understanding when you aren’t around as much. They might even help!
  • Can you make this a priority? Something that you carve out one hour per day, or two hours per week, or a weekend a month to focus on? Every little bit helps. Spend that time making wish lists and inspiration boards, reading blogs and magazines, picking out the key items you need … and then, shopping!
  • Can you admit to yourself that changing your look might not take as much energy as you fear? Can you figure out what else might be preventing you from transforming your style? (See above.)

Don’t know how
You’d love to change. You know exactly what you want to look like, have the time, energy, money, and desire to make the change. But how will you put the pieces together? How can you keep your new, unfamiliar look consistent and true? How will it all WORK?

  • I felt like some of the advice was a little wonky, but have heard many stylish ladies sing the praises of the Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style. This book outlines some iconic styles, recommends key pieces, and shows how to mix and match.
  • You can always ask your friendly neighborhood bloggers! Ask ME! Ask Imogen! Ask Angie! Ask absolutely any blogger who writes about style and fashion. We love you for reading our blogs, and the vast majority of us love to answer reader questions.
  • Trust yourself: Read, draw, take notes, experiment. No matter what anyone or any publication may lead you to believe, there is no wrong way to dress. There is no wrong way to interpret a style. Go with your gut. You’ll be surprised how much your gut knows about fashion.

Images (left to right) Free People, Stop Staring, J.Crew.

Originally posted 2009-02-12 07:04:00.

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60 Responses to “What Do You Want to Look Like?”

  1. Rooi_Skoene

    This article is getting printed out and reread at least once a week or so.

    Thank you. Oh, and I also submitted it to the Muti social media site.

  2. ~AmyZ

    I’m fine with my body shape, but fashion retailers often are not. I would love to add a little rockabilly/pin-up flair to my look, but as a plus size gal (and also a very cheap gal) I just can’t find built for an above-average woman. So I suppose availability is my barrier. I love the idea of vintage, but I abhor the idea of perusing piles of wonderful clothes for hours and not finding a thing in my size. How depressing!

    (P.S – I loved all of the looks you displayed at the top of the page!)

    • Alex

      I know this is an outdated response but pinupgirlsclothing.com might be just what you’re looking for! I’m right in the boat with you as a curvy girl, I’ve found that site to be a freaking blessing!

  3. Little Audrey.

    Intolerant environment! Intolerant environment! However, I’m working on it. In fact, I’m going shopping with an open-minded friend tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited if I tried.

  4. lopi

    I loved everything I just read!
    Personally, I’ve already did it, in some degree. This past year, I’ve stopped wearing jeans and tees and trainers and now I live in floaty dresses and high-waist skirts. And I couldn’t feel happier about it. But style is always evolving and it’s the next step I find a bit hard. I’d love to dress even more lady-like. A mix between Joan form Mad Men and a cool rockabilly girl. It’s a perfect style for my body type and exactly the image I want to project, now that I’m in the second half of my twenties.
    My problem is this: I’d love to be able to wear more pencil skirts and high heels, but this way of dressing totally disagrees with the way I move. I like to walk a lot and I prefer that to driving. I also love walking fast and taking big, steady steps. And I can’t do that dressed like Joan. Something’s gotta give…

  5. Sarah R

    I’m with Amy Z. I’m also plus-sized, and I get annoyed quickly with the pickings. One of the worst things is to find something you adore, and realize it’s 3 sizes too small. I just bought a pattern to make myself skirts because I’m over the choices available. Yes, Amy Z, availability is probably our enemy. Good luck to ya!

    Oh, and that being said, if I had unlimited time and money, my style would be classic with a Kat Von D flair. Does that make sense? A prim, proper skirt, with wild tats underneath. That’s me! I also like jewel tones. There is tons of burgundy and deep reds out there, but I covet emerald colors, and they are hard to find. Guess my first skirt is going to be emerald!

  6. Sharon Rose

    Hi there-I find the weather stops me from dressing how I want to. In winter, I tend to live in jeans and not much else, so summer can’t come quick enough, when I can wear my vintage summer dresses, plus anything else I want to experiment with. A great post!!

  7. Big Sister

    Love this post. I think my style is pretty classic with bohemian accessories. My two issues are being broke and not enough energy. I find that buying fewer, more expensive pieces works for both of these issues. If you have less stuff, it takes less energy to put a look together!

  8. fashion herald

    wonderful, sal! and good one sharon, i agree, commuting on a bike & subway, and the weather throw a lot of wrenches in my wardrobe plans. but number one is $$!

  9. Casey

    Great post, Sal! πŸ™‚ I have gotten pretty good about working around perceived “barriers”, with a few exceptions (being on a tight budget is one of them). But I’ve found that thinking outside the box–like so many of your suggestions point out–is really the key for adapting any style!

  10. Tea Lady

    Excellent post! My style is more Rockabilly. Although not totally. I dress 40’s vintage/glamour a lot. Its one of those “getting the opportunity” things. I work with men in IT and work calls for jeans etc. I always do my hair nice/makeup etc.

    But to church and going out, one of my favourite things is to dress up all glamorous! I find many good clothes at the DAV (believe it or not), consignment stores and sometimes ebay or less expensive vintage stores. I found an oxford tie blouse the other day from the DAV for $5. Its a delicious apple green and just beautiful. There are some good bargains out there. I also found a baby blue, leather luggage set from the 1960’s for $10 – hardly used. Thrift shopping is the way to go:)

  11. CompassRose

    I do wear what I want (and I’m a civil servant – provided you’re not hanging out the cleave or the upper thighs to the air, you’d be surprised what you can quietly walk about in in a corporate environment).

    Of course I don’t dress EXACTLY the way I’d like, all the time… and the barriers are…

    as with Amy and others, lack of availability – I’m not plus-sized, but my shape’s apparently OH so hard to fit (women don’t come with shoulders, apparently. Or waists.) And I live in a smaller town, so unless I’m willing to make regular, expensive shopping trips to the metrop, which I’m not, or shop a lot online, which I’m not (see above about “fit”), I’m mostly limited to what I can find round here. Which is not as nifty as I’d like.

    Time. If I had more time, I’d make what I want. I do design and make some things – which is perfect, really, because I can hang them off the judy and FORCE even the most intransigent silhouette into something suited to 18″ shoulders. Mind you, the availability comes into that, too. Ever notice that at most fabric stores, they simply don’t SELL the fabrics “real” clothes are made of? Yeah. Makes no sense to me either. If I wanted to sew dresses out of Polarfleece or quilting cotton, I’d be in!

    Space. Small closet, yo. If I could, I’d have a costume for every one of me, and the shoes and bag to match. As it is, multifunction is a bit more… practical.

    (Speaking of which, I ran across a blog the other day talking about a wardrobe app for the iPhone called TouchCloset. I don’t have an iPhone, and I’m not going to (hah!) but I’d LOVE a “TouchCloset” clone for my computer…. Endless fun, without needing to get dressed and undressed.)

  12. kittyscreations

    Love, love, love this post! I think I might start to print out everything you write and create a notebook of my favorite posts, because you have so much practical and encouraging advice.

  13. Kelly

    Great post. There are definitely some mental/emotional roadblocks to totally dressing the way I want, which is so silly because they are clothes and no one I love is going to decide they don’t like me just because I put on a different sort of outfit!

    Of course I’m not saying that I don’t dress like myself, sometimes I just wish I could do a bit of a “fashion experiment” but I shy away before I walk out the door. For no good reason at all.

  14. Cattleya

    This is a great post – thanks! It helped me to start thinking about my barriers. My job requires me to wear a T-shirt all week, so on the weekends I yearn to wear fancier stuff, but I never quite feel comfortable in it because I don’t get much time to wear those sorts of things! First time I’ve ever thought about a job change for the sake of my wardrobe. πŸ˜€

    Thrifting/vintage shopping has been the #1 way for me to gradually bring my closet over to the look I’ve been lusting after (essentially Banana Republic-type looks) because it allows me to “try out” things I couldn’t or wouldn’t otherwise purchase at in the stores.
    Plus, I love in finding a vintage garment and realizing it’s the precursor to a style I was aiming for. I can wear the trend, but nobody else will have quite that spin on it. That’s neat!

  15. Kate Coveny Hood

    Sal – if you plan on having kids, I will be very interested in the new topics that come up on this blog. How for example do you work around spit up, sticky fingers, and the like? The only answer is disposable clothes from Target and Old Navy until you feel safe to tempt fate with silk…

    Seriously though – dressing for moms, working moms, etc. is a whole new world of fashion challenges.

  16. Sal

    Kate: There seem to be a LOT of designers hoping to cash in on the frustrated fashion mom market. I heard on the radio yesterday that Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon has designed a line for Urban Outfitters aimed specifically at moms who are sick of being Target-clad day in and day out.

    As a non-mom, I don’t feel qualified to weigh in. But I should get someone to guest post … I’ll work on it.

  17. K.Line

    Truly excellent post, Sal. I think it’s so true that we need to consider supposed limitations and then work creatively around them. On this basis, I finally got myself a silk bow shirt – it took a long time, and a bit of effort, for me to find one that works, but I did.

  18. * Fashion Dreamer *

    Awesome post! I would say my limitations are money and a conservative environment, especially when at work. Great tips though, I’m sure I can do the looks I want on a budget and find ways of sneaking them into my work wardrobe πŸ˜‰

  19. Nina (femme rationale)

    i really enjoyed this post. i think when i was younger i def. had issues regarding my “look”. now that i’m older (hitting new decade mark), i find i don’t really give a cra@p and just wear what i like. i think i’m an emotional dresser – my mood dictates my outfit for the day.

  20. please sir

    I think I’m more classic b/c at this point I can’t afford anything too trendy that will go out of style!

  21. lisa

    What a great post! I find like Sharon Rose that my greatest obstacle is the weather (living in a city that rains all the time makes you think in terms of waterproofing and stops you from wearing a lot of shoes). The other thing that stops me is it’s just too easy to fall into a daily rut of jeans when I work with a bunch of guys and my office environment has no dress code. I get some funny looks when I dress up sometimes. However, I’m slowly learning to seize every possible opportunity to wear what I want, and enough of my colleagues know about my blog and my interest in fashion to not raise their eyebrows when I come into work in a dress and heels.

    P.S. Off topic but you mentioned you were a french fry fan on my tag yesterday. Have you tried poutine? It’s fries smothered in gravy and melted gooey cheese curds. I’m convinced “poutine” is Quebecois French for “OMG I’ve died and gone to French fry heaven!!”

  22. Beth

    I think part of it is that I feel to old and/or dorky. I want to mix up patterns and textures and lengths and layers a la Lucky magazine sort of, but I always feel like I end up looking like shlub if I try. No matter what I do I don’t end up looking very edgy. Maybe I’m too short/curvy/don’t have access to fab spots for shopping? I live in an area not known for cute little boutiques or vintage shops! It’s the mall or bust around here. Doesn’t really lead to a “signature look” if you will.

    PS- Lisa- “poutine” is Quebecois for “big mess” essentially, which is what it looks like, though it tastes heavenly!

  23. Anonymous

    I just started dressing with my own style in the last, oh, 3 years or so. Being an athlete in school and then going right into marriage and kids will do that to you. I don’t know what to call my style, but I’ve described it as “Californian” to other people.

    Basically, Docs, Converse or mary janes on the feet, cotton or denim skirts, t-shirts with funky designs or button-downs with a menswear vest. Lots of skulls, fleur-de-lys and goth/punk graphics. Washable is a big plus, although I am a fan of Dryel for pleated skirts.

    Kate, any skirt that goes at or below the knees works just fine with a child who is toddling or older. Wear bike shorts or long boylegs if you’re really worried about flashing.

    CompassRose, I live 1 hour from the garment district and go there occasionally, but Ebay has been my salvation for good fabrics. Just be sure you know exactly what you want — search for “wool gabardine” for example, not just gabardine. And quilting cottons are absolutely the best thing for summer skirts.

  24. burntphotograph

    i guess my problem is i don’t know what kind of style i want to have… i thought for a while i wanted to look like i just walked out of the anthropologie catalog but i got annoyed when i kept seeing my “one of a kind”-inspired pieces on other people around town. now, when i look at the items i constantly keep in my closet, it’s stuff i got from abercrombie, which i stopped shopping at because of the stigma.

    anyway, i guess my question is how do you decide what you want your style to be?

    i really like your blog. it’s really inspiring. πŸ™‚

  25. Amanda

    Amy Z – have you checked out Torrid? They sell plus size clothes that are targeted to a younger audience (I’m 30) but they do sell a lot of stuff that has pinup flair, and their sales are usually pretty good.

    My problem is my size and shape. I am a very round apple. I have gained weight recently so that is really unmotivating. I am slowly trying to get the energy to work it off, but in the meantime I stick to my basics. Overall I love a good fitting pair of jeans (thank you Lane Bryant for the Right Fit jeans!!!) and a cute top. I like peasant tops but they aren’t always flattering on me as some make me look preggo. My favorite tops are a clingy sort of jersey knit cut in a cute style. Two of my shirts like that have embellishments around the neckline. I usually stick to clothes that are classics, that I know I will wear for years to come without them really going out of style.

    While I love the pinup, boho, rocker and grunge looks, the only one I usually feel like I can pull off is grunge. That’s probably because that’s all I wore in high school lol. I have a hard time finding clothes that fit my style since I am a plus size girl with an odd shape (long torso, broad shoulders, short legs, round belly). I have made clothes to fit, but I am such a bad seamstress that it’s really not a good alternative.

    I will admit that my two weaknesses are shoes and jewelry. Shoes are hard though because I wear a size 11, which is hard to find around here and I don’t like buying shoes online. I have basics in shoes, black, brown, sandals, that sort of thing. But jewelry, watch out! I rock all sorts, from classic to rock to boho. I love making jewelry although I don’t do that as much. I recently bought another pair of earrings to which my husband replied “those are a frivolous buy.” I had to explain that they were essential, which he still didn’t understand.

    Good blog, made me think about my style and what I want to look like and how and if I do that on a daily basis.

  26. AsianCajuns

    Sal, you always have such great, thorough posts! I was thinking about doing a mood board this week to figure this all out! Perfect timing!

    Now, what if you want to look like different people on different days? Seems tricky, huh?

  27. Pretty Little Pictures

    I think you have hit my problem in the bud – i want to be a mix of classic 40’s/50’s but with a small twist of pin up girl (but not too much). My problems with embracing this look is people staring at me/laughing at me/talking about me and giving me strange looks. Hmmm, i have slowly begun embracing my style but i’m still a bit timid with it!

  28. Hot Bot

    AGAIN, another thoughtful post πŸ™‚

    At my new job, I receive a lot of resistance and judgments because of my age. I work with retailers, and although I fall into their customer demographic; those are not necessarily the people they trust to do their business with. I’ve been advised by many in my office to be more…”banker chic” How drab, eh?

    Otherwise I’d love to be a hipster meets island girl πŸ™‚

  29. Erin T

    I love this post! This is exactly what I’ve been trying to do lately. Starting this past week I gave myself a No Jeans rule which has been forcing me to actually wear what’s in my closet rather than grabbing my jeans and the nearest clean t-shirt and running out the door! I linked to your blog and this post on my blog today πŸ™‚ Thank you for the inspiration!

  30. Michael McGraw Photography

    Andy Warhol said that if you dress old, when you actually age you’ll always look the same.

    I often think of this. I heard it on the Lou Reed/John Cale Warhol tribute album, Songs for Drella.

    If I dress like a cool old guy then when I am an old guy, I’ll still look like a cool old guy. I dress in cardigans in winter and button up Quicksilver in summer. I plan to do this for the next 40 years.


  31. ranksubjugation

    Well, my fave fashion icons are men from the grunge era, which became a problem when I gained very womanly T&A — boys' clothes now makes me look huge. It's fine now that I work in an office, where I don't mind embracing a classic/girlie look, but… at home and on the weekends, I want to look like ME. The bf doesn't help me quash my tomboyish leanings, either, because he thinks dresses look too fancy for everyday activities. I sort of figured out that I can still do girlie versions of ratty jeans and boots — and I cut scoop necks into my vintage tee shirts. Still working on how to work around the fact that I look horrible in button-up shirts…

  32. futurelint

    I guess I pretty much dress in my ideal way… I do wish I had “fashion boobs” though, having big boobs on a short girl makes some things (not many, just things like tent dresses) look silly. I’m always torn though, I’ll be all dressed up, feeling good and quirky, then I’ll have dinner with my sister and feel like a child because she’s got the sophisticated style down pat and I’m wearing seven colors at once. Same thing when I unexpectedly wound up at the Triple Rock (punk bar and venue for those of you not in the know) in an argyle sweater and shorts over pink tights. I don’t mind standing out usually, but sometimes style is a little bit about context. Teachers at my school think I dress like a nut, but throw me into a graphic design or fashion company and I look plain. All in all though, I’d say I’ve learned to dress in my ideal way, but style is always evolving, I’m always learning and changing.

  33. we wear things

    Can i say i love ALL 3 looks?? i think i’m a bit sporadic with my style.. and depending on my mood… i can go from rocker to conservative classy. FASHION IS FUN!

  34. Anonymous

    Well, I’m definitely a classic, but the last few years my version of it has been bland and too casual. I dressed up a bit for work the other week and one of my friends commented that I looked nice, but who was I and you never dress like that.
    It really hurt and zapped my confidence and motivation. So I liked the idea of doing something just once a week and build from there.

  35. The Seeker

    Lovely Sal this is a great post full of information and to think about,
    Thank you for doing it.

    Hmmm…. I don’t know what I want indeed, I’m a mood dresser, I’m trying to evolve…

    Have a great weekend and a Happy V Day beautiful.


  36. meli-mello

    What a fantastic post! I used to pay more attention to how I looked and it has gotten so bad that this year one of my resolutions is: get dressed before 10 a.m. – and that doesn’t even happen most days. Of course, I’m a stay-at-home Mum right now but that is really no excuse. My whole wardrobe needs help but the weather also prevents me from dressing how I want.

    So much to think about!

  37. Down Comforter

    I have always loved J. Crew, but it has gotten really expensive in recent years. I still shop there, but it usually has to be from their sale. As far as couture goes, I’m not really sure – I don’t pay as much attention to couture lines, as they’re way out of my budget. I have always had the desire to go Chanel shopping πŸ™‚

  38. Sheila

    Awesome post, Sal!

    Nothing is holding me back; I dress exactly how I want to. I would love to be even a little more “out there” but I’m already pushing it with my work wear. πŸ˜€

  39. Queen of Sheba

    LOVE this entry!

    It has inspired me to ask my own question: I love a little punkiness or a little tough, but I have no desire to dress like a 12-year-old Hot Topic wannabe (I'm 27), and most of the places I shop (I'm cheap! thrift/vintage, H&M, sales) aren't very heavy on the punk influence. How do I add some punk or tough influences to what I wear, and where do I look to find pieces that will help me do this?

    (I'm a lucky, lucky postdoc, so I can wear whatever I want!)

  40. oh lady e

    Oh, wow. I can’t even begin to tell you just how much I needed to read this post right at this moment. I have been so super-bummed about my personal style (or lack thereof, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been wearing a fuzzy pink American Apparel sweater for days on end).

    I’m in the same boat as the girls from AsianCajuns – I always want to try out new styles/things, and I don’t really want to settle for one look.

    Definitely printing this out as a reference! πŸ™‚

  41. BeccaBecca

    I love this post!!! My only problem is that I want to dress like a sophisticated, elegant, and classy woman but at the same time I want an edge to it. I am rather small, so I can never find clothes that fit. The smallest of the small clothes are always too big! I;ve tried gaining weight and when I take the clothes in or I have them taken in, it looks HORRID! I don't know what to do!! Does anyone know any stores that have clothes for smaller people?
    I'm about average height, I just have no figure!!!

  42. Anonymous

    Just out of curiousity I'm wondering how the skirt came to be. I mean why is it that men ended up wearing pants and women ended up wearing skirts? There must be a practical reason and therefore an explanation for its come-uppence. I thought maybe it was for biological reasons..you know, to get more air up there to clear the stank away..who knows, nhhh

  43. Sarah H.

    i want to dress rocker but all the clothes i try on don't fit right. i have curves and the stores i've been in make clothes especially for size twos i'm size 9 and no way i can squeeze my big butt in those cute skinny jeans and plus i'm a little big in the bust so all the shirts look really stretched out. and my look doesn't look complete without and rocker clothes, just the accessories don't really cut it. and i cant really shop online. any suggestions???
    x sarah

  44. Anonymous

    I loved this post, I really did… But I have something to say.

    There is, and I am sure this is not just me, someone I have always wanted to be but am all of those reasons you listed and attempted to cut out. I have the wrong figure COMPLETELY, I am broke, my mother would kill me or at least attempt to critique every ounce of what I wore or did, I have no money (yeeettt) and I just dont have the means to fix it all up right now. Ultimately I was born in the totally wrong life. Maybe it is God's sick jokes… "Let's see if I can take this girl, put her in something totally inappropriate for her mind and emotional state and see what happens! heeheeehee!"

    So.. I am trying. I am fighting an uphill battle all the way and every rock seems to crumble down on me and push me back just when I think I am doing a bit better. But.. I am trying.

    Per my shape, I am eating less, taking hour long walks every day (5 days a week at least) and hoping for the best. Per my money, I figure that i can toss two birds out with one stone.. Finish my education, get the fabulous job I was eyeing, get away from my mother (or at least far enough away financially and emotionally that she won't be able to say anything) AND get the money I need (badabing, badaboom). And I suppose everything after that will fall into place. Or at least I hope.

    But either way, I suppose that I am trying everything I can to be that person I know I am inside, and your tips were telling people to do everything they can in their power to release their inner being, and not squish it down with doubt. You are wonderful and everyone is wonderful and needs to keep going on that path to inner peace!

    God Bless!

  45. Anonymous

    omigawd I love your blog! And this post is great. I've been doing some of the things you've mentioned here and am going to try the rest. So inspiring! Thanks!

  46. Laura

    Like the first commenter, I want to print this out and keep coming back to it. I'm someone who knows what I like, but have trouble putting into definite terms, and so I end up with a wardrobe full of lovely, random and incoherent pieces. The practical tips in this are really useful, and the thinky bits are really challenging me in a good way.

    I'm saving up for the Christmas sales at the moment, and hopefully this year, I'll have a more realistic, useful and stylish list!

    As someone who's been reading for a while but is always too shy to comment (picking a really old post, not coincidence), I just wanted to say how helpful, interesting and thought-provoking I always find your writing. This is all stuff I'm wrestling with at the moment, and blogs like yours are realy giving me the tools to think about it constructively for the first time. Thank you!

  47. Michelle

    This is such a great post! Thank you for approaching this issue the way you did. You’ve definitely given me the courage to take the time to brainstorm the looks I want wear and go out (on a budget!) shopping for the essential pieces.

  48. Coleen

    Beautiful and amazing. I’m currently trying to find a style category that fits me, while simultaneously pushing my fashion into a full-grown woman’s choices.

    Being really tall is a little discouraging, since I want to wear cute heels but get literally shouted down when I do. Any ideas for tall girls?

  49. Lorna

    This was a beautiful blog post!

    Ladies, for those of you who are not happy with your shape and are trying to diet and exercise your way to slimness I feel for you…I am not an expert by any means but I recently stumbled upon various blogs such as “180 degree health” and “what would billy say” that address why cutting calories and exercising more ultimately doesn’t work in the long run because it slows down the metabolism and leads to myriad health problems as well as regaining more weight eventually.
    Ultimately it’s better to embrace one’s natural size and be healthy, rather than stressing one’s body with semi-starvation/exercise.
    However by taking steps to increase metabolism (often that involves eating MORE and resting initially) one can improve health and eventually stabilize at a healthy weight.
    Please please, for all of you who are trying to lose weight – take some time and research this. Dieting doesn’t work and it’s time for women to stop punishing ourselves!

  50. Julianaxxo

    The availability of rocker punk rock pinup more goth clothes. Alot of what i like they have in Europe D: oh well thrift store power!

  51. Hayley

    I only discovered this website today and I just wanted to say thank you! I’ve lost 7 stone with Slimming World and have one more stone to go, but with previous weight loss attempts I’ve become depressed when I’m at the weight I think I want to be because when those numbers appear on the scales I haven’t instantly gained the perfect body.

    I’m determined not to let that happen this time and intend to truly embrace and make the most of what I’m left with and you have some fantastic advice that is already helping me achieve that. Thanks again!