Monday, 31 May 2010

How Do I Look?

Vintage lady image

I was recently asked to describe my 'look', which seems a good place to start. Since becoming a journalist (I previously worked in the City), my life and wardrobe have changed greatly. Ask fashion enthusiasts to describe their 'look' and you will hear about an innate sense of quirkiness, priceless ‘vintage finds’ from a grandmother’s attic and disdain for blatant label-lovers. Predictable? Yes. Indulgent? Maybe. Yet, this desire to be different is rather delightful, particularly when you have scrambled on a platform with fellow ‘suits’, swept along to London's 'Square Mile' in a sea of black and navy. Granted, wearing a suit/smart clothing to work can incite feelings of pride, professionalism and achievement (one achievement being the uncivilised hour when flawless females rise to apply those strokes of foundation to hide weary eyes...)
More paperwork, please image

Joking aside, the jobs most people do and the way they look, are inextricably linked. Fulfilment of one career path can dictate your wardrobe and make a social statement. Consider your choice of drinking establishment for a Friday night; certain expectations surround men dressed in Hugo, populating City bars (note to girls: an expensive suit doesn’t generally mean a desert-island hideaway). Contrastingly, media-types in nearby Clerkenwell suggest more laid-back, creative personalities in their jeans, logo t-shirts and Converse. Two extremes, but what if you end up in the wrong ‘camp’? Sure, you can experiment with alternative/outlandish fashion choices at weekends. Or, as I have found out, perhaps a desire for a different look reveals a deeper meaning: the desire for a career change. Needless to say, I am not proclaiming my love for cufflinks and collared shirts from the top of St Paul’s.

St Paul's Cathedral

If you are unhappy in a City job, a suit will no longer be a smart, empowering and often sexy garment. Instead, it will symbolise restraint and regulation and fuel a longing to ‘break free’. The psychological battle to ‘suit up’ each morning and celebration as the weekend arrives, is not something that an eye-catching summer trench or Chanel’s latest nail-colour can prevent. My decision was made: I had to find my new look, my true direction. Time to rummage through my grandmother’s attic to see what I can find....

Vintage closet                                                             

 Images: 1) Sense and Sensibility Vintage Images, 2) Anne Taintor, 3) own image, 4) Chuck Vinson at Dreamstime               


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