I've always envied women who are effortlessly stylish. For some it seems to come so naturally, but I am definitely not one of them.
I think my personal sense of style has always been a little boyish. We were brought up by a religious mother with a total disinterest in fashion and beauty, and as a result both my sister and I tend towards the practical rather than the pretty.
As a student I started to develop a little of my own style, using quirky accessories which stood out, but also experimenting with items of sexier clothing which horrified my mother. However, on entering a staid profession my workwear had to be business (skirt) suits, and as a woman fighting to progress in what was essentially a man's world, I made little concession to feminine fripperies other than make-up and a little jewellery.
I'll gloss over my early years as a parent, when I wore leggings (first time round) for far longer than I should have, simply because they were easy care and easy wear. I was overwhelmed by parenthood and we were short of money, well that is my excuse anyway. I prefered to concentrate my efforts on nice clothes for my babies.
Finally, with both boys in school, I started to develop what I think is my real style. I abandoned utilitarian plain cotton t-shirts for pretty patterned tops, which can be worn with jeans by day or tailored trousers for smarter occasions. I accepted the fact that I am never going to be a skirt person, but developed once again a love for unusual accessories. I learnt to spend more on classic items and less on what might be termed fashion. I even found a brand of jeans which generally fits me quite well, not easy when you are short but also a larger lady. I'm still not a girly dresser, but I hope I have finally found something of a balance between practicality, comfort and femininity. I have come to terms with my size and learnt to work with it, rather than against it for the sake of fashion.
At last I actually like my style and for now I am sticking with it.
Three notable things:
1. Son 1 is singing and whistling around the house for the first time in a couple of years.
2. I managed to do a Tesco shop and some successful work today.
3. Tesco is currently selling chart paperbacks at two for £7. I must resist!