Friday, November 30, 2012

Style Suggestions from your Inner Child

We're all wrestling with the idea of choosing signature styles and colors...  I remember a moment that was sort of a key "a-ha" for me - I started thinking about clothing and the role that it's played in my life, as far back as I could remember...

As a tot with curly dark brown hair and brown eyes, I was VERY out of place style-wise in my family of blue-eyed, and wispy-fine mousy haired family.  Literally everybody but me had the same coloring, and thus the big clothing colors in my household were baby blue, lilac, and peach...

All I longed for was a dress with a black bodice, or in bright, bright red...


dresses - Sears
Did you adore sailor dresses?


Dresses – Grammie’s Attic

Were you a tomboy?


dresses - Ralph Lauren

Were you a baby hipster?

Dresses – Tea Collection

Or did you love the most feminine details?

dresses - J. Crew

Were you drawn from your earliest years to jewel-tones?

Dresses – Hanna Andersson

How about some vivid brights?


Dresses – Hanna Andersson

I think our youthful instincts might be an interesting source of insights for our more... mature... style.


23 comments:

  1. hi
    this blog format is much better!!
    love you blog and recommendation.

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  2. That first set channels Minnie Mouse!

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  3. My mother was/is an artist and she sewed my clothes, or else it was hand-me-downs from a cousin. I think my mother had a good eye for what worked with my fair skin and copper penny red hair. I had teal, olive, and butterscotch coloured clothes, and a particularly beautiful mustard coloured wool dress coat.

    The dress I loved the most might not have looked the best on me--it was a fine black corduroy printed with pink roses. My mother made two patch pockets by cutting out the rose shapes and affixing them to the front.

    Holicays it was always a dark velvet dress (black, navy blue) with a big white collar.

    I don't remember wearing pants or shorts to school until Jr. High, and my parents didn't allow jeans until High School!

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    1. Ah, we couldn't wear pants AT ALL until I was in about 7th grade, and even then, for a few years, they could only be worn between Dec. 1 and the end of March. Given the climate in which I was raised, this meant wearing pants to work UNDER your dress or skirt...
      And jeans were never allowed in my school when I was there. And yes, it was a public school! That's how old I am...

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    2. Those sailor dresses are adorable. Holiday dressing always meant red, black and velvet. I continue this trend as an adult, with black and sequins. I always enjoy texture for holidays (sequin, feathers, etc)

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    3. Janice, you must be my generation! Not only were pants not allowed until I was in high school, your skirts had to touch the floor when you knelt down! LOL, in the winter we wore pants under our dresses to go to school, but had to take them off once in the building. Jeans, never! Graduated 1971.

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    4. I got in trouble for wearing wool pants to school in a blizzard in 1971. My mother visited the principal and read him the riot act. The rule was then changed and we were allowed to wear pants (not denim) if the temperature was below freezing. Within three or four years the entire school district changed the policy to allow jeans.

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    5. Oh my goodness. There was a similar situation where I am from to the story anonymous just told. By any chance are you from Montana?

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    6. This happened to my school, in the mid 1970's, in western Maryland. I suspect it happened in a lot of places, but it would be great if you found someone from your school here on The Vivienne Files!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  4. All I wanted to wear were pants and T-shirts. I disliked dresses, I wanted to be able to play and run around like a boy. Yes, I too had to wear skirts to school, but I changed out of them as soon as I got home. Guess it's no wonder that I seldom wear skirts now:)

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  5. My mother loved the jewel tones, but she was dramatically dark. I had/have the "soft summer/soft autumn" coloring. I knew even as a child that I liked small stripes in blues and browns, subtle plaid pleated skirts in rose and brown or grey and cream. Sounds a bit dull for a tot! As a teenager, I bought a brown and cream ticking shirtdress, no belt, button down the front. I loved it. And a blue chambray shirtdress trimmed in soft red. I would still wear these clothes today. Mind you, I'm talking about the 50's here...

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  6. Cannot remember any particular fondness for dresses, ever, but wore skirts. No jeans allowed here either, and I do remember these heavy woolen tights or pants under dressesin the cold German winters. Always had a fondness for all the muddy colors, as in khaki, browns, copper and the like. And tartan plaids. Dressed preppy, I guess, before there was such a word.

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  7. I have a 2.5 year old grand-daughter and so my requirement for girly things is fulfilled beautifully. I already have her Christmas dress, ++++ including some pink lame Uggs for girls. Not going to miss anything!!

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  8. I love the "inner child" idea -- I use the same concept for excercise. ("What did you like to do as a child?" Do it now! So I dance, ride bikes, go for hikes....)

    My inner child loved dresses and relatively simple separates... Guess I still do!

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  9. Interesting topic! My mother tells me that I insisted on dresses from the time I could tallk. No overalls for me. Luckily, I had my live-in grandma on my side. I still prefer skirts and dresses to pants.(I also remember snow pants under dresses to go to school.) Also, I knew from early on that brown and especially beige were not for me. My mother sewed most of my clothes, and she put me in brights, pales, and jewel tones, just right for my pale skin and dark hair. The only thing I can remember changing is that I lost my childhood love of ruffles somewhere along the way and became a tailored person. ;)

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  10. Like others here, I wore dresses to school until Grade 10. And I lived in northern Canada. The rule was my mother's, not the school's. I remember wearing pants under dresses, too. My mother sewed beautifully and my sister and I always had a new dress for Christmas (velvet or velveteen) and Easter (linen or cotton). Our colouring was similar, although my hair was darker. Usually she got the blue dress and I the red or pink one. People tell me I look good in red, but I have a hard time wearing the colour. I just don't feel comfortable in it. Odd.

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  11. My mom told me that, when I was about 3, I LOVED a red 'bubble dress.' She would wash it out by hand almost every night, because I wanted to wear that dress every day.

    I also remember a crayola-blue dress with a tiny print of some more-subdued color.

    But, really, I look best in quieter colors.

    Jora

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  12. This all makes me if the clothing we wore when chidren set our taste as adults. I had very little say in my choice of clothes as a child, but the clothes I liked then, I would still like today.

    When I was 5 or 6 my mother got my older sister and me matching dresses - black velvet top with little cap sleeves, white tulle skirt, red velvet ribbon between, much like the black/white plaid dress in thrst set. I loved those dresses then, and would still love wearing one like it today.

    And I remember another set of matching dress that Grandma made - sleeveless sheaths in dark purple with 3 white crochet flowers on the left shoulder. I loved those dresses too, partly because they were pretty, but more, much more, because Grandma had made them.

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  13. I had never stopped to think of this before. I can barely remember what I wore before my teens. I don't think I was very clothing-conscious. What I can remember loving are things that I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole now: multi-coloured polka-dot shift, colour-blocked jumpsuit, crinolines. I also loved some plaids and those I would wear again, if I could find the wonderful colours they came in: deep rich colours that did not say "lumberjack" in the slightest.

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    1. I don't remember my clothes prior to about age 14 either. Have to look at family photos to even remember them. I do know that I have always hated dressy clothes and would have lived in comfy play clothes all the time if I could have. I guess it's no wonder that I prefer jeans, low-heeled or flat shoes, and workout clothes. I do try to make them look stylish though. ;)

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  14. I recently wrote on my blog about my (lack of) fashion style through the ages, and I noticed that in all the photos of myself as a child, I was wearing dresses. I was very much a tomboy though and throughout my teens I wore jeans and trousers, changing out of my school uniform as soon as I got home. I also remember preferring bright colours and my early purchases when I started work included a shocking pink top and purple skirt. I remember sulking for ages when my father insisted that my new winter coat should be camel and not the green I wanted!

    Now that I have retired, I usually wear jeans or trousers all day, though sometimes I will wear a dress or skirt if going out in the evening.

    As for my "inner child", I still enjoy dancing and, if we pass a children's playground and the swings are unoccupied, I love to have a go on them. This is at the age of 65!!!

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  15. I longed for a sailor dress and pestered my mother till I got one from Montgomery Ward's. But every time I wore it she told me it looked "cheap". That marked me for life. Never rain on a little girl's style parade.

    Explains why I took up with so many sailors ;)

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  16. You looked marvelous in all of the hand me downs. You have to admit that mom was a fabulous seamstress and we were never lacking pretty dresses, even thought the styles there were....well, you were cute in that baby blue dress when I was in 1st grade, remember??

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