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odd realizations
I have no style.

That may be harsh.  I have a sense of style, yet I don't seem to apply it to my wardrobe/hair/makeup at all.  Mostly I wear jeans and t-shirts, with the only excitement being whether the shirts are long or short sleeved, or have a graphic of some sort.  I tend to wear minimal makeup and most of what I do with my hair is about getting it out of the way.  Over the past few months, this has become bothersome to me.

Several things have led up to this point.  Before the move this summer I spent time cleaning out my closets of the things I don't wear, and realized that it was a decent chunk of what I owned.  Due to technical issues our closet currently doesn't have doors so I can see all my clothes all the time and I've realized what a mish-mash they are, there's no cohesion to anything.  I also was watching a lot of 'What Not to Wear' this summer for background noise, and of course 'Project Runway' is back now.  And I just finished reading the book Gothic Charm School by Jillian Venters.  I've always been attracted to the goth look, and even dressed up that way for Halloween for a few years.  In general I've always been attracted to more extreme personal looks, but have always felt like I don't have the right to do that; somehow on me it would be playing dress up instead of a style.  But then, I've always liked how I felt inside the look few times I've tried things out.

So I'm thinking of doing a major overhaul to my personal style.  This obviously wouldn't happen overnight, both the time and money factors require this to be a drawn out process.  I tend to lean towards the Victorian style of goth and Steampunk which I think overlap in fun ways.  I was trying to figure out how to do this yesterday and realized that if I bought new pieces that fit the theme, I could slowly phase my current wardrobe out.  Honestly, I'll probably still end up in pants regularly, but maybe it could be slacks instead of jeans, with a button down shirt and cool vest and my hair pulled back into a snood.  I have a color palette in my head of mostly browns, blacks, and grays with the occasional bright color thrown in.  I'd be aiming for a style that mostly wasn't noticeable as a specific label, but that would have a few specific fabulous pieces for those dress up occasions that would be unmistakable.

But here's the biggest question in my brain - Am I being ridiculous?  I'm 36, and while I certainly don't believe that only 20somethings can make statements with their wardrobe am I starting way too late?  Can I own this without looking like I'm playing dress up?  (I do know the only appropriate response to that question is 'I don't know, can you?')  I'm excited by the idea, but a little afraid of the execution.  And I know me well enough to be a little concerned about my ability to follow through, though shopping with a specific look in mind might actually be easier.

Have any of you ever tried to overhaul your style?

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You're never too old.

There are realistic parameters: it has to fit your lifestyle, it has to be comfortable, it has to make you feel good. Additionally, it should fit somewhat in your surroundings or you won't feel comfortable.
(it = style or clothes)

As long as you're working it, internally, the rest is AWESOME AND FINE. The only thing, imho, that violates age? saggy flesh. Otherwise, work it and sell it.

but some individuals pieces and work them in, but don't go too much too quickly, because you need to know what works for your comfort level.

When I first became a professional I struggled and hated my tights/pantyhose/skirts/blouses, while now they're actually a more comfortable armor than my socal raised beach clothes.

Find what shape makes you feel good in your body and works with your job, and then slowly build a closet in that style.

I personally love pencil skirts with little pleats and other details, but I have massive junk in the trunk so I live in various A-line, 50s looks that are delicate and girly, flattering my bum and hair. Not perfectly my aesthetic, but works for my professional and social. Lately, at 32, I've adopted hair accessories times 12 and have started using flowers and feathers because the main thing people remember about me is my hair -- if it was curly first time they don't recognize me when it's straight. And so on. So I get shit from friends, but hair accessories are my new thing, and so I'm rocking it. Gray hairs and all.

PS- my, admittedly hip and hot, 83 year old grandmother announces last year that from now on she would be seen in black accented with metallics, royal blue, and metallics. She WORKS IT.

Your list of parameters makes perfect sense to me. I will be going slowly partially out of necessity and partially because much as I want the new look, if I suddenly switch to all skirts all the time it would probably last a week.

I am a little concerned that the shapes I am most attracted to will not match my body, but it looks like you found a good compromise for that and I'll have to do the same. I'm thinking that in general I will do an every day version of the look, and then have a few crazy full steampunk pieces for dressing up. ie - I want a long, skirt with a bustle, but that would be entirely unpractical for day to day. I like the idea of picking an accessory that is 'mine' I may have to give that some thought.

And thanks for helping mitigate my age issues. I need to remember that I most notice confident women rocking whatever look they're wearing, so I just have to be comfortable and confident in whatever I choose to put on. Oh, also your grandmother rocks.

heh, I just reread what i wrote. Forgive the half bottle of wine, but yeah, you'll find shapes that fit you perfectly and make them yours.

and you might find a few bracelets or rings or whatever that can be your everyday tie in of steampunk.

Heh everything was intelligible. I can do this, it will just require some work up front, the trick will be to see if I follow through on that work.

And yeah, I'll want to figure out something to have daily. I'd love to find a great pocket watch with chain, but I like the idea of bracelets too.

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