I’ve always been a weird dresser. I haven’t always been functioning at 100% capacity on the weird-o-meter, but even at my most “normal” of times, I’ve been tickling at least the 25% mark. Back when I was an angsty teen full of hormones, cheap supermarket vodka and assurances that I would almost definitely be either a rich and famous writer, a rich and famous lawyer, or the rich and famous Prime Minister (my dreams may have been a little far-fetched for somebody who designed magazine covers on Photoshop for fun), I jumped between nearly every stereotypical teenage ‘type’ that you can imagine.
From queen of emo angst, to N-Dubz’ fourth member, to the spawn of Hollister hell, born out of the shadowy depths of their overwhelmingly shadowy store, I did it all. Even the smaller ‘trends’ (I’ll use that word loosely) I had covered. Super thick budget hair extensions? Done. Piling up those rubber charity bands until you were practically walking around with an armband installation? Done. Cropped t-shirts with the most garish of see-through Primark leggings? Done, done and done. I want to say I was a sartorial chameleon from the age of 12 to 18 and was simply being extroverted and independent, but in actual fact, every change in style was likely 50% wanting to keep up with the crowd, and 50% trying to find my “people”.
Top - Mango*
Trousers - Topshop
Beret - H&M
Necklace - Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery*
Sunglasses - Ray-Ban*
This post is sponsored by Gola.
No matter the mishap, I look back on my fashion forays with fondness. Even if they were slightly fuelled by my inner Tina Belcher (if you know, you know), I’ve always been one for taking things that ~ little ~ bit further. I’ve mentioned the extensions already, but whilst everybody had the problem of their clip-ins being much too thin, I had the problem of my extensions being huge. They were massive. My hair was so big that I not only kept secrets in them, I kept life stories. And that was just me. For every tiny bit of fake tan my friends applied, I doubled up. For every smattering of floral print, I clashed. For every eyeliner flick, I Amy-Winehoused.
I may not be quite so extroverted when it comes to exploring trends as I was back then, but that weird teenage kid still lives on inside me. We only have to take a look at my hat collection, for example. Rarely a day goes by when I don’t think an outfit can be improved by a hat, and actually, the more my friends and family raise an eyebrow at my choice of head decoration, the more animated my inner-teenage becomes (“Be different! Be unique! Be a motivational Paperchase notebook cover!”).
When it comes to my style choices, it may be more apt to refer to myself as an undercover exhibitionist. Function and comfort reign supreme for me, but I feel best when this is accompanied by a little glimmer of exhibitionism. A gaudy designer belt, an overzied a - or sunshine yellow Gola Classic trainers with subtly striped culottes, a beret and sunglasses which tip me over to possibly having one too many accessories.
When these Gola lovelies arrived in the post, Keiran was quick to express his disdain. They might have been alright if I hadn't chosen the brightest colour going, apparently, but this saccharine shade was enough to place them firmly alongside my Baker Boy in the 'why does she do this' zone. Of course, this only entices me on further. There goes my inner-teen, rubbing her hands together with a sly smile, even venturing to ask the opinions of other friends and family, hoping for an 'urmm, not so sure' just so she could feel that satisfying affirmation that she was going against the grain.
And maybe that's it. Maybe I like the comfort of my neutral knits and classic jeans, but I delight in that little bit of weirdness. I delight in the trends that photograph great on Instagram, but conjure looks of confusion when worn to Pattiserie Valerie for brunch and coffee on a quiet Sunday morning. I delight in the coats that are too big for me but make me feel like a very important magazine editor, swishing around between meetings, and I delight in unflattering boxy shapes and the nose ring which my Nan hates.
I love the weirdo in me, and she loves giving a little wink to the world outside through whatever hat or bright yellow shoes she feels most inclined towards on any given day. For reference, however, these Gola trainers are an instant thumbs up for me. As a person who owns three pairs of white trainers - all of which have been well-loved and so are now beyond their best - I couldn't resist this classic shape in the mustard yellow colour of the moment. You've seen me sporting it in the form of jumpers and bags, and so it was only right that I welcomed a new golden companion in the form of footwear. It goes without saying that these babes are super comfy, and, if like me, you're inner-teen likes to make her mark if even in the most practical of ways, then maybe a boyfriend-offending pair of bright kicks is just what you're looking for.
That, or you could get a red leather beret? *adds to basket*