I’m Embracing Myself And It’s Manifesting In Bright Colours

I feel like my wardrobe is going through somewhat of a revolution right now. Whereas this time last year I was sporting a whole host of neutral knits and monochromatic pieces, this autumn winter, my rail is positively overflowing with statement jumpers, textures and new colour combinations.

Basically, this is a plea. Will the real Chloe Plumstead please stand up?

Something has gotten into me. All of a sudden I’m finding myself looking for statement pieces on a loop, rather than bagging one bright red knit like I did last year and then milling around in the tepid pool that is my comfort zone, complacent until Spring comes and I start to panic all over again.

Some of it, I’m sure, has to do with my growing understanding of my own identity. The difference in how I feel about myself as a person - about my core values, my nuggets of intellectual interest, my qualities and flaws - has developed so much in the last year, that maybe I’m truly throwing all of my fucks to the wind and it’s manifesting in my wardrobe.

I have so much respect for people who wear what they want, when they want, and wherever they want - people who break the mould and defy expectations, wearing platform boots to Tesco and a two-piece velvet suit for a casual Wednesday night dinner at Zizzi. I’m a rebel at heart, and seeing non-conformity, pride of personality and freedom of expression all as qualities that I admire so much in others, I’ve tried to push these in myself and ask the question: do I actually like a minimal style, or am I afraid to be seen?

 

Cardigan - River Island
(Grey version available here)
Shirt - Paloma Wool
Trousers - Topshop
Bag - Yonder Living*
Earrings - Jane Koenig*
Necklace - Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery*

WHAT I'M WEARING

I can’t drive (say hey if you can’t too - we’re dwindling and with every person that gets their licence, I regress one year further back into the womb). Since I can’t drive, I tend to walk most places, and I have done for as long as I’ve needed to get around. This means that I’ve experienced my fair few unsolicited cat calls, uncomfortably long stares and crossings of the road ‘just in case’.

At the back of the mind, I think I was always aware that the brighter the colour I wore, the more attention I would be drawing to myself. Was I in the right frame of mind to flip off any white van beeps today? Could I be bothered to inevitably panic when some creep makes a comment at me as I walk past him in the street, only to think of an amazing comeback 5 minutes later and be fuming at myself for not telling him to fuck off?

There was also this quiet hesitation from having nearly every outfit I ever wore documented online. Okay, a brightly coloured jumper might seem like a good idea now, but in a few months time I might look back on said Insta snap and severely regret ever trying to switch my style up.

Maybe it just wasn’t me. Maybe I was trying too hard. Shit, maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. How the hell does anybody even know how to dress anyway?

And now, I just don’t really give a fuck.

This last half of the year has been monumental for me coming to terms with me. Of course, you never stop learning, but I feel like this time last year I was very much trying to curate a cool and edgy representation of myself, to the point that I was at odds with what I actually wanted.

But now, as the year begins to draw to a close and I’m as chubby and Realisation Par-less as ever, I’ve found this new golden sphere of confidence within myself that I’m slowly buffing and perfecting, able to enjoy in a way that I can only illustrate as myself standing still whilst the world whizzes on around me. It's as if someone has pressed fast forward but I’ve remained at regular speed, and it’s sick.

I’m still scared of public speaking and I’d rather not call Dominos if I can place my order online, but the confidence to say that, at this moment in time, I feel like I’m really starting to explore myself and know myself, is frankly fucking brilliant.

Of course, normal life still happens and I’m still need to pay off my credit card and I still feel shitty and sad and sometimes hopeless, but I bounce back. And I don’t doubt the fibres of my personality each and every time I feel low. I feel like I’m in that place where I can be an agony aunt. Like I can give good advice because I have a level-head and a better knowledge of myself as a person.

And out of all of this - out of all of the cliché, young 20-something personal journey of discovery - do you know what the most laughably pure result has been? I’ve started wearing bright clothes. I’ve started experimenting with colour combinations and textures and cuts that I never before would have considered. I wear a hat with everything. I overdress for Sunday brunch and underdress for meetings. I wear mascara. I don’t wear mascara. I wear sunglasses and then I let my bags and dark circles do their thang. Did you know that I used to patch them out of all of my photos? Now, I just feel like if somebody is offended by the fact that I have facial features, then they probably won’t value what I think or feel either, so let them be offended right on out of my way.

Life is too short to care what other people think of you. It’s not an easy lesson to live by, especially in a digital age where it’s all to easy to anonymously pass judgement on somebody that you’ve never even met, but in giving less fucks, I’ve been able to divert that energy into spending more time with me. I’m connecting with myself and the people around me on a deeper level, plus I’m wearing clothes that I’m actively excited to put on.

So know this: anytime you see me sporting something bougie, it’s another step in the way of me knowing and accepting myself, and sticking a big middle finger up to anybody that doesn’t like it.

Viva la personal development.

  • Camilla Ackley

    That jumper is a blooming dream, and as are you. I completely get what you mean about minimalism and not wanting to stand out – sometimes you just want to be stylish, but also blend in with the locals in Tesco. I used to feel like this so much, and tbh it’s only getting better now that I’m in London and honestly, someone wearing something snazzy is like the least weird thing you will see on any given day in London.

    Giving less fucks and self-development are fab.

    x Camilla
    camillaackley.com

  • Great post! And equally great outfit sometimes it’s good to stand out xxx
    http://www.katescloset.uk

  • Loved this post and you look so good in this colour! Beautiful! x

    laurabradshaw.co.uk

  • I have yet to learn how to drive too! Love this, always a pleasure reading your posts! I feel the same in terms of dressing now, I feel like I’ve finally reached the point where I know what I want to wear and how I want to present myself to the world even though it’s scary, even though I’ll still sometimes chicken out of buying something in case it looks like I’m trying too hard. This knit is gorgeous and loving the whole outfit xx

    Summer, http://www.thetwinswardrobe.com

  • Joanne

    This look is GORGEOUS on you! The bright red is definitely different than your typical outfits. The things you said are so so important; the art of not caring so much about what others think of you and just embracing yourself and your own thing is SUCH an improvement.
    You rock, Chloe. Have a good weekend! x

    Joanne | With Risa: A Lifestyle Blog

  • Selina Moses

    I’m always urging people to wear more colour.

    ‘do I actually like a minimal style, or am I afraid to be seen?’

    This is what I ask people and for some it’s the first and for some it’s the second. For the second batch of people, I love to find a few bits of colour for them to try. While I get my fair share of catcalling and harassment just because I’m female, (this is an odd theory that I think does work for me but it’s under debate) because I’m fairly asexual in general, I’ve never gotten any attention for wearing bright colours, red lipstick or crazy things so I don’t feel so uncomfortable in wearing something a little different so I have always had less regard for what people might think of me in the sartorial sense. Keep experimenting and you never know what you will settle with

    https://retrocasual.wordpress.com

  • Adeline B.

    Loved this post !
    I love the fact that you’re wearing more bright colours but you’re still doing you, you know. Great taste, unique shapes and cuts, only brighter ! 😉

    I’ve started not giving a shit about that a few years ago when I met my dear english friend, I loved how she dressed for herself, wearing what she wanted even if people were looking (not always in a good way) and always looked amazing at that (using past tense but she still does <3), and that clicked, I needed to do that too. In the journey of knowing myself (on the inside, still fighting against my outside), some things and taste has changed but I am not afraid anymore to dress for myself and to take jokes on this, usually I'll reply something like "Oh great ! Do you want to borrow it from me ?! I think you'll look lovely in it" because I can't be bothered. I think it's always important to wear what you like, no matter your size, height, style tag (because we're all more than just ONE style) or what people (random strangers, family, friends…etc) might think of it, as long it's true to yourself and you're feeling nice in it, that's the way to go. With that in mind, even if your taste can change and you come to think it was a baaad idea to wear this or that in the past, you will still own it because you know you liked it at the moment.

    And, about driving, I have my licence since 2014 but can't really drive, I hate it (better be a passenger in my bubble) and I am kinda afraid of other insane drivers (because I passed it right away, I am not bad^^) so I still walk or take bus. But it's something I need to work on ! 😉

    https://i-think-its-today.blogspot.com/

  • Love the cardigan! The red colour look so good on you! Honestly, not caring about what others think is the greatest feeling ever. I love going to my local Tesco´s in my pjs because I couldn’t care less, or wearing my best outfit for a brunch with my best friend. Love this post!! xx

    amerzwithlove.com

  • Loved this post! I’m also someone who struggles with worrying what other people think of me and/or what I’m wearing. It definitely means that I often stay in my comfort zone and admire others for pushing the boundaries and wearing something a little more daring rather than doing it myself. It’s something I’m really working on changing and this post was so lovely to show I’m not the only one. And I still don’t have a license and remain terrified to start learning!

    https://jasmineisabellaa.wordpress.com/

  • Holly White

    I’m all about channeling yourself through your clothes and bright colours – it’s just so nice to be able to express yourself that way!

    I go through phases where I thrive off of the funny looks I get when I wear weird outfits and other times I hate it and want to hide away in a an all black ensemble.

    I think sometimes the clothes we wear can definitely reflect a sense of personal growth! Xxxx

  • You go girl!! I’ve written something similar about finally finding my style and after reading this I’ve realised how much in a way that has helped me find myself, I feel happier as a person, is that weird? I feel confident and I actually enjoy getting up to dress everyday! I think everyone needs to learn to embrace and love ourselves because it really is the best thing xx
    http://www.pagesfrombeth.co.uk/

  • God I love this. I’ve just highlighted like six of these sentences for my diary because it’s so freaking insightful. Your writing just gets better every day, and I love love loveeee the red knit! xx

  • Well done for embracing bright colours! I live in red and LOVE it! It brightens your outlook, especially when you catch yourself in a window or mirror.

  • Yay to personal development and not giving a f*ck! the orange looks fab on you x
    http://www.meowandme.co.uk

  • Totally agreed! And this colour looks gorgeous on you anyway! x

    rhymeandribbons.com


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