Style doesn't come with a use-by-date

Unlock your style in 14 days: Style doesn’t come with a use-by date

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 129 Comments

Do I need to talk softly this morning?

It is the first day of the New Year, after all.

Perhaps you’re just getting home from watching the sun come up on the beach with the love of your life. Perhaps I need to stop reading romance novels.

Because of course, my New Year’s could not have been further from such a Hollywood notion. No, it involved post-midnight pick-ups of teenagers and consequential curbed champagne consumption.

But that’s ok.

There’s so much pressure on New Year’s Eve, don’t you think?

To have a good time. To reflect back over the year past and set your mind on the year to come. I’m very much a rule-a-line-under-things kind of girl, so I do like that part. That the line gets drawn.

I like that during January I usually do a lot of navel gazing. I look at the parts of my life that need a good kick up the bum, and I write down how said kicking will be delivered.

Some people call this goal-setting. Bum kicking works for me.

Style doesn't come with a use-by-date

Style is one area of my life that’s always getting a regular bum kick, not least of which because my style has to accommodate a sizeable bum of the wide, flat pancake – not the bootylicious Beyonce – variety.

And given the amount of questions I get here on the blog or via email throughout the year, I’m hazarding a guess that style is always up for an annual – or bi-annual – review for you too?

Which is why over the next few weeks, I’m going to bring you the Styling You Style Holiday Camp where the aim is to Unlock Your Style in 14 days.

Starting today.

Because there is no time like the present, is there? Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you work too hard. Just want to get your mind in the right frame (insert evil laugh here).


Style Doesn't come with a use-by date

Let’s talk mutton and lamb. We won’t be cooking them so it’s ok, my vego friends, it’s safe for you to stick around.

One of the biggest concerns voiced to me from women over a *ahhemm* certain age is their concern that if they wear a certain style of clothing or follow a certain trend then they are in danger of being labelled as mutton.

The inference being that said style of clothing or trend should solely belong on the flanks and shoulders of lovely young lambs.

To that I say, RIDICULOUS.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. If it makes you feel fabulous, wear it.

Blanket style rules are disappearing from the world of fashion faster than real bargains in a stocktake sale.

Trends are no longer being set purely on the international fashion catwalks. They’re being set on the street.

And last time I looked down those streets, there walked women of all ages, shapes and sizes.

All. Wearing. Clothes.

Style doesn't come with a use-by date

We are more likely to take our fashion cues from these women – strangers, best friends, work colleagues – than a high-end luxury designer who shows garments on six foot tall coat hangers (aka genetically blessed humans).

No longer do we reach a certain age, only to be pigeon-holed into wearing what our grandmothers did at our age.

Your personal style doesn’t need to get packed away in the same box as your dry-cleaned wedding gown when you return from your honeymoon. And it doesn’t have to go on permanent holiday if you become a mum either.

What it took me a long time to understand was that our time on this earth is made up of many “seasons”, if you like.

Seasons that take us on crazy roller coaster rides through this thing we called life.

We change as the seasons do.

And that’s ok.

When it comes to how your project that change out on to the world, often the easiest way to do that is through what you wear and how you wear it. It’s when you don’t find a way to project that change that you can find yourself in a style rut.

Trust me, there have been plenty in my life. Plenty.

The key to getting out of a rut is recognising it for what it is. Taking stock and moving on.

Embarrassing photos aside (thankfully most of mine are in a box in the cupboard … except for those on my parent’s family slide show shared via Apple TV on Christmas Day. Thanks Dad ;)), the only evidence of each rut will be the new-found confidence you discover once out the other side.

Developing a personal style is not rocket science. It’s not going to change the world.

But it could help change the way you feel and how you face the world.

And to me that’s got to be a good thing.


Style Work – Day 1

Each day of the Styling You January Holiday Camp will bring with it a little homework – style work – if you please.

It’s not compulsory.

There are never right or wrong answers.

If you’d like to share your ideas and thoughts in the comments, or have more questions, then go for it. I’m giving away a beautifully printed copy of the Styling You manifesto every day to someone who participates.

And, I’m here to help. So, let’s get started …

  1. Where do you think you’re at with your personal style? Got it nailed? Or a work in progress?
  2. Do you think you understand your style better now than you did 10 years ago?
  3. How would you describe your style to me?




** The Styling You Holiday Style Camp {Unlock Your Style in 14 Days} is based on the Styling You Manifesto. If you don’t have your own, you can download it here. I’ll also be giving away a proper printed Styling You Manifesto from The Smile Collective every day to the reader who catches my eye with their comments and participation.

Comments 129

  1. I am excited for this!! A little scared to cull my wardrobe I dont think I will have anything left… My style is definatley a work in progress. I have sort of lost my fashion sense a bit after having kids, slowly getting back into it but just knowing what looks good and goes together and suits me.

  2. I think i have my style mostly sorted, but it’s always a work in progress trying to fit in new trends/styles to what works with me. My style is all about loose and not figure hugging, but having optical illusions in the clothes I wear, such as perfectly placed seams and hems or variations in fabrics. I am so NOT about tight clothes or tucked in shirts with belts. I only wear belts with big buckles holding my wranglers up- which slip down off my shapewear clad tummy and hips! my shirts are loose and out and over the top!

  3. Oh I am excited by this – after loosing 60kgs and keeping it off I still have no idea how to dress ( I’ve lived in moo moo’s my whole life and I’m only 32) I’m going to be sucking up as much info as i can to try and find my groove especially as I am retiring to work this year – exciting times ahead!!!

  4. My personal style is very much a work in progress. Since “settling down” and especially since becoming a parent 6 years ago, my presonal style and my confidence have been sorely ignored and are now missing. 10 years ago I think I had a much better sense of my own style, I had an easier body to dress and I had fun with clothes! My style now is a bit of a mixed bag. I like colour and pattern but end up wearing black. I love retro but feel dowdy in it. I like sporty, but then again I like to feel more dressed up. Comortable. Beachy. Dresses in summer. Ooh, I’m confusing myself even writing this!

  5. I have discovered that my version of casual is a lot dressier. I feel (& think I look) silly in anything too casual – perhaps it’s an hour glass thing? Have others found this? I love getting a bit dressed up & have decided it must be my personal style!

    1. I think that’s a positive, not a negative and can definitely be your style. Some people I know do casual is such an effortlessly chic way that amazes me – I think recognising what you feel great doing is the best way to go!

  6. I’m a little late on the bandwagon, but better late than never!

    I think my personal style is always a work on progress, but I feel like it’s far more developed than it was 10 years ago. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the progression from uni student with no spare cash to full time professional with some disposable income to splurge on lovely things. I would describe my style as fairly classic. TImeless looks, classic cuts, softer colours. My waist is the smallest part of my body, so 9 times out of 10 I will do a high waist, usually with a belt. I’ve come to realise the value in purchasing classic items that will last.

  7. bring it on nikki! i think i need your help to ‘nail it’. 10 years ago i was 25 and understood my style very well. i was always trying something fun and crazy (socks with high heels (wearing pants of course) was something i felt i pulled off quite well a few times. whether i really did or not is probably another story). harpers bazaar was my bible. back then, jeans with a tee and heels was my base style – kind of city/street-ish i suppose. after i had my first child i was completely consumed with mini fashion (as you do), and i didn’t realise i was letting go of my own style. now after my second child, i’ve got that same try-anything confidence back, but my wardrobe is very minimal and very random. and, i have also had a coastal lifestyle change too, which i think needs to play a part in my style?? x

    1. Oh, I so went there Bec … completely consumed with mini fashion. Spent more on the kids than on me. So yes, it’s time for you again and yes, your lifestyle will play apart but not at the expense of who you are. Good luck! x

  8. Oh Style, wish I could find it. I have a body which is heavier than I like and less money to spend than I would like and at 64 I am conflicted between the conservative, classic person that others think of me and the arty, funny, funky person inside.

    My daily wardrobe consists of jeans and t shirts and shorts and t shirts with a few sassy jackets for when I go out. Barefooted or sandled mostly. Hardly any jewelry.

    I babysit toddlers so need to have practical clothes that can withstand dirty fingers and hard work.

  9. Returning to work, one year old off to day care and in need of a style overhaul from frumpy to yummy mummy! Thanks Nikki, this is just what my wardrobe needed. Now just have to find my style??

  10. My personal style is ever evolving. It gets revisited periodically when I get sick of ‘getting by’ and ‘Just need something for work, don’t have to love it’. Last year it got a bit Nina-ed up thanks to your blog. Taking a few more risks. V conscious of not getting too mumsy/dressing old.

    Since 10 years ago I know what suits my body shape and take note of what I’m wearing when I get compliments, esp on colour. When I stick to ‘the rules’ re Trinny & Susannah and my colours I’m fine.

    My style is a bit ‘safe’ which comes from my goal for a ‘classic’ look, not much pattern, I like the Uptown New York look.

    Time to get to work!! Thanks, Nikki!

  11. I’m excited! Just what I need 🙂
    I definitely am a work in progress. I was pretty comfortable with my ‘style’ which was very much related to my lifestyle and profession but after starting a family (and giving up work) almost 5 years ago and the drastic lifestyle changes that came with it (no longer dressing for boardroom meetings but now for playground meet ups instead!) I struggled for a long time to work out what was ‘me’. I’m still working on it but have a little bit more of an idea but also like not to pidgeon hole myself too much so I am still open to new ideas and/or styles.
    I think my style would be classic/casual but I love bright colour too!

  12. You are so awesome, I spent just two hours with you maybe 2 or so years ago and it’s really helped me. The first thing I learned is I have to TRY IT ON – LOTS OF things, not just a few things.
    Yes. Since that lovely day…
    My style has continued to evolve down a less structured more floaty feminine easy care easy where rack;) I try and so buy a lot more colours I would never have even considered before. My new faves are all blues, greens, teals and aqua’s. Never before even tried!
    It’s even helped my dearling shop for nice tings for me as he understands how I like to dress more too. My hubby bought me a hot pink and black full ensemble for Christmas from La Mode de Fabiene in Pomona – I’ve never worn Pink (except for Breastcancer) but by keeping the black tunic near my face and putting the colour more at arms and legs length I find the old colour rules have gone out with the sales rack! That same black tunic has lead me back to the store (TODAY 2nd Jan) to purchase the Teal (pink equivalent components) so I can encapsulate those pieces into more outfits!
    Sorry can’t seem to get rid of the numbers!k
    So cool! I hope to continue to evolve and grow in my fashion and style choices – and I have to you to thank! Happy New Years!!!

    1. Oh wow Dawn, I’m so glad things are still going well for you since our session and that you’re trying things you wouldn’t have done before and I LOVE that your hubby has been inspired by this new you too!

  13. Having been a conservative, make that, boring, dresser for many years, I have made a conscious effort over the last 12 months to think more about who I am and how I want to present myself to the world. This is continual learning process and one that has introduced colour to my wardrobe and make up to my bathroom. I accept that my style is classic, but I love that this does not mean boring. This year I want to grow my style and learn more about accessorising and handbags!

  14. I struggle so much with style! I seem to spend my time buying stuff that looks good on friends only to find that it doesn’t really work for me. As a short and fairly round person I find it difficult to make the styles I love work for me. How do I describe my style? In summer I wear as many maxi dresses that I can find! Occasionally I wear denim shorts with a colourful printed top. In winter I stick to boring dark pants and tops. Accessories are the devil for me! I love them so much (especially the gorgeous bright colours that are around now) but I can never work out what to buy and what to put with each outfit 🙁 I think I am a style dunce!

  15. Definintely work in progress, I have a certain sense of style but struggle with consistancy and wonder if i overthink it… I am learning that more is not necessarily better, its just more. My style advisors aka daughters 1 & 2 are both under 6 so whilst I get a buzz out of hearing ‘nice shoes, mummy’ I wonder quietly to myself if anyone else would agree, or even notice. After all, my girls would be thrilled if I joined them in dressups preferably wearing my ‘wedding bride’ dress on all days ending with y. ;-D . But seriously, thanks to your blog this year I have played with colours that I would normally shy away from (read lime and watermelon) and while they are not my go-to first preferences, they are rating a decent rotation. Happily I have transitioned from a mainly black and white wardrobe to a variety of prints and brights, however I *still* struggle with putting it all together… but thanks to your blog, Nikki, I’m getting there.

  16. I have just turned 60 and recently decided I have a definite style which everyone says suits me – I am little in height and bubbly so my style is cute/trendy and lots of fun. I have noticed when I dress like this my whole personality matches and I have more energy. Bright colours and print pants with flats and heaps of fun jewellery and a fresh young hair style. Who says ageing is a curse????

  17. I am confused fashion wise. I have so many tops piled up I don’t know what I have in my wardrobe anymore! I am hoping to look like I can put an outfit together his year that is not so plain. I always end up looking good, but i am o bored with my style! I need to get interested in me again!

  18. Love your down to earth thoughts on style. Mine definitely needs a vamp-up, as I’m such a horder – so my style sort of comes and goes, and (cough) I keep things for ‘best’ – a time which rarely comes because by the time I come to wear said piece, I’ve got something I like better or that’s more suitable for the occasion sitting in my wardrobe 😉 Yep, definitely conscious about the mutton and lamb concept – so thanks for your thoughts there too 🙂

  19. Thanks Nikki so much for this series, I am really looking forward to it. I think style is one of those things that needs to be constantly evolving to suit your life, trends and budget. I know mine is and I am certainly more confident in my 30’s than I was in my 20’s. I guess I would describe my style as classic with a twist but it is not really 100% that either. There are a few other influences thrown into the melting pot!

  20. As many have said I am still a work in progress.
    I turned 40 last year and after having four children over the past 10 years and losing my confidence along the way on and off after each baby and not knowing what to buy, I feel like this past couple of years I have gotten my mojo back.
    Well as I said it’s a work in progress, but I feel as though my sahm outfits are a lot more interesting now.
    I think focusing on adding accessories – scarves, jewellery, a nice jacket etc has really helped, along with realising that you don’t have to spend a fortune to do that!
    I love my discovery via you of BB cream, which gives my skin a lift and along with some bronzer and mascara has made me feel better about the way I look when I dash out the door for the school run each morning. (Thanks Nikki! 🙂 )
    I guess my style is neat casual as a sahm. I am often in jeans, but if I can pair them with some cute ballet flats/boots or sandals and a nice top jacket and scarf and some bangles, then even if it’s a budget buy it can still look current.
    Thank you for all of your posts and tips, which make it easy for a busy Mum to four to stay up to date with how to look good.
    Keep them coming in 2013 please and happy new year! 🙂

  21. Recently found Styling You and feel like I’ve found a friend! I’m in major need of this boot camp and looking forward to it. Prior to having a child I knew, lived and breathed my style – 40’s & 50’s vintage classics with a modern spin. Now, 2.5 years, 15 extra kilos and 2 career changes later, I’m battling the forties mum frumps. I have to wear black/navy suit and white shirt to work and am battling to find stylish alternatives in bigger sizes as well as confronting the fact that pencil skirts and sweaters just don’t suit my current shape. I’m already a fan and looking forward to becoming a regular reader.

  22. Definitely a work in progress kinda girl!

    I’m trying to move away from black and the safety of my kaftan shirts! Slowly losing the baby weight and trying to find comfortable, practical, and stylish looking gear.

    At the moment I think I’ve got a soccer mum and frumpy forty motif going on… any tips would be appreciated.

    I also dearly miss my stilettos 🙁 and live in havaianas with the occasional bedsocks!

  23. Definitely a work in progress kinda girl!

    I’m trying to move away from black and the safety of my kaftan shirts! Slowly losing the baby weight and trying to find comfortable, practical, and stylish looking gear.

    At the moment I think I’ve got a soccer mum and frumpy forty motif going on… any tips would be appreciated.

    I also dearly miss my stilettos 🙁 and live in havaianas with the occasional bedsocks!

  24. This is fantastic Nikki – just the way to start the year! Looking forward to learning a lot this month!!

    My personal style is definitely still a work in progress. I am starting to recognise when something really works for me (by making me feel gorgeous, sexy, confident, as soon as I put it on) and am trying to zone in on those feelings when trying on clothes these days.

    My personal style is still reasonably conservative, but I am trying to introduce more colour and variety into my wardrobe, so that my outfits reflect the fun, romantic and spontaneous me that I am every day, while still being appropriate for work – the eternal struggle for balance!

  25. Definitely a work in progress kinda girl!

    I’m trying to move away from black and the safety of my kaftan shirts! Slowly losing the baby weight and trying to find comfortable, practical, and stylish looking gear.

    At the moment I think I’ve got a soccer mum and frumpy forty motif going on… any tips would be appreciated.

    I also dearly miss my stilettos 🙁 and live in havaianas with the occasional bedsocks!

  26. Q1: I am a work in progress: Q2: Yes, much better than 10 years ago; Q3: My style is retro/modern with a hat, if needed: costume jewellery is a must and I’m trying not to look MDAL (mutton dressed as lamb) but still have good legs which I have to show off (as I live in the tropics!). Think that sums it up…

  27. Hi Nikki,

    Happy New Year! This is a great start to the New Year thank you.

    I think I have lost my style sense since gaining a lot of weight recently ( which I am in the process of losing again now) and working full time from home ( you just don’t see fashion or styling ideas on other women to inspire you at home like you do in a city office environment and you don’t have to dress up every day either) . I always knew what suited me and what didn’t and I know what I like still, which is a conservative, feminine classic style but putting it together now seems to not be working so well for some reason so no, I definitely don’t understand my style better now. Looking forward excitedly to your wisdom and inspirational words over the next 14 days.

  28. Hi Nikki, what a fabulous idea and I can’t wait to read all you have planned. I think I am still a work in progress but we always need to be moving forward so I think that is a good thing! I understand my style much better than 10 years ago when I think I was still more worried about what I thought I should be wearing rather than what I wanted to wear – especially in regards to my work wardrobe. My style is quite classic with (I hope) a bit of a chic and vintage thrown in for good measure.
    Thanks to you I have had a big revamp of my wardrobe this year and one of the most exciting things is seeing how it has impacted some of my friends to also make and effort and embrace something new and colourful to wear. As a mum of young girls I feel it is so important that we are comfortable and happy with what we wear and how we look.
    Best wishes for a happy, exciting, stylish and colourful new year!

  29. My style is definitely a work in progress – as fashion is constantly changing, the challenge is to try and find elements of the latest styles that suit ME.

    BTW your mantra “Don’t buy it unless you absolutely LOVE it” came in handy on the weekend – I could easily have bought half a dozen “bargains” that I would quickly have put aside. Instead, I spent a bit more on the ONE item that I absolutely fell in love with (and will probably wear to death!). You can find out what it is in today’s blog post!

  30. Hi Nikki, I’m excited about this boot camp and a wee bit daunted! My style is eclectic. There are days when I’m super conservative and days when I return to my boho hippy-chick youth. Most of my wardrobe is work clothes and I’m corporate for work (ho hum). I abandoned suit wearing about 4 years ago and now wear dresses and tailored skirts/tops – a bit more interesting and less black/grey/navy, although not much. I have very few weekend/non-work clothes, so what I have is on high rotation. Summer weekends I’ve been wearing sun dresses and winter weekends I mostly wear Metalicus dresses/leggings. I prefer skirts and dresses. My kids (8 and nearly 10) could probably count the times they’ve seen me wear jeans. I definitely understand what I can wear well better than I did 10 years ago, but I’m a work in progress and am always happy to try something new. I hadn’t worn shorts for about 15 years, and inspired by your chambray and white post a few weeks back, I went to Jeans West and bought a pair of mid length denim roll ups. I love them and am wearing them today! Not quite sure why I held back. I’m looking forward to re-focusing my style with your help. Cheers!

  31. Can’t wait to see if this will help me sort out my own style!! At the moment, I have 4 different style wardrobes – a few of my old ‘teacher’ work clothes, my ‘farm worker’ clothes, my daggy mum clothes, then the nicer tops to mix and match with jeans if I’m going out somewhere nice (which hardly ever happens out here). When I don’t see people most days, I just don’t have the motivation. My hair just gets chucked up without brushing, my clothes are whatever I grab, but its usually denim on the bottom (jeans, shorts or skirt) and a tshirt on the top, most of which are plain colours – think BORING!!! I’ve bought necklaces and earrings, but why bother when there’s no-one but a 3yr old to notice? I actually feel sorry for my hubby.
    Oh goodness. This is so woe is me! But its not meant to be.
    I actually think I had style 10 years ago when I was working and dating and actually felt like putting in the effort, but I think i know what looks better on me today than I did then. Now I go looking at things that I know I would look good in, but they are usually so expensive that I can’t justify it for around the house clothes. Gosh Fashion is just soooo hard.

  32. Not so much as ‘nailed it’ but more the realisation that I don’t need to subscribe to one set look. I guess this would be the biggest thing I understand now that I didn’t 10 years ago. If I was to describe my style it would be bohemian one day, beachy the next, mixed up with sport, corporate or whatever I feel like wearing on the day. So I suppose you could say my style is chameleon and I’m happy with this!

    1. Sorry, I should also add that these ahha moments have only come about since finding your blog. So thank you Nikki for all your help over the past 2 years and I am looking forward to lots more ahha moments with your help. Happy & healthy 2013

      1. Oh, I’m glad that you’ve been getting some ahha moments from here over the past couple of years – here’s to a few more! And nothing wrong with mixing up those wardrobe personalities. I’m all for it!

  33. I think I have a strong personal style but it also incorporates change as changes happen. I don’t try to keep up with fashion too much but as new things come in, old things have to go. I am really just learning about basics and I have been terrible at layering in the past. I am terrible at accessorising too, I just don’t want to spend my money on accessories when the budget is tight. I definitely understand my own style better now than in the past. I am plus size and I love a V-neck anything and wrap dresses. I would say my style of dressing basically classic in that I mostly like to keep it simple. I would also say my style is confident with a hint of drama.

  34. Happy New Year Nikki, I’m quite new to you blog but I’ve read a year’s worth of posts over the past week. Love the idea of a style boot camp. I’m a teacher so my look is professional but not corporate on workdays and preppy casual on weekends. I need most help on mixing and matching and playing with colour. Looking forward to all your tips.

  35. Ssshhhh talk quietly please, it’s 2hours earlier here and I’ve just located the panadol. Thanks for the motivational push to start the new year with a bang! Love it. Style: kinda ok, know what suits my body, I think but the overall look would be hard to define. Yes got it together a little better in the last 10 years especially with accessories. Mmmm see that’s where I’m not sure, not full on conservative but not preppy, definitely not hippie….help!

  36. Nikki, I turned 55 yesterday and I have a weird collection of different personality styles, some of which I am sick of trying to explain to my 21yo daughter. Also don’t have too much of any one style so I constantly have trouble trying to mix and match. I’ve even been with a stylist and I’m still confused! I do enjoy it though, but I still end up with lonesomes in my wardrobe, hence the three orange necklaces purchased recently but nothing that quite goes with them. LOL I will be joining in with all of you lovely ladies to try and qwell the mish mash.

  37. 1. Complete and utter rebuild.

    2. A lot. But I’m still searching for my “base” which I can then use to express all the different sides of me.

    3.A smash up, with some jaws of life needed.

  38. I am in my late forties and a size 14-16 and I like to dress in current fashions. I have teenage children who will let me know if I’m on the right track or have completely lost the plot. I love accessories and use them to enhance simple outfits. I have quite a lot of black in my wardrobe, but would like to experiment more with colour. I definitely have more style now than I did 15-20 years ago!

  39. I think my style is a work progress still. I have friends that have it sorted, they have chosen a brand like Review or David Lawrence and only shop there. Style for them is done. My style is mostly classic with a bit of a twist. I like to think I understand style now more than I used to, I definitely understand my body shape and what works for it. Alas I am still yet to find the perfect pair of jeans.

  40. I think I’m always going to be a work in progress: whenever I think I’ve got it sorted, I’m distracted by a new look or a new direction in life.
    Given I’m fitter and slimmer than I was in my teens (but never going to be skinny), I think I know this body pretty well and what suits it- I just need the occasional idea to help me wear the things I have and love in new ways.
    For example your idea of slip dresses under kaftans and shorter sun dresses, have got me wearing those things I used to think were so short they could only be worn with pants or jeans underneath. This has really extend my style and my wardrobe to be comfortable and cool, without showing too much hail damage on the thighs.

  41. I’m so excited about this series Nikki! 2012 was the year I decided to shed my Mummy frump and try and get some style happening, fortunately I found styling you! My pre-mummy style was dictated by my profession, corporate {*shudders} business like and a little classic {more like safe and damn boring}. Four years ago I began working in a creative role, and I love the freedom that gives me in my wardrobe. My style is a work in progress, and this boot camp with help define the direction – thanks girl and happy new year to you!

  42. Ah this is what i need! I’m just finishing uni and in a bit of a style rut- all my dresses seem too short (read: skanky. doesn’t help that im 5″10) but I don’t want to head into boring corporate wear…i want my style to be fun and put-together, like i know what I’m doing! excited for your advice, Nikki!

    1. It’s years since that was me but I still remember shopping for my first job after uni (and I had 3 days break between final exams and first day!) … was so tricky but you don’t have to lose your wardrobe personality in the process!

  43. My style has definitely changed over the last 10 years, mainly because I gained an extra 20kg thanks to my pesky thyroid, I find winter I’m fine summer I revert to maxi’s and Havianas as Kalgoorlie generally hovers around the low to mid 40’s – hot! I’m a bit over the maxi dresses but the ol thighs are a bit too chunky to be on display in shorts I think the main problem is when I look in the mirror I want to see the lean size 8 I used to be not what I am now 🙁

    1. Ah, Simone, you know I have the same pesky thyroid, don’t you? It’s a bloody frustrating battle of acceptance. That’s going to be part of this series because I feel that’s a big part of embracing our style as we get beyond our 20s x

  44. I love this post Nikki,right up my pancake flat bum alley,and No you don’t need to talk softly to me,I had a quiet new years and that is good too.I think I have my style nailed,but it is also a work in progress, isn’t that so true.I have a better style than 10 years ago because now I am true to me instead of asking other peoples opinions,I still do but only on a choice If I think it is not for me I don’t wear it and out it goes and the past 3 years or so I know what I like and I stick to it and also my body shape is not going to change either so I have accepted that as well,and it’s ok I have had 2 children and still am fairly thin,just thickened around the waist but as I approach my 50th year I am happy with my body.
    My style would be called Chic with a twist I think ,think feminine floaty fabrics,that don’t hug where I don’t want them too and a little bit of boho thrown in ,I still cannot resist a nice Kaftan,but I feel pretty and etheral in them,I get a lot of compliments about clothes I am wearing so I must be on the right track and I also can do Classy chic when the need arises ,but your blog has helped me be true to my personal style and I thankyou for that.

  45. For all of my thirties (and since having children) I have had style confusion. I always end up buying one off pieces but I want to buy mix and match, but mix and match with style. I like a lot of styles. I like sporty, feminine, city urban, casual and I love dresses in summer. I’m really looking forward to this Nikki. I hope you can help me find my style and direction!

  46. I’m in a transition stage with both kids now at school and about to enter my 40th year so a work in progress. I think I understood my style 10 years ago but I think with age has come more contentment to be me. I would say my style is relaxed elegance with a twist, with the occasional urge to have a fancy dress day (the other day I was being Ali Baba, though I don’t think anyone noticed).

  47. interesting!

    I love my casual neutrals but have realised that I need some of that fabulous you are talking about…hence this past year been popping in colours with shoes, a bright scarf and shed loads of arm candy…enjoying it and about to add a tonne more to it all xxx

    happy new year

  48. Today is always a challenge as I turn one year older and ponder the effects of aging! I certainly have a better understanding my style but stil have lapses and moments of “what was I thinking” but that’s all part of the fun. I am trying to emulate Parisienne chic at the moment except they don’t have guidelines for really hot humid weather that we have in Queensland! And white linen and silk clothes just can’t be part of my life with my disabled son along with long beaded necklaces but I refuse to give in and although I have little control over my life I can control my style so I love your blog and you have saved me a lot of time by picking out quite a few of my wardrobe pieces over the last few years! Thanks for that and I look forward to this challenge to kicistart me for the year!

    1. Where would we be without those lapses! And I agree, it’s so difficult to emulate Parisienne chic in a QLD summer. We actually had young French guests at my parents’ house for Christmas Day. I was in awe of how these girls made simple sun frocks look so chic.

  49. I think I know what doesn’t work but I really need some direction. Especially with trousers and skirt style & length. To be honest (and I loathe this fact) when I’m carrying those extra kilos I feel unmotivated with style. Summer terrifies me too.

    1. We’ll be working on that too Emily as I’m a big believer in feeling good in your clothes now – we shouldn’t put our style or life on hold because we’re not the weight we think we should be. Hard, I know but that’s part of my work in progress!

  50. I decided a few years ago that I LOVE dresses! Especially wrap dresses. Ive gone from a size 12 to 16 in the last few years (frumpy 40’s as mentioned) but my wrap dresses still do their thing (wrap!) and I always feel great in them. I do Nina’s scarves but not the whole boho look. Jeans? What are they? Been a few years since I could get in them and Im not buying big ones! Dresses it is!

  51. I am definitely a work in progress but very much enjoying it and having lots of fun trying on clothes I wouldn’t usually try (quite a lot of this thanks to you ). I am a 41 yr old mum of 3 working full time in office and love dressing up for work in Leona and Sacha frocks so would like to describe myself as a little bit glam. We emigrated from UK 10 yrs ago and feel that I lost my sense of fashion for my 30s as so busy having babies and not familiar with Australian shops and pining for L K Bennett, Whistles and Hobbs. Now I am embracing lots of Australian fashion much to my hubby’s dismay as spending way too much money on clothes and accessories but loving it! Can’t wait to go back to London in May for first time in 10 yrs wearing Australian designed clothes but may have to pop into a few of my old favourite high st shops!

  52. Thank you for this opportunity. A New Year, a fresh start. I’m definitely a work in progress, but so much further ahead than last year. Can’t wait to read what you have in store for us.

  53. I have finally found my personal style in my early forties, and now I’m enjoying my fashion choices, just in fighting off the whole idea of frumpy forties with every choice I make in my wardrobe. The funny thing is, since I started making good style choices, I’ve noticed other women at work have started to too. My style is my personal version of tidy boho 🙂 Lets just say I have a lot to thank Nina Proudman for.

  54. My style is a work in progress…but thats the fun bit 🙂
    I have a much better idea of my style today than 10 years ago (or even 2 years ago when I found this site). As I near 40 (2 weeks time) I am more relaxed about trying new styles than ever, oh I miss my 20 year old body but I do not miss my 20 year old insecurities.
    I am a stay at home mum so “smart casual” is my general style but I tend to have days when I dress in a theme…do other people do that?
    Common ‘themes’ are nautical, preppy, 1950’s house wife, 1990’s blazers (thinking Cindy Crawford here), Parisian chic..I guess these are my fun days when I have a little more energy to ‘play’ with my clothes.

    Looking forward to the next 14 days! Should be fun 🙂

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