Unlock your style in 14 days | your style will change as you do. Go with it

Unlock your style in 14 days: Your style will change

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 39 Comments

My dad has retired. Fully as of 12 months ago. With my step-mum still working, that’s left a whole lot of time for him to tinker.

It’s just that he’s not a shed tinker-er. He’s a computer tinker-er.

The upshot of some of this tinkering meant that we sat down to Christmas lunch with a slide show of hundreds of “vintage” photos scrolling across the flat-screen TV thanks to Apple TV.

This, of course, provided hours of amusement, guffawing and “awkies” moments for my children and husband. They reacted particularly in such a manner to my 1984 Desperately-Seeking-Susan-in-a-Melbourne-Winter outfit which I’m so generously sharing with you below {bottom right}. You’ll notice my attention to detail. The hat, the scarf, the vest, the double-looped studded belt, the FINGERLESS gloves and the socks tucked into ankle boots.

Yes, my 17-year-old self was working it, Baby ๐Ÿ˜‰

My point? That was where my headspace and style was at. And that was ok.

Sure, it’s good for a laugh now but at least I was having a go.

And, as you can see with the snapshot of my style profile below, I’ve been particularly fond of “having a go” over the years.

I may not have always been on target but, hey, that’s part of the fun of playing, isn’t it?

And really, it’s also about remembering that our style WILL change and does change because we do.

When that happens, instead of beating yourself up about what you used to wear or how lost you were, just go with it.

Your style will change as you do. Go with it.

Move on to your next style stage.

Take new chances and have fun. What’s the worst that can happen?

Oh, ok someone might tag you in a photo on Facebook from your school days … a photo you’d hoped was dead and buried along with the negatives it was processed with.

But if you’re now confident about who you are and what your style is then this will be easier to laugh off … at least for as long as it takes to untag yourself and pretend it never happened.

Now, let’s talk through some of those style stages, shall we?

Unlock your style in 14 days | your style will change as you do. Go with it

There’s the High School stage. I’ve covered off on this one a bit but suffice to say, most of us follow the crowd. A few break away from the crowd and hindsight will give you the benefit of seeing why. They were the tortured artists, the creatives and they went on to become famous or semi-famous creative types.

If you attended Uni, then most of us still followed the pack. I went to uni in the ’80s so it was a pretty dodgy pack to follow. Perms were an acceptable form of hair styling. And the campus uniform was one of home-sewn shorts made from animal-print curtain material, worn back with a rip-off Lacoste polo shirt that someone’s Dad brought back from a business trip to Hong Kong and Dunlop Volleys worn as slip ons. Classy. If we had to frock up it was all about the taffeta. The more of it the better.

Entering the workforce,ย following three years of dubious styling, provided the first real style challenge. Suddenly office dress code expectations were thrust upon you. I did not know where to start. My jobs up until this point had come with a bonus sack-style pale blue uniform on the side. Enter stage left, Country Road and what was to become my life-long love affair. I mastered at preppy.

The next big change for me – and my style – was falling pregnant for the first time and second times. There wasn’t a whole lot of time between those two pregnancies and somewhere along the way someone handed me an access-all-areas ticket to Mumsie-ville. See that photo above, to the left of the fingerless gloves ensemble? Yep, that’s me at the height of my Mumsie-ville mode. Princess Di haircut, signature colour of navy and gold chunky jewellery. Cropped out of the photo is my now 16-year-old daughter, who I had styled in Osh Kosh navy, complete with navy hat. I KNOW.

The real me? I think she’s emerged in the past 10 years. Particularly in the past five years. She’s less likely to follow the pack {although currently obsessively attracted to anything neon}. She’s happy to mix up her style personalities and embrace whichever one wants to play on any given day.

She’s excited about what her future style will bring because she’s more confident at choosing clothes and makeup that make her feel fabulous.

And importantly, she’s OK with her past style choices. Because they are just that. They’re in the past.

Style work

The style work is simple today. I want you to have a bit of fun with this.

When you look back on your style “stages”, what’s the stage you remember most? Share your thoughts below.

Do you have a photo of you in that stage that you’re game to share in the comments below or on Instagram?

PS. Don’t forget if you want to share any of your progress along the way via photos, you can upload them in the comments or share via Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #unlockyourstyle and make sure you tag me so I can find it (@stylingyou). Facebook uploads to my page are welcome ย too.




** 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.

Unlock Your Style in 14 Days (Day 4 manifesto winner): Allira Sierke. Allira, could you please email me your postal address: [email protected]

Comments 39

  1. I do like your (what we Sydneysiders call) “Mosman Housewife” look with the Princess Di bob and prominent solid gold chain. You always had it, Nikki. x

  2. I can remember quite a few.

    Early primary school (1993-4) – Matching outfits, hats and hair with my best friend. Think fluoro striped leotards, brightly coloured denim vest and shorts combo, those full brim hats that had the front clipped up with an oversized flower pinned on it. Oh and matching permed fringes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Late primary school (1999) – One of my favourite stages and when I realised I was a little different from all the primadonnas I happened to go to school with. At my Year 7 graduation I had a bob-ish haircut with an undercut and my hair was dyed blue. I wore khaki 3/4 pants, platform slip on shoes, a khaki singlet with a Hawaiian shirt-esque tee over the top. It was very “out there” considering all the girls worse dresses.

    Mid-late high school (2002-4) – All out punk.

  3. Great post, and so true. I thought you did the Princess Di look very well, Nikki! Some of my past style gaffes don’t bear thinking about, and I think I’ve become more confident with age. Styling You definitely helps me to branch out and not be afraid to try new things ๐Ÿ™‚ I recently followed your advice and bought some bright floral skinny jeans – something in the past I would not have thought of as I’m over 50.

  4. Love this post Nikki. Made me a little nostalgic actually!

    I think my fave fashion faze would be the uni years… had a love affair with doc marten boots and satin dresses. Also loved the hippy tops and checked flanno pants. They really were just an excuse not to get out of your PJs.

    The other major item that comes to mind are a pair of red corduroy pants my mum bought and made me wear. I hated them because they were soooo red. Now I adore red… love me a pair of red shoes and find it hard to leave a red handbag without a home.

    Definitely more than a few changes over the years.

  5. Like you Nikki, I think those 80s high school years stand out for me – I wavered between the extremes of punk rock chick and preppy, with a sideline in Cyndi Lauper multi-hued eyeshadow! Grunge and downright lazy also got a look in ๐Ÿ™‚ Definitely some interesting times. I think this may explain my current aversion to the return of neon (or what we used to call fluoro) and tiered (aka ruffle) skirts!

    The funny thing is, despite now spending most of my 9-5 days in an office environment, I still embrace elements of my teen self’s style. But they’ve grown up with me and have evolved to fit my age, lifestyle and (I hope!) more mature attitude. I still love a fitted frock (though it’s now more Mad Men than 80s supermodel body con!) but I pair it with nude cage heels and a leather jacket. I love classic, pared back, natural looking make up (a million thank yous for introducing me to BB creams!) but will happily show off an orange pedi or black mani (or both!) alongside. And when I have the time and really want to show off, it’s pin up girl curls and red lips all the way even if I’m in a T-shirt and jeans.

    I love fashion for the fun, let’s-play-dress-ups feeling it gives me. My style shows you parts of my personality and how I’m feeling that day without me having to say a word. And that’s what fashion – and evolving your style – is all about.

  6. Ha, Nikki, you’ve already got me in two of my formal frocks from the mid-80, I did find a classic shot though of me and my Dad, I’m in a floral, backless jumpsuit, with the full on hair to the side! My Mum was sad that we didn’t have a shot from the back!! I think the stage that sticks in my head was early 90’s obsessive black sundresses, and brogues!! I have to say the thing I loved best about going to college (it changed to a Uni whilst I was there) was being able to wear shorts every single day – after so many years in a school uniform it was great!

  7. I’m enjoying my style satge at the moment, I’m just starting to realise the body I have, not the body I thought I had or the body I want, and starting to try and dress for that. It can be fun & cringe-worthy all at the same time!

  8. Yes I am happy with my style now Nikki,I know what I do and don’t like and am true to that,but it will always be evolving.I don’t think we grow up until we are in our 40s or so,My style days I remember most are probably the 80s and 90s and yes there is some very cringe worthy pics in there,I went from hippy chic,think Tree of life tops and dresses, flared jeans and ugg boots and anything cheesecloth,but the worst thing I ever owned was when I started working in fashion and I had a jumpsuit that came to the knee it was the most ugly thing,rock on to the fab 90s look of leggings tops and boot socks….remember those eww,and hiking boots and what gets me is the leggings wheren’t black they were colours,like cream and burgundy Nice…not but I thought I was hot hot hot,very much the fashionista,with 2 little kids and my daughter dressed like mummy and My son dressed in double denim like dad,dark and acid wash and white shoes and his hair long and cool or so we thought.
    When I get a chance I will did out a pic and post it on Instagram.
    You are so lucky your dad made a slideshow to watch I bet the kids got a massive giggle I know mine do when going through old pictures.I try and keep them hidden.

  9. What a transformation! It’s certainly true that we get better with age. My most memorable style season was the early nineties when I was in my late teens and I completely copied what the girls on Beverly Hills 90210 were wearing. As I went to uni (along with the tv show cast) the look was all biker boots, long skirts, denim jackets. A big part of me still loves that look!
    What an entertaining post!

  10. I think the main thing as I have got older is that while I’m still influenced by fashion I find I’m much less extreme with changes and nowadays it is more like a nod to what’s in rather than a full makeover.

  11. Great memories Nikki! It is so true that our style changes with fashion, mood, state of mind and time. I’ve had many ‘styles’ over the years (including the perm – saved my pocket money for months to get it done!) but it is the last few years since having children and getting back into shape where I feel my ‘style’ has deserted me! Thank God you came along I say ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Love this post Nikki. I actually thought you looked very pretty in your Mumsy phase! My style stages go something like: 80s fluoro and tube skirts, semi-rude girl short tartan skirts and pants, whatever was in fashion next, hippie, grunge, rock chick, hippie again (5 years of backpacking), wanky Bondi Beach casual chic, luxe boho, 70s hippie, a short stint of single mother op shop chic, “I miss Sydney” black everything, then edgy boho, eclectic, organic, slightly rock chick mixed with semi-hippie with regular appearances by the colour (or non-colour) black โ€” oh god, I’m so confused….

  13. Easy – the mix of tomboy/hippy chick/bikie that I started forming at uni (in the 80s). Tight jeans (some of them heavily patched), everything thrifted or hand-made. I’d do the occasional “dressy”, but could never maintain it for long. I scored a suede vest (in Bellingen) with snakes and roses painted on it that I absolutely loved and wore to death – over a top or by itself. Plaited leather headband (no idea where that went). That’s pretty much remained the pattern, although the jeans aren’t as tight, I no longer wear a headband and I’ve gained curves with the years. Last year was pretty bad health-wise and what work I did was from home. I’m only in the office one day a week now (do the rest remotely), so the more formal clothing has receded in use.

  14. Love it Nikki. Growing up and going to high school in the early 90’s my style went from surfer chic to grunge. Bet my Mum was thrilled with that style choice. Lots of flannel shirts, jeans and work boots. As tragic as it was, I loved it at the time and I guess that is all it matters! And gee it was comfortable!

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