Personal Style Project: Who Am I?

The second part in Retrochick’s guide to style is determining who I am and how the things I like can be incorporated into what I do all days.

What’s my job?

I currently work in an office environment. I don’t have many client meetings and the general dress code is quite casual. Coming back almost 2 years ago, after my first maternity leave, I wanted to reinvent myself and create a new professional image. I think I went too far. Seeing how we can dress pretty casual I wanted to leave behind the SAHM-image I had gotten during the past year (more about that below) and went overload with strict, neutral, classic work wear. I should adapt my style within the dress code, not let the dress code dictate what I wear. Even if I was to work in a place with a more strict dress code I should still let my personal style show itself and not let an image of how one’s supposed to dress rule me.

Perhaps this was a little out of the line of the question, but as I’ve been thinking about my style and choices I’ve realised the issue above and that I need to lay my work there. I think that most of the pictures I collected from magazines, as well as most of my homemade garments, would work in an office environment (here in Sweden), with a few additional pieces if I need to dress more business.

Hobbies/Free time

Well, you all know what my main hobby is, which is why I’m doing this in the first place. Having sewing as my main hobby means that I can influence my style in any way imaginable, which is a very big benefit of having this hobby.

As for the rest of my free time we do spend a lot of time at home, in the garden during summer, and visits with family and friends. Starting with the time we spend at home I really don’t like how I dress. Most of the time I’m in sweat pants, shapeless t-shirts and a cardy. I wish to find a leisure style in which I don’t have to change to go to the supermarket or be embarrassed if we were to get surprise visitors. My work and leisure clothes need to come closer together in stead of being two completey separate wardrobes.

Another aspect in combining work and leisure is that when I pick the kiddo up from preschool I want to be able to play with him on the playground coming home. That won’t work if I’m dressed in pencil skirts and button downs. Having a kid means sitting on the floor, going on slides ie. you have to be able to move around comfortably. Without falling into the “boring” trap, that’s my challenge.

Body Shape

I think my body shape already influenced the things I chose in the last part. Having watched endless hours of Trinny and Susannah I’ve become aware of body shapes. Anyway, I think hourglass would best describe me, large chest, narrow waist and large hips (with the addition that I don’t know what I will look like a few months – or a year – from now). The styles I like with full  skirts, defined waists etc. work for me, so I think my awareness of my body shape plays a part in what things I like.


I’ve never really given my colouring much thought, I pretty much just buy what I think looks nice. I have dark brown hair with pretty pale skin. The impression I’m under is that I “need” pretty strong colours to play with. I’m particularly drawn to dark purples and burgundy, especially in the winter time (Little Purple Dress). In the summer I want fun, light colours to match the weather (Orangery Skirt, Purple Pleated Skirt), I just need to figure out how to match them. I don’t like to wear black, any season, and if I do it’s a base or spiced up with some other colour. Other than that I think yellow is a rare colour in my wardrobe, I just haven’t been drawn to it. I’m currently working on a light blue dress, I’m not sure about the colour yet, but I’ll see how it plays out in the future (it’s a nursing dress so it will get worn either way, but I’ll have an excuse not to wear it beyond the nursing period). Perhaps I need stronger colours.

Phew, these post really makes me think and even now I think I have a pretty good idea what I want and need. But I’ll keep working, the next part deals with what I already have. The short answer: way too much, but still nothing to wear. The long answer will be explored later on.


8 thoughts on “Personal Style Project: Who Am I?

  1. Hi Helena, I meant to comment on last post but got distracted but I was going to say I think darker colours look great on you, they’re the outfits that popped out at me looking back over the memademonths. When you started trying to make neutrals you leaned towards palers colours also but i think you’d get more from bright&/dark solids rather than beiges. Also, have you seen Steph from 3 Hours Past new pattern range Cake Patterns? She’s released 2 patterns so far and I think both would suit your body shape and requirements – moveable, fun & still work friendly!

    • Thanks for you feedback! Yes, I’ve seen and drooled over several Tiramisu dresses all over the sewing blog world, I think perhaps I need to get that pattern. I’m also beginning to think that I should make colour “my thing”.

    • I must admit that I’m not sold on tunic and leggings on me. On other people it can look good, but I just don’t feel comfortable in it. But, one more vote in the colour department!

  2. I’m enjoying your interpretation of this series. I followed the link to her site and she has some interesting stuff. She makes it feel feasible!

    • Three years ago I followed the series as a thought experiment. That didn’t work so well, so I figured it’d be best to put my thoughts on paper. Plus you guys are so kind with feedback, which is hard to get on thoughts. I really like that series, plus she has some more links in to help out even more.

  3. I guess that’s why I’ve been very adamantly a jeans girl all throughout college and beyond–I like them, but additionally, I never wanted to let myself fall into the sweatpants trap! But some basic knit tops in nice colors and/or prints could be a good work-home transitional thing. You can wear them under jackets for a more casual professional look, and still play with the kiddo in them later.

    • I’m determined to leave the sweatpant trap (expect for sick days :)). Basic knit tops are definitely what I need, too bad knits here are pretty expensive compared to vowens.

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