Do You Stray, Then Return To Your Tried And True Styles?

Part of the joy of fashion is experimenting, stepping outside our comfort zones. Some women do adopt a uniform and wear it throughout their lives, but these are few, and most of them have rather striking features and personalities.

The majority of us enjoy changing our look periodically, incorporating trends, and trying new colors and silhouettes. I have a theory though (well, I have thousands of theories and no one wants to hear them) that we tend to move back toward our tried and true looks. That we revert to the mean, to use a math analogy.

I don’t mean that we never change our style, of course we do. I for one will not be found in stiff, corporate suits, nude hose and pumps again. That chapter of my life is over. And the bold skin-baring looks of youth will not pass my closet door.

But I yam what I yam and I know what I know. In broad strokes, I have a feminine look: pale skin, light curly hair and a slim, elongated form. I know that these looks are my best:

  • Muted colors. No primary colors.
  • Soft lines rather than very crisp ones.
  • Subtle prints.
  • Flowing skirts and dresses.
This Anthropologie dress is so my-style, though I prefer sleeves.
  • Defined waistlines.
  • Medium-proportioned jewelry and handbags.

I try to move outside my comfort zone, and that’s been one of the goals of Visible Monday. I’ve had success in adding new colors (pale yellow), silhouettes (midi skirts) and accessories (love my colored tights). But although I have wandered over to the following looks, they really did not feel/look like “me”, so they’ve ended up in consignment and thrift stores:

  • Sharply tailored blazers with shoulder pads.
  • Crisp white man-tailored shirts with big collars.
I adore this look but it doesn’t work for me.
  • Black leather jackets (I love them, but a fitted gray or dark brown one would be more me).
  • Plaids – near my face anyway. A plaid skirt is divine.
  • Bold, over-sized pieces. Love them, but not on me.

What about you? Do you “stray” in search of a new look, then find yourself returning to your tried and true? Do you have a range of looks that’s “you” and do you feel uncomfortable when you move outside of it?

Or are you a true chameleon, happy to change looks as the mood arises, and comfortable in many styles? No wrong answers of course, I love to hear your views!

(Visited 111 times, 1 visits today)



  1. I have been on my style journey for the past three years. What I have learned so far is: learn to dress my own body, imitating styles of others is difficult to do when my body is very different than the one inspiring me, know my colors that flatter dont use the fashion colors that dont flatter me,get clothes that fit me ignore the size numbers concentrate on fit, use the pieces of clothing that are my classics and play with the fabric textures and accessories that work. So I have discoveded that in the past I tried too hard, too much jewlery too many weird clothing shapes and details made for a crazy mess. I ended up looking like I was wearing costumes. I like to define my style as typical classics with a color or textural twist.  

  2. Knowing what you don't like is as important as knowing what you love. True in clothing, true in everything else, too!
    I am always going to go for plaid, bold colors, unusual patterns, a-line skirts. I'm usually going to avoid polka dots, pastels, mini skirts and pants.

  3. I think we all have an idea of what suits us best, but it's interesting to challenge that and try something different, otherwise you can end up in a samey rut. I have some can't dos – short skirts is one, unless over leggings or trousers, and I don't feel I look good in a high/roll neck  – but never say never! It's great to have an overall signature style, but it's great to shake it up a bit too!

  4. Patti,  I think that I am a chameleon.  I love trying different styles, silhouettes and colors but most of my outfits must include something thrifted, vintage or both.  This is a great read. Enjoyed!  dawn Suitcase Vignettes xo

  5. It certainly sounds like you know your style well.
    I know what I like but I'm not adverse to trying something new, occasionally. Huge pieces of statement jewellery, vibrant jewel colours and dramatic prints are my thing. x

  6. It's nice to try new looks sometimes, you certainly know what suits you and wear what flatters you most. I am sometimes still experimentalling. I tend to steer towards neutral colors, after a few bright color outfits, I still go back to neutrals.

  7. It sounds like you have your personal style defined and I admire your ability to describe it in detail.  An inspiring skill!

  8. I think we are style sisters, or at least close cousins! I gravitate toward simple, soft-but-structured styles. I'm starting to play more with color, having had my color analysis done gives me more confidence in that area, but I'll probably hew to my core wardrobe of classic neutrals, and add color here and there for interest. I avoid: large/loud prints, anything too frou-frou or twee, boxy or shapeless pieces, and anything with detailing that overwhelms my petite frame. Great post!!

  9. Hi Patti,
    Merry Holidays to you! You know me by now i think i will try about anything! But i think i have found my style – funky, comfortable, colorful and elegant.
    I would be uncomfortable in a corporate suit – I do not wear short skirts or dresses, but if short – i will wear leggings or opaque tights – i have a problem with showing my bare legs –


  10. Lately, I seem to fall on the chameleon side of my style.I have a strong urge to experiment a little. I hope we will all like the results.

  11. The way you pose your questions really makes me think, Patti. I vascillate and ossilate between totally tailored–establishment AND assymetrical–unique. I like knowing the trends and I like to try as many as possible. Lately, I am seeing that there are some trends that morph but don't really change–like leopard, breton, and plaid. And I think these are the undergirding for any woman's wardrobe and you throw the trend on top of that. Anyway, I think I'll do a blog post in response to yours. I'll let you know when I post it. Thanks for making me think. Toodles, D

  12. I'm still floundering around looking for a personal style. It's very much trial and error, and I still tend to be swayed but what looks good on other people rather than thinking of what fits with my own appearance and lifestyle. It's a challenge, but at least it's an enjoyable one!

  13. I have a tendency to want to change it up and keep it fresh while still having my classics at hand.

  14. I like re-inventing myself in the fashion sense of course.
    I adore fliritng with fashion. I see the body as a wonderful canvas – to paint;-)
    Happy holidays.

  15. Patti, I LOVE the idea of having a signature style.  I have found that my first year of blogging was spent with MUCH experimentation because creative stimulation from other blogs is just overwhelming.  So I found that I strayed and tried some things that truly weren't me.  But what a great learning experience!  It's helped me really hone in on what I like and feel best in!  Hope your Christmas was WONDERFUL!  Hugs!  ~Serene

  16. I established my shopping guidelines to control my straying…because it used to be out of control.  But, I am still experimenting in good ways which lead to some different and fun looks this past year.  I have to be careful not to return to my crazy ways…it just did not work!!

  17. I change looks all the time – but I have two fairly distinct "personalities". I have my biker badass that stems from my leathers, metals and other tough fabrics in lots of grey and black. And on the other side I am drawn to that English professor tweed, Old English boots, rich browns etc. It all winds up mixed with a little of both sometimes, but I think some days it's a give a flow about who I feel like I am. I am always changing.

  18. I think it's very hard to move away from our own style. This can create a rut, but it also means we look like ourselves. I've found that when I attempt new things I'm often pleasantly surprised, but some things never feel "right"

    Great post !

  19. Hello! I just found your blog and I
    think it's AMAZING! The pics are great and I can see that You really
    like what you do here! I love people with great ideas, like you!

    Your blog is inspiring! I will follow


    Merry Christmas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.