Learning From My Style Oops-es

We learn best though experience, as opposed to mere reading and observing, right? That’s why, even though I’ve read about and observed various wardrobe pieces that I knew wouldn’t work for me, I bought them anyway. So I could really learn the lesson.

It’s fashion, not surgery, so there’s no catastrophic results. And we do have to experiment in real life to find the good new looks. How else would I know that I actually love ankle booties with dresses?

But I’ve also pulled some style boners in my journey to fabulous-ness. Here are a few:

1.  Big chunky necklaces. I love, love them, but they overwhelm me and end up looking silly/costumey on my small frame. Pendants and more refined necklaces look best.

Gorgeous, but it weighs me down. Source.
This size flatters me much more. Source.

2.  Tiny silk scarves. I’ve tried tying these around my neck in an oh-so-Parisienne fashion, and they just don’t work for me. I need a nice full or long scarf to loop around my neck a time or two.

This scarf’s a winner for me. Source.

3.  Hats. I so want to do hats like the beautiful Judith, or Kathleen of That’s a Pretty Hat. But I have a really large head and unruly curly hair, and most hats either don’t fit, or squish my hair. I do like a pretty scarf headband.

4.  Speaking of hair, straightening it. I’ve tried Keratin treatments and flat irons. Always a fashion don’t for me. A couple of years ago, I finally and firmly committed to letting my curls go free. It’s a relief and a style plus, I think.

5.  Bright colors near my face. I have succombed to this trend a few times, and always regretted it. Brights overpower my pale skin and create too much competition with my face. It’s very jarring. Muted colors are my friends.

Pretty top, but a dead color for me. Source.
Ahh, that’s much better for my low-contrast coloring. Source.

How about you, dear readers? Any oops-es you care to confess to? Are you wiser than I, and have you avoided the pot-holes?

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  1. I'm so glad you shared the big head thing, although it looks just the right size on your blog. I adore hats, but like all the women in my family, have a freakin' large skull. I cannot wear most manufactured hats. The Costume Technician did make me a custom hat that I love to death.

  2. Thanks for the shout out! I have managed to weed out all the oopsies from my wardrobe. My main crime was buying clothes that were a little too big and didn't define my waist. I find shopping so much easier now – I have a favorite silhouette and fabric weight. I also used to buy cheap shoes. Now I have just a few pair, and they are all quality. 

  3. Yes, plenty of oopsies.  Curiously, although I used to wear a lot of neutrals, I no longer believe they are my friend as I age!  I have plenty of oopsies photos too, but I don't ever publish them!

  4. I have LOTS of oopses! But a recent one would be buying a nice floral hat during a trip abroad for a day safari. When I got to see the photos afterwards, the hat looked so silly on me. I don't know how people pull of fedoras or floppy hats, but it DID NOT go well with me.


  5. A friend once told me, "try everything on you can never tell".  I hate to try things on.  When I am in the store and the clerks ask if they can start me a room I tell them all I need is a mirror to hold things up.  I can usually eliminate most items just doing that.  I cannot wear prints of any kind except cotton ethnic pants.  I cannot wear any accessories that are subtle.  I have to have big bold pieces even at 5'3 and 115pds.  I cannot wear scarves of any kind without looking matronly.  I try to keep an open mind but seems like my choices are getting more and more limited but does not stop me from the thrill of the hunt.

  6. i just had one of these fashion faux pas with cropped pants
    i know i hate them on me, i never buy them, but sucommed to a pair and desperately need someone to take them out of my closet… NOW

  7. Well, we are sisters, indeed. I struggle with hats for EXACTLY the same 2 reasons. They really destroy a curly 'do. However, they are quite useful if you want to be able to go out in the world before washing and styling your hair! I rely on this trick quite a bit when I'm on vacation, going to the beach, etc. As for my "oopses:" every time I buy a pair of cropped pants or bermuda-type shorts, they go unworn. Yet, I keep trying.

  8. Your post made me think about what doesn't work for me and I came up with quite an internal list.  Your hair is one of your beautiful signatures and it frames your face like a halo.  No need to cover it with a hat if it's not your passion.

    Thanks for the mention Patti.  During the hat shop days we had a hat stretcher that allowed women to wear hats that didn't fit because of head size.  We also had a method to alter hats that were too large for some women.  But these were women who wanted to wear a hat that spoke to them.  It was fun to be able to allow this to happen and they always walked out the door with a smile.  We called it 'hat therapy.'

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog & glad you found me through Bella! My style is ever changing & sometimes I think "did I freaking wear that a couple of months ago"?  One was my maxi skirt with a tank top…..sounds OK but so did not work!

  10. I love this post- you are sharing how you arrive to your personal style. I feel it is so important to experiment AND make those mistakes so you can find your style wins! I appreciate how you are not putting down the things that don't work for you, just noting that they don't work for you- bright colors near the face- not for you, but for others a great way to enjoy their dress. I love statement necklaces and ear-rings, but they don't work for me- I live vicariously through others the power of jewelry, as its just to busy for my face.

    And I love your glorious hair! While I admire the straight as a ruler hair, I know how tough fashion is on curly-heads, but the only way to go what works, and spending way to much time on things that don't matter, like hair straightening keep us from spending time on things that do- like sunrise watching. Your hair is part of your signature style and it hopefully inspires others to stop fighting what nature gave you, and to work with what works best for you. 

  11. Your hair is beautiful! I'm glad your not torturing it trying to get it to be something it's not. (Irony from me with thin, straightish hair who has a perm to get curls and body) 🙂

  12. The Oopes did happen, mostly when I was younger. I think the worst was the flattop, or my insistence on wearing one LONG earring and the other ear bare, and then there were so many COLORS in my hair too, and I struggled with that one along with trying to find my fashion sense. I was changing my hair color constantly, because I learned to do that from my mother who dyed her hair and also wore many wigs. I settled during my early 20's on a refined and elegant style, and even though I have occasionally deviated from that, getting a little rebellious, depending on what was going on in my life, my taste is still pretty much the same. I know what looks good on me and what doesn't and it hasn't changed much. That is why I can't follow trends. I have to wear what looks best on me and trends are not about that. This is a great post, it got me to thinking.

  13. Gee–where to start?? Leggings with anything. My legs are good–but the proportions with my round body make leggings a dud.
    Sleeves that don't come to my elbow at least–cap sleeves make me look dumpy.
    Bobbed hair–yeah i know it's trendy but my hair will not cooperate and then i look like i skinned some roadkill and plopped it on my head.
    And I will not discuss what I wore in the 80's!!! 
    I think taking pictures and blogging has helped with the oopses/

  14. Wrap-front dresses and tops are not for me.  For awhile they were in style, they may still be for all I know, but they're not coming into my closet – anymore.

  15. Thank you so much for this post.  I try to "do" certain things and end up feeling and looking stupid.  I tend to dress very classically, but sometimes the "fad" wins me over and I just look dumb.  I am a "woman of size"–shall we just say fat and get it over with.  I also have very short legs. I recently paid serious bucks for a lace tiered maxi skirt that I fell in love with.  It is the wrong color and I am really short so the maxi just looks silly.  I so wanted to do the maxi trend, but it is not for me.  

  16. I am impressed. I have thought some of the same things. I still buy things that don't work. I must make a similar list for myself to take shopping and look at it while there.

  17. gosh, sometimes i realize how unflattering some of my pieces are after i take a blog pic.  i'll notice that some lose tops just don't photograph well.  i also realize i look much better NOT in a sleeveless top but rather it looks better with a jacket or cardi over it!


  18. Patti, you made me smile with this post!!  How many oops-ees?  I've lost count. I still try, and end up with my fashion-victim days!!  Recently?  Hmmm.  I tried a thrifted batwing silk top in pinks and aquas, very 80's. (In retrospect, not good colors for me in those tones)  Paired it with my denim maxi skirt, a necklace from my great aunt, silver flip flops etc.  Long story short, when I went to do a voice-over session, my younger/hipster co-worker burst out laughing.  I think it was the silver flip flops that put it over the top.  Maybe I was trying too hard?

    Whatever!!  Win some, lose some.  You can't ever say I didn't try. 🙂 

  19. One of my big blunders was buying three pairs of Danskos because I was in love with them but ending up falling and injuring my ankle in them twice before I ended up throwing them in the give away bag. Horrible mistake.
    I've stopped wearing too tight tops. Never flattering on me. I can't even tell you how many of those mistakes I've made.

  20. Blasted swing coats, trapeze coats – I keep buying them, and I never learn that they look awful with my big boobs. I also cannot wear anything with an empire waist!

  21. For me, comfort tends to go first. I adore pencil skirts and sky high heels, but pencil skirts get caught on my full bum and heels make my knees hurt even though my feet can take it. I'll try anything once, but typically I stick with tailored options. I do still have a few blouse-y or loose things floating around, but it's usually paired with something structured to balance it out. Loose things just make me look heavier, not model like. I'm too petite for it.

    I learned long ago that 90% of the time a poof sleeve will not work. I do own a few, very few poof sleeves that are cut in such a way that I don't feel like a football player, but otherwise I pretty much discard anything with a poof. 

  22. I also learn from trial and error, and blogging has taught me about many wrong choices!!  Oops for me would be oversized earrings; oversized, shapeless tops and jackets (I love them, but they never really look good); high heels; most pastels.

  23. I love scarves as accessories and wear them all year around. I've been doing it for years and now I finally look trendy. Go figure. Am I going to look passe' when the style moves on? Will I care? I think I'm a in a permanent state of fashion oops-es anyhow. 😉

    Congratulations on going with your curly hair! You look great. I wish more people would stop fighting nature. All those chemicals can't be good for you.

  24. I love your text and blog. You have a wonderful sense of humor. I know what you write about – it's hard work. 🙂 I tried with hats I have a few but it does not work well for me. And no I'm not very clever 😀

  25. I used to think warm colors were my friend and religiously wore them.  Of course I was constantly told how tired I looked.  But usually I was tired so my reaction was more, "oh. OK.  thanks for pointing that out."  Then I had a color analysis done to find out I was a cool summer.  I slowly transitioned my wardrobe to reflect those colors…and it made a big difference.  I am still tired though.

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