While stuck in bad London traffic yesterday, I had a great conversation with my black cab driver. He was asking about my work and we got on to the topic of modern day fashion.
He said he has noticed that there is increasingly less difference between men and women’s style these days, and he was asking my thoughts behind it and whether it’s something I had noticed too.
I said to him, firstly, that we are so fortunate, living in the UK where you can get away with dressing however you want. I feel British style reigns supreme because it’s natural, effortless and expressive. You only have to look at the difference between the style at Glastonbury, to Coachella, to see that festival chic comes much more naturally to us Brits. It never looks forced.
We style clients according to their body shape and colouring, but for me, the most fascinating part, is helping a client to express herself through her clothing. You can express feelings, emotions and personality through clothing, in a way that you can’t with anything else.
Your style should never stay still, it should never be “done” or complete. Far from it.
My style has changed so much over the years, even while having my business. When I started Styled By Susie, I was a huge fan of Kate Middleton’s style. I loved blazers with jeans, I straightened my hair and went for lots of eyeliner.
A few years later, I chopped my hair into a bob and loved a more edgy, Caroline Flack style. I felt like my confidence was growing more around this time. I was doing more video blogs, growing my social media presence and becoming more confident in my own skin.
Fast forward to 2019, when I have experienced the biggest personal growth in one year, than I ever thought possible. I have felt stress levels like never before, I have cried many tears, had many sleepless nights, yet also experienced so much joy and progress. 2019 has been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions and has pushed me to grow, make myself vulnerable and remove any inhibitions I may have previously felt.
My style at this moment, reflects how I feel and who I am. I have never felt more at ease with who I am, how I dress and how I am with people. There’s something liberating about surviving people throwing rocks at you, because you ultimately come out stronger as a result.
I went to see Charlie’s Angels at the cinema recently, and despite the terrible reviews it received, I absolutely loved it. I totally identify with Kristen Stewart’s style and I am really enjoying playing around with an androgynous look. If I feel I sway too far into masculinity, I add a bright lip and a dash of femininity.
This leads me onto the subject that me and my cab driver were chatting about.
He was asking me why women are dressing in a more masculine way these days. He wasn’t criticising, he was interested.
I said to him that I feel women are rising. I feel that women are realising their power, their true potential and that women more than ever, are supporting each other and building each other up.
We are realising that we can do so much, even though on some days we have NO idea how we get it all done.
Women are gaining strength and momentum, and I feel that we are moving away from the traditional views of how women “should” dress. We add strength and power to our outfits, we are shunning heels for trainers and brogues. The trouser suit has reigned supreme this season and will gain even more momentum next season.
More and more fashion houses are ditching gender specific lines. Gender fluid clothing is becoming more popular and it’s not unusual for teenage boys to buy Topshop jeans, and for women to buy Topman blazers.
I think that this will become the future, and it won’t go down well with many people, but I personally think it’s brilliant.
It shows true equality and the more open minded fashion houses and high street chains can become, the better.
This doesn’t just go for gender fluid clothing, this goes for other aspects too. I would love to see a day when we don’t have plus size ranges, and that they just include all size options in every store.
I want to see a day that any woman of any size can shop in any high street store and not feel alienated.
The key to enjoying and developing your style, is to be open minded. Don’t just stick to the same shops, don’t just stick to women’s clothing. My client recently got loads of floral dresses in Dorothy Perkins, but then we got her a fabulous tweed blazer from Burton’s. It was cut better than any blazer we had tried on, and had perfect structure across the shoulders.
I have read so many horrible comments about celebrities who have dared to change their style over the years. “How dare Taylor Swift go from that sweet girl with the guitar and country songs, to this unrecognisable popstar?”
Who knows what Taylor Swift has gone through, and who the hell are you to even comment? Maybe Taylor didn’t like her old style and feels more herself now. Who knows, but I love the way she has evolved over time.
Try to never let your style stand still. It’s ok to develop it, it’s ok to change who you were. It might scare people, but if it feels right for you, it’ll bring you more joy than you have ever known.