Friday, 13 September 2013

Colour & Our True Selves

Style is such a personal reflection of who we are. 

Like our homes, our clothes should reflect our own journeys and the people we have grown into. I've been inspired recently by a book I'm reading for my yoga teacher training: Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope. I was struck by a passage about reaching our midlife and an insight into the psychological changes we go through at this time. I'll quote as I'm not sure I can paraphrase:

Carl Jung believed that at midlife most of us have refined our external selves, what he called the persona, the mask we wear to assure some stable, ongoing sense of identity. In his view, the persona represents only one limited aspect of the personality, and by midlife, most of us are outgrowing it. At some point during the middle years, Jung said, "the glowing coals of consciousness buried deepwithin the personality begin to break into flames". When this occurs, the hitherto repressed and hidden aspects of the self may seem to overwhelm the conscious self, initiating a difficult period of disorganization of the personality.

This resonated with me because I went through a massive life change, leaving a creative and exciting job, moving away from friends to a new city, and having a baby all in a short space of time and having to redefine who I was without the labels I was familiar with working in London. I don't think my story is unusual either, speaking to my friends who have gone through different life-changes whether it is the start or end of a relationship or job, a big house move, or making the decision to start a family all these things shift our sense of identity and perhaps make us question who we are outside the labels of career and marriage. Our wardrobe can sometimes understandably languish in our old identities not reflecting the new people we've become or necessarily meeting the demands of our new lifestyles. 

That's a bit of a big idea to contend with on my small website but it is something that is really at the core of why I'm writing this blog about style rather than fashion. It's about discovering the clothes that reflect your true self, whether that's the black pieces I wrote about earlier in the week or the boldest primary colours. It's about being brave and making choices that come from the heart of who you are now. 

With this in mind this is one of my favourite images from Cookie magazine [now sadly closed but you can visit the editor's new website at MomFilter]. The style of the images was always relaxed and felt real so I wanted to put a few colourful pieces together inspired by this aesthetic of individual expression, fun prints and details. 

1. Purse, Karen Millen
2. Bag, River Island
3. Top, Toast
4. Jeans, River Island
5. Dress, Mango
6. Coat, Boden

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