Welcome to a first for me, a monthly collaborative blog on style with the collected look herself, Cindy Hattersley. Cindy kindly featured me in her “Ageless Style” Blog last year, in which she asked me some revealing questions that will give you a little background into me and my style. So, if you missed that post, and before I dive deeper into this months topic, “how I found my style”, it may be a good idea to read this 😉
Style. That is always my focus. Why? Because style is the manner or way I dress and that never fades as opposed to the latest fashion. My style has evolved over time, and while I’m always experimenting, I like to think it falls somewhere within the classic realm, but with a bohemian, artsy (and always feminine) twist, so I call it eclectic. I invest in pieces I love, with colours and shapes that suit me, pieces that will complement my existing wardrobe, that I will wear for years and that ultimately make me feel (and look) good. And then, I add my style twist (usually with an accessory) to wear them my way.
I’ve always had Muses and #1 is my Mum. An incredibly stylish lady, who, when I was young was given the title Princess Grace (by my Grandma, her Mother-in-law). And it stuck. Not because she looks like Grace Kelly or is styled like her, but because she dresses beautifully and carries herself gracefully. No matter what she wears, be it a home made kaftan and beads (she’s a talented seamstress and avid jewellery maker – as am I) or a safari suit from the thrift shop (she introduced me to this joy), she always looks great! So much so, that as a teen in the 80s, my friends and I would raid her wardrobe and wear it 😂. Although her style mellows as she ages, it continues to evolve and she recently announced that on her 80th Birthday, she would be “unleashing her inner flapper girl”. I hope I’m as adventurous!
Having my Mum and various artists as muses, I spent my teens and twenties experimenting with various looks, usually copying some celebrity outfit for outfit (big mistake but thank you sewing skills). But boy have there been fashion faux pas along the way, just ask my friends 😂 And then in 2001, the iconic makeover show What Not to Wear introduced me to Trinny & Susannah. Two stylists with extremely good taste! And I can honestly thank them for opening my eyes to dressing for my body shape and wearing colours that suit me. This was the pivotal moment when I took charge and started owning my own style. Knowing my shape (I’m a pear…like my Mum 😊) was a game changer is establishing the signature pieces in my wardrobe that have become my style. Maxi Dresses is colours and prints, preferably A-line to skim over my proportionally short legs and larger hips and thighs. Wide or flared legged jeans, to skim or balance out my saddlebag. Statement neckpieces to draw attention to the smaller top half of my body. The belt, to cinch me in and show off my best asset – my waist. And the wedge, chunky heel or long boot to balance out or cover my fleshy calf (although these days I tend to opt for a flat form trainer as it achieves the same effect). And colours that suit my skin tone (I’m a warm) think Autumn… And while I sometimes stray (more mistakes 🙄), knowing all this has enabled me to create a wardrobe I love and wear everyday. These are my staples, they suit me, make me look good and subsequently feel good. That is my ultimate aim with my style. To feel good, as my bio says.. when you feel good everything else just falls into place. But my secret to personalising this style is to add your own twist to these staples…
And that is done with an Accessory. They are the key to styling a garment in my wardrobe my way. And I have more than a few. I collect them on travels, handmake some, pick them up at markets and second hand. I love them all. Scarves, Necklaces, Belts, Earrings, Bags, Brooches, Bangles. And while I wear them constantly, what I love most about them is the story behind when and where I got them, which transports me to a lovely memory when I wear them. I still have a wooden bangle from my Kenyan childhood, bracelets from my teenage travels, necklaces from my honeymoon, and clip on earrings from the 90s! All still worn (well, maybe not the clip ons). But my most loved accessories are my simplest. I call them my “signature jewels”, a few gifted and inherited pieces, collected over the last 30 plus years from my family and friends. When I wear them, I always have a sentimental moment and that makes me love them all the more. Which, if you read the article above and follow me on INSTAGRAM at sarahlondonstyle, you will know is the key element of how I wear what I have. I called it styling mindfully. And it’s definitely “feels good”!
But more recently I’ve taken my style inspiration from my lifestyle. Perhaps that’s a sign of my age (I’m 55 this year) and the times we live in. I no longer work full time (no need for smarter attire or heels), I exercise more (stylish activewear is a daily must have), I prefer a lunch over a dinner (a dress and flat shoes preferable) and a beach holiday to a sight seeing one (lucky I live on the coast, as I’m not going very far in the near future). So the detailed eclectic style I often wear is currently being pared down. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to fade away 😂, I love my style too much! I will still wear my floaty maxis, but with flats not wedge heels. I’m leaning towards colour and tone rather than pattern and print. I love a statement belt, but the detailed ones stay in the drawer and I choose something simpler. My neck pieces are worn on occasion, and I now reach for one necklace, not two. And I’m now more mindful than ever about what comes in and what goes out of my wardrobe. I no longer feel the need to over consume, am more than happy to wear what I have on repeat, and when I do purchase, am more aware of how it will complement what I already have. And I now deliberately seek well made garments in natural fibres from small, local Australian boutiques and brands.
And that is how I found my Sarah London Style, although I’m quite mindful that it may be that is how my style found me. I believe our style is the product of what we love and how that makes us feel. Everyone has their own. It’s unique. Sometimes it just takes time to identify and implement it. And if you haven’t found yours yet, but are interested, go back to the “Ageless Style” link at the top and start by deeply thinking about and answering the questions Cindy asked me 🙏🏻
Now, why not take a look at Cindy’s Signature Style?