How I Found My {Old-Fashioned, 18th Century, Victorian} Trademark Style

My dear friends,

I am happy to report: that I am learning so much about website building, and here's a little snapshot from my iPhone camera so that you can see how far I've gotten. It may not seem to be much of a change; however, I am going to have a new hosting company, which will make a big difference; especially, with having a drop-down menu. I think I'm most excited, out of everything, about the drop-down menus.

To say that the topic of personal style has come easy for me would be an understatement, and I suppose it became more interesting to me when I left my {previous} marriage. Do you recall? I hopped on a plane with only two suitcases? So, the only clothing that I possess to this day is the few items given to me, items that I have collected at the thrift store, or pioneer/Victorian clothing that I have hand-sewn myself. In addition, I have found many victorian sewing patterns online.

I wrote here about my style issue, since, long before the ending of my previous marriage.

I tend to wonder If I'm the only one that has struggled in identifying what my true style is. Mind you, style and fashion are two separate things. A trend is not my cup of tea. In fact, to me, it's "boring to the Olympic degree" {said by Lady Mary on Downton Abbey, when describing Edith's new beau}. I'm the girl that wore peter-pan collared shirts with matching skirts in the 3rd grade. I remember distinctively through middle school, a few of the popular girls told me that I was cute, but, that I needed a complete makeover.

What has annoyed me throughout my years is that women who dress in a retro, are recognised as "cool." But a woman dressed in prairie clothes, don't get the same admiration. Wait. I should probably take that back. In the past few years, once I began owning my style; I have had folks come up to me, quite often {which mostly happens in the grocery store, of all places}, and tell me that I dress lovely. It's interesting too; that men seem to be the most receptive to my style.

 Might I add that clearing out the guest room after a yard sale this weekend made me think of a brilliant idea? I am going to turn our guest room into a full walk-in closet. I am so tired of not seeing what little items of clothing I have, and Jeffrey has a ton of clothes, too. The closet in our master bedroom is so dinky; claustrophobia sets in, with the mere thought of hanging clothing. What a huge undertaking, but it will be worth it after all is said and done.
I will now intersect this post by quoting Lady Violet from Downton Abbey, " I am a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do." That, I shall, and I will begin by explaining how I came to find my personal trademark style and how you can too.

1. Purge

When I left my marriage in 2015, I had two suitcases. It makes the decision of what to keep and let go of very easy. When I was packing those two suitcases, I knew that I had to be specific never to see my wardrobe again. I took only the things that I NEEDED. However, in your case, you will want to take all of your clothes from your closet: collect two boxes; one to donate and one for keeping. You'll want to try on each article of clothing if it's questionable. A tip to remember is that you need to absolutely love every aspect of your clothes when you put on your clothes. If you haven't worn it in more than six months, you should go ahead and discard it. Often, the main reason people keep clothing is that they have emotional attachments to them. This is probably the most difficult when cleaning out your closet.

I have struggled through the years to find my distinct signature style. Some of my clothing experimentation has been horrendous. In the past, I was known to see something cute {gipsy, hippy}, buy it, and then feel like I had to act a certain way. Allow me to explain. I have vacillated between the hippy look and the Victorian look for decades. I feel a certain way inside when I wear all of my bangles, rings and bandana. And then, when I put on my victorian clothes, I feel more at home. Like, I am more me; than when I am dressed in my gipsy-styled clothing. However, now that I have come to "know thyself" in the last few years, I feel I have finally found my trademark style.

Harvesting heirloom tomatoes from my garden
2. Organise

I, for one, love an organised space. I even went so far as to get a certification on the subject. Once I decided to change our guest room into a full walk-in closet, I was beyond excited. I also have a certificate in Interior Design Psychology. I know what makes humans frustrated, happy or calm, all depending on an organised space. For instance, If your closet door has hooks and all sorts of things blocking the closet entrance, it literally affects the brain. Colour is also essential in our homes. Think about how you feel when you go on vacation. Most resorts have calming colours. This is called colour psychology. Once you've organised your closet, you may want to apply a fresh coat of paint. Pick a colour that evokes happiness in you. Then, each day you get dressed, it will be a pleasurable pursuit that you look forward to.

3. Create a Pinterest/ vision inspiration board

Last year, I read this idea from the blog Forever Amber, and I loved it! This idea is a perfect way to begin collecting all of your style ideas into one place. It's fun to pin a bunch of photos and then analyse them. This way, you can visually see what you naturally lean towards. There are clues, all throughout, if you begin paying attention.

As a way of manifesting, I make a clothing vision board at the beginning of each year. It implants the vision in my mind, and each day I walk past my clothing vision board, It becomes one more step towards actualisation. We create through thought. I have used magazines such as Victorian Trading Co., which has always been my favourite magazine for clothing.

Me in my daily work skirt, hand-sewn apron and Tasha Tudor scarf. 
4. Take your measurements and make a shopping list

I, for one, have particular companies that I purchase from that are always flattering on me. I love cotton, shirts with peter pan collars, and quarter sleeves. I like long flowy skirts, not mid-length or mini. My favourite colours for clothing are soft pink, olive green, chambray blue and brown.

I have a tiny slip of paper with my body measurements on it, along with a small measuring tape that I keep in my purse. I use these when I'm out and see something that I like. I usually sew my own clothing, but I also love to shop at thrift stores. If I see something I like, I pull out my trusty tape measure and see if it will work. Keep your measurements up to date. If you tend to fluctuate with your weight, this is especially important. You don't want to buy things and then have them not fit when you get them home.

If there's something of utmost importance to share about this post, it is to be who you indeed are, be brave and confident in knowing you are most unusual and unique.

I hope this has served you, and I look forward to hearing from you.

So, do you know what your signature style is? Anything else I forgot to mention?

Most affably yours til' my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. Nice job getting the site creation going. That's quite an undertaking. People probably take notice as you actually look ladylike and put together rather than like you just rolled out of bed. Sadly, the later is most common. When I purged my closet, the first round eliminated about 1/3 of the items. Then, as I wore various articles, if it bugged me in some way (having to pull it down in back or up in front or sleeves too long etc.) it went in the donate bag. Now other than my winter coats, my wardrobe fits in a small dresser and an antique armoire. It's wonderful.

  2. My first big closet purge happened when I figured out what colors look good on me a few years back. Then about 2 years ago perhaps I found the blog writings/youtubes of Kati L. Moore and her fantasy styles and using her measurement/shape guides, I narrowed in on my own style. And then, what was a huge all-over-the-map pinterest "my style" board got culled and curated. Now I have a very small wardrobe, but when I do buy something, it is me :). And isn't that just the most wonderful feeling, having your clothing feel like YOU?


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