I am actually getting close to my 40s, but I thought I’d look back at how I used to dress versus now.
#1 – Then: Mid-rise | Now: High-rise
I always wore mid-rise back then because that’s what was said was the “correct” rise, until I realized that every torso is different. Some need lower rises to fit comfortably, others mid-rise, and for me?
HIGH-RISE ALL THE WAY to avoid that muffin top. All I could find were mid-rise pants back then, and I always felt so uncomfortable in them when I sat down, like I wanted to keep tugging them up to feel comfortable again.
Now that I’ve flipped to high-rise, the pants and jeans fit perfectly, and I feel secure.
#2 – Then: Super-tight clothing | Now: Looser fits
I used to wear skin-tight clothing because I thought “fitted” means … SKIN TIGHT. How wrong I was. Now I am experimenting with looser fits, even buying a size larger or oversized items and loving the half French-tuck in.
#3 – Then: Trouser Bootcuts Only | Now: Skinny Ankle Cuts or Wideleg Pants
I only wore bootcuts back then, with a taper at the knee, and a slight flare at the end; those items have completely been removed from my closet now, my pants are only super skinny pants, hemmed at the ankle, and lately I have been experimenting with wideleg pants and loving the silhouette when I would have avoided either cuts like the plague.
#4 – Then: Rainbow bright colours & prints | Now: Solid-blocked jewel tones & less rainbow prints
I used to really go for prints and colours in all of the rainbow. I’d buy a tank top in the entire rainbow, or go for prints that were very bright and colourful. Now, my prints I feel have taken on a more sophisticated colour palette – I tend to go for jewel-toned prints, or mixes of colours that do not scream “rainbow” as a palette to me, but a mix that is pretty but not too girly.
#5 – Then: Polyester | Now: Natural fabrics
I used to buy cheap clothing, as a result, it means polyester. It means cheap, and now when I see polyester, I am very hesitant to buy any of it unless it’s truly amazing as a piece. I now go for silk, cotton, wool and so on.
I also buy more vintage pieces because the quality is better from the 1920s – 1950s, but I always remember that polyester is polyester, even if it is vintage.
#6 – Then: No ripped jeans ever | Now: Ripped jeans up to the thigh
I never wore ripped jeans. Never. I didn’t understand them until I saw them in looks and realized that I enjoy the styling of ripped jeans with very classic pieces (like blazers).
#7 – Then: No neutrals or pastels | Now: Blush, Whites, Ivories, Camel and Tan tones
I never wore neutrals back then. Only super bright colours, and some black, lots of grey. Now, I am playing with light pinks and lavenders, lots of whites and ivories, and the camel/tan tones in clothing that are more neutral and completely not what I would have picked before.
#8 – Then: Quantities of cheap fast fashion | Now: Selected secondhand designer pieces
I used to shop exclusively at Wal-mart, H&M and scoff at any place that wasn’t dirt cheap, because I thought it was ‘wasting money’ (I was on the super frugalite boat and scoffed at anything that wasn’t the bare minimum or bare essentials). Now, I am understanding that paying more for quality means the drape is fantastic, the fabrics feel better, and it is worth the extra money. Since I am not rich enough to buy it all at retail, I buy it at secondhand.
#9 – Then: One-outfit pieces | Now: Pieces that can work for multiple outfits
I used to buy fantastic items.. but they were specific one-outfit only pieces. They really didn’t work for any other outfits, and were one-trick ponies. Now, I buy more basic style pieces in more neutral colours in luxurious fabrics that work for more outfits.
#10 – Then: No leather anything | Now: Leather leggings, skirt, tops…
I used to tell myself I’d never wear leather pants or skirts, but now I have two pairs of leather leggings, a leather skirt, leather tops, a leather dress.. you name it. And I wear them out for regular errands, not just for going out at night (not that I do that at all).
#11 – Then: No skin shown | Now: A peek
I will wear bralettes showing underneath white tailored shirts, a sliver of skin for the stomach, or a split back top that shows my back.
#12 – Then: No designer bags | Now: A few
I used to only carry cheap-ish bags, nothing over $200, independent labels and so on. I shunned all designer bags, but in recent years, I have started buying a few items and understanding how designer bags add a touch of luxury and elevates any outfit, no matter how ordinary.