In this blog series, I explore how the clothes we wear do so much more than cover our modesty and keep us warm. I interview seven women to discuss the power of clothes, and what their wardrobes say about them.
Clothes are powerful things. They can transform us, making us feel bold, individual, beautiful and playful, helping us stand out or blend in, according to our mood.
What we wear can mark transformations in our lives and how we see ourselves. Whether we’re aware of it or not, our clothes also invite others to see us in a certain way. Pattern, colour, texture and fabric – and the alchemy we use in putting them together – express our particular style and how we’re feeling right now.
But our clothes can also cause anxiety, or mark an identity that no longer jives with our current reality. Most of us have bought something, loved it and worn it at every opportunity. And yet the following year, it just doesn’t feel right anymore (“what was I thinking?”). We’ve moved on.
Maybe other things have challenged our relationship with clothes – kids, a significant birthday, a new job or a big life change. For some of us, the result can be a major style shift, exciting, but challenging, as our wardrobe slowly catches up with our new situation and mindset.
This week, meet Antonina Mamzenko, Contemporary Portrait Photographer:
“I want my clothes to convey who I am, but without looking like I’m trying too hard. I always admire people who seem to just throw an outfit together and it looks incredibly stylish, but very casual at the same time.
Because I am the representation of my brand, the way I dress – even in everyday situations – has impact on how people perceive my business. I need to make an effort everyday.
As a mum, it’s difficult to think about your clothes. Having a capsule wardrobe of pieces that work together (and are quickly interchangeable if a top has to go into the wash, for example), is priceless. But it wasn’t always like that.
Until I actually knew what I wanted to do with my life, I didn’t know how to dress either. I was concerned with what others would think, and tried blending in with the crowd, scared to be noticed.
When I made the decision to pursue photography, leaving a string of corporate jobs behind, I felt liberated as to what I could wear. And that’s considering all the companies I’d worked for didn’t even have a strict dress code! I could have worn jeans if I wanted to.
Still, I felt unable to really express myself through clothes – probably because I wasn’t expressing myself in my work life.”
Now as my own boss, I dress however I want. I put together things I would never have considered before, and I don’t really care about what people think, because this is ME.
Biggest wardrobe disaster? “So many…But probably all the mummy outfits I wear when going to play group, or when my 1 year old won’t allow me to dress properly – those outfits can be pretty diabolical.”
Best outfit ever? “A simple tunic top, skinny jeans and a colourful necklace in the photo below. I love how I look there (that’s rare!). I felt really good – that’s why the outfit just works.”
Top tip for women looking for their own style? “Find yourself first and feel comfortable in your own skin. Then find a look that’s uniquely yours.”
Next week, Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner tells us what her clothes say about her.