Nikki’s Inbox: “My Friends Dump Their Fashion On Me”

First of all, I’m sorry about my English skills, as Swedish is my first spoken language. I hope that you can still understand what I’m writing. I’m a 30 year-old woman, soon to be 31. I’m about 160 cm. tall and 50+ kg. Dark brown hair, dark brown eyes and glasses with a black frame. People say that I’m quite thin, but I think that I look normal and not too thin. (I do have thighs and hips that are quite visible.) Although I’m getting older, I still haven’t found a style that I can call my own. My friends try to dump their fashion on me in a friendly manner, saying that I need to dress more like an adult, and less casual. My ex-boyfriend, that I spent the last 7 years with, told me how I was “out of fashion” because I like wearing cute yet casual things, and that I didn’t dress according to my age.

Normally I’d wear black jeans and a blouse for work. If I go to social gatherings (which don’t happen very often), I wear black jeans, and a casual, cute top or even a baggy top. (I have some curves besides my hips but I usually hide them.)

Whenever I’ve been to Tokyo, I’ve found myself buying clothes from Shibuya 109, and only from the “cutesy” shops – mostly blouses with cat prints and patterns on them. From YesStyle, I’ve mainly bought blouses and T-shirts. Most of my wardrobe is black or grey and I only wear black jeans and sometimes black leggings.

I really like the “nerdy yet classy” look, but I just don’t know how to pull it off. I also like the cute stuff.

Dear Nikki, I really hope that you can help me, because I feel like such a fashion disaster that I quite frankly am giving up on ever finding a style that suits me and it keeps me from wanting to do clothes shopping, both online and offline.

Thanks in advance.

Sara, 30/Sweden


Dearest Sara, thanks for your email. Don’t worry about your English – it’s perfect! I’m guessing that you read my response to your namesake Sarah in “Too Old For Cute?” which got several positive comments on the YesStyle Facebook page. It’s so nice to see women standing up for other women, regardless of age or fashion preference. We really need more of that positive reinforcement for each other!

Who says looking cute has an age limit?

It’s Okay to Choose Cute and Comfortable
So you like cute styles like cats and patterns, and you also like wearing comfy clothing. There’s nothing wrong with that and I certainly won’t stop you from wearing those if that’s what makes you happy. However, I will point out though that cute clothing also has to match the occasion. You certainly shouldn’t wear a cat print blouse to a job interview, or an important event that requires formal wear like gowns, even if your top is a designer label. There’s a time and place for everything so use your judgement but you don’t have to lose your uniqueness.

Cute and unexpectedly charming details in small amounts make an outfit tasteful and elegant.

Never Be Afraid of Color
Notice that I used “never” and not just “don’t” because, dear Sara, color is one of the easiest ways to update your style. Just switching your black jeans and leggings to gray or white already makes a difference – and that’s all from one color family! Color is also very powerful and reflects your mood and personality. While I’m fond of wearing black most of the time, I do notice that it makes me look too serious. So when I want to feel more cheerful, I wear my other favorite colors like blue or green and it works. I have no doubt that you look just as great in other colors so why not expand the color spectrum of your jeans? You can go for shades of gray and chalk for neutrals, and even have a pair or two for different seasons. Darker jewel tones like burgundy, hunter green and purple are great for fall and winter while pink, mint green, sky blue and yellow are ideal for spring and summer.

Go beyond black by adding pops of color to your outfit.

The right cut and a good color makes a versatile pair of pants that will work with any top or any footwear.

Expand Your Wardrobe
Having more than just jeans and leggings in your closet will also give you more options when you need to attend a casual or formal gathering. Jeans are acceptable if the location or atmosphere is equally casual but if you want to go the extra mile and make a favorable first impression, why not wear a dress or a skirt?

Versatile pieces like these two dresses can easily go from day to night effortlessly.

A trompe l’oeil bow, a smattering of lip prints and classic stripes with a tulle skirt all combine femininity with a little whimsy.

You have a great figure, Sara, finding a dress or skirt that looks good on you surely won’t be a problem. Since you’re petite and probably have a pencil to a modest hourglass shape, A-lines are your answer! Go for knee-length A-line skirts or midi lengths and dresses so you still get to show a little of your legs, especially if you wear heels. Try buying one of each to try and wear it to a day or night out with friends. I guarantee you’ll give them a pleasant shock, and you’ll probably be surprised how a different style can give you a fresh look!

Never imagined you could rock skirts? Now’s the time to try!

Finally, let me tell you that you’re not a fashion disaster. No one is. We all just get confused and misguided at some point in our lives but don’t let that hold you back from doing better. I’m sure that your friends are only looking out for you but what works for them won’t always work for you. Enlist their help with your transformation, so they can see for themselves that the new Sara is more self-confident and knows what she wants! The best of luck, my dear!

P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a photo (link only please) of yourself or your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!

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