Back in my 20s, I was one of the first generation plus-size models in the UK. I loved it. It felt liberating as a curvier woman to wear beautiful clothes and try on different styles. I modelled for fashion magazines, clothing companies and had fun sashaying down the catwalks at fashion shows.
This was a time when plus-size clothes were only just starting to get the recognition they deserved, and it felt fabulous to be a part of this positive change.
These days, I still love clothes and adore creating a style that is uniquely mine and that I feel good in. For me, I love to wear an eclectic range of boho inspired clothing. I would describe my style as bohemian queen, mixed with a little romance and a touch of gypsy.
Boho inspired clothing conjures up images of being a free spirit, flowing fabrics, brightly coloured florals, paisley prints, mixing patterns, floaty skirts, flared jeans, tassels, eclectic jewellery, layers, fringes and so much more. There is no right or wrong way to create your own unique boho inspired look – only your way.
For me, the clothes that I wear strongly reflect the way I think and the things that I love. My style goes against much of what I was told how I should dress as an older woman. It was unthinkable that I should have long hair and even worse that I have allowed it to go grey.
My mother visited the hairdresser weekly to have a shampoo and set and always kept her hair dyed a rich brown colour. There were many rules about clothes and how I should dress appropriately for my age, none of which I follow as a 63-year-old woman. As a body confidence expert and age empowerment coach, this has been liberating for me personally.
Creating your own sense of style whether it’s a boho inspired look or something else, means that you follow what is right for you. It’s about ditching the old “rules” or opinions about how you should look and showing up as your authentic self. Clothes can help us change the way we feel and think about ourselves.
For example, I had never worn a leopard print before as someone once told me it was an old-style look. However, once I experimented with a few leopard print jackets, I fell in love with one that I love, and it makes me feel really “rocky!”
Remember that style is about a feeling. It’s about creating a look that represents who you are, what you love and what makes you feel how you desire to feel. It takes time and some delicious experimentation to discover what really works for you. However, that is half the fun!
Your sense of style is created from what is meaningful for you. Style has nothing to do with fashion, although you may want to borrow ideas from the fashion world if they align with you. The following questions help to create a picture of how you can incorporate your beliefs, loves, passions and dreams into developing a signature look that you always feel “at home” in. Put some time aside to reflect on these questions.
At the end of this exercise, you should have the beginnings of your own style template. For example, in my own signature style, my favourite colours are pink, lilac, gold and turquoise. I want my clothes to make me feel free, elegant, flowing and loved. I adore the boho look of the 60s and 70s and love fabrics such as taffeta, silk, cotton and chiffon.
The next step is to put all of your ideas into a vision book. Cut out photos from magazines of the styles you love. Search on the internet for ideas of how to put your boho look together.
I have created some examples of my own clothes to give you some other ideas.
Let your own style evolve and grow organically. You may simply want to start with a lovely scarf or piece of jewellery that makes you feel gorgeous. Remember, this is about honouring who you are and what you love.
Sometimes, this can take time. I know that it did with me. From someone who always used to wear black, just incorporating more bright colours into my wardrobe felt uncomfortable at first. However, I now enjoy how vibrant these colours make me feel, and whilst I may still wear black, it’s not the only option I have.
A wonderful thing about creating your own boho style is that it is timeless. I still have clothes that I wore over 20 years ago, and they always make me feel happy and free. When I do buy new clothes, some of my favourite shops are Love forever (an online boho style shop), local vintage charity shops, Free people, Lotus-traders and boohoo.com. However, the key is really to just keep your eyes open for anything that inspires you – or make your own.
Have fun creating your own boho chic inspired look. Sometimes it can feel as if we have become invisible to the outside world as we grow older. However, it’s really about being visible to ourselves first that is the key.
Take up your space, wear clothes that make you feel fabulous, open your arms wide to endless possibilities, shine your light and keep becoming MORE of who you authentically are!
What’s your style? What clothes always make you feel radiant, beautiful and comfortable in your skin?