Style Transition -My Style Self - The Smart/Casual Me

It seems quite a few of us are going through life transitions  some of us are adjusting to life in a new culture where the climate and lifestyle dictates different ways of dress from those we are familiar with.  some of us are going through psychological life transitions where our roles or life has changed - some have become SAHM's and some of us have changed careers, or are between careers, or have retired.

I too have dilemma's working out what is appropriate for the Me I Am Now - or perhaps some of us feel more like Who is the Me I am Now? - I certainly do, because part of dressing is sometimes about the role we play in life and when our roles change we can sometimes feel a little lost. We try and wear clothes that suit our lifestyle, but it helps if you also feel like yourself, not just your role or your lifestyle.

As you have all told me a little about your style concerns and life transitions I thought I should return the favour and tell you about mine.  I don't often talk about myself much on blogs, because I don't really want my blog to be about me, but also about you :).  However, I realise that is two way, and you might also want to know about me.  If not, just skip this bit and look at the pictures instead :)

I'm a middling or muddling through sort of person.  I've done quite a few different things in life and always dressed for the job.  I am not even sure I even developed a sense of style - quite a few of us don't.  When I was younger, I wore a school uniform.  When I went to work, I wore a uniform ( student nurse first, then Registered Nurse).  Then I went to University and completed an Arts degree (Hons 1st class) in the creative area (Drama and Screen Studies).  Black t-shirts and jeans where the uniform there.

I've renovated houses in the past and reno-wear was appropriate there. And mortgage payments at this point in time came well before the clothing budget. I'm sure many of you have the same lifestyle problems now, especially my younger followers.

 I've completed an online postgraduate degree in Psychology , and sloppy comfortable clothes that you don't want anyone to see was the daily uniform then.  When you are struggling with Statistics units and exams, believe me, you really don't care what you look like.

I was born in England and lived in London and then Shropshire.  I cam to Australia at the age of 10 and lived in Sydney with my parents, then Adelaide.  As an independent adult I have lived in Adelaide, Perth and Alice Springs.  I loved all three latter locations - Perth and Alice especially so, as quite a few people come from "elsewhere" and it is easy to build new friendships with other people  brave enough to take on the challenge of uprooting oneself and living "somewhere else" with all that entails.

When I married and relocated to NSW again, I could not find suitable work here, apart from a short stint as a casual lecturer in the field of Television Studies, before the department was downsized.  .  Luckily I have no need to work, but it does throw you back into developing your own inner resources.  Hence my further study.  I now also help my husband with some aspects of managing his medical practice.

At the moment I am in "limbo" waiting to see if I can get into the next stage of the Psychology requirements. If not, then I will do a degree in something else that interests me (choosing from the long list of interests is also going to be a challenge for me - eeny, meeny, miny, mo...)

What this transitional "gap" year does allow is the opportunity to develop my own sense of style instead of choosing clothes that are role or activity chosen that I don't really like.  And a great opportunity to meet lots of other bloggers with the same interests.

So over the next few months I will be combining ideas from a few designers that I like and trying to make them out of my stash, or from the materials I can actually purchase.  I will be using ideas from Margaret Howells Autumn/Winter 2013 collection to base my summer wardrobe on (see yesterday's post - this is the link:

I like Basler as a label.  I have chosen a few garments that I can easily consider making from my stash. These garments are from Basler's current Spring/Summer range.

I have some aqua fabric to make pants and skirt with.

An easy outfit but maybe not leggings but slim cotton trousers and tops

Maybe adapted to linens?

I have some Aqua sateen to make a nice jacket

Stash chambray could make an easy shirtdress

Aqua fabric from stash along with linens and demims

Too zippy/rock chick for me.

I love this jacket - maybe in cottons as a blouse

Maybe a nice cotton to make a cool evening jacket

Basics in neutrals - fabrics in stash

Basics in neutral and neons - I wouldn't wear neon, but the outfit is a basic smart casual look.

Again, a smart casual look that could be adapted.

And Ditto this.
 I have lots of style inspiration here to work from - along with yesterday's ideas.

Like quite a few of you, I like to feel comfortable, but I want to look nice as well.  And age appropriate without looking "old". We all want to feel good in our clothes.

For those of you going through a style transition, start keeping a scrapbook of ideas that you like.  Blogs are a great place to store your ideas and share them with other people.

I know a lot of you are also trying to work out what is right for you now, so it will be lovely to share thoughts and ideas.  Please always feel free to voice them so we can help each other.

I hope I haven't been too wordy and bored you to tears today:)

Happy style sewing;

Sarah Liz :)


  1. it is always really nice to read where people are coming from.

    I sense you are going to make a jacket or three, since most of the ideas include jackets :-)

    1. That's good - I wasn't sure whether it was too much about me - but it is nice to get to know people, you are right.

      And you are correct - i love jackets and do want to make some :)

  2. Hi Sarah, loving these posts. I have had to change from a working wardrobe of office suits to medical scrubs! I personally "hate" scrubs and loved wearing my skirts, jackets and blouses. So now I am attempting to make items likes maxi dresses, casual skirts, knit tops,cute blouses and tailored jackets to fit into my off-hours wardrobe. I had formerly just threw on a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt after hours. At age 52, I like the idea of presenting myself with a little more style then just jeans and a T-shirt!

    1. Hi Regina - I'm glad you like them - you are never quite sure and I do like people to find something of value in them :). Oh gosh, medical scrubs are not attractive - they seem to be almost universally worn now - we used to only wear them when we scrubbed - in theatre only. I can see why you want nice smart clothes for after work. Yes, jeans and t-shirt are a little passe as we reach our elegant years :)

  3. I always find it interesting to learn about how people have defined, or are defining, their style. I would say I'm still finding mine and making my own clothes is really helping with that. I have to wear smart clothes to work and I have noticed that this is rubbing off into my "home" wardrobe - they may not be as smart but I want the same feeling!

  4. Hi Claire - yes, it does take time to find your style - so many factors influence it. I agree, making clothes helps - there is more connection with what you are doing, and more thought - and more attempt to make something that is what you want - thus perhaps closer to the style you may be. It seems as though you might be a budding classic dresser. I'll be watching your style progress - aren't blogs good for that :)


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