After years sticking to her own set of fashion rules, writer Kat Poole is exploring a whole new side of her wardrobe.
If you asked me to describe the way I dress in one word, it would be ‘minimal’.
A glance into my wardrobe would show you a muted palette of greys, whites, blues and neutrals, and for the last few years I’ve worn the same pair of gold hoops on repeat. Come summer, I’ll bring in a little bit of colour — even I can’t deny the power of a floral dress — but for the other nine months of the year it’s back to, well, pared-back.
I haven’t always dressed like this. When I was younger, fashion was no holds barred; I’d mix-and-match prints, make a beeline for metallics and brights and pile on accessories. For a time, my shopping mantra was “buy what no one else would wear” — I might not have had good taste, but I did have a lot of fun.
And then along came university. I studied film, and suddenly discovered a whole world of inspiration — and a love of the French New Wave. I took a photo of Jean Seberg to the hairdressers, came out with a pixie cut, and filled my wardrobe with breton tees, brogues and black cigarette pants. My hairstyle might have evolved since then, but the rest of me has stayed squarely aiming for the simple and polished look.
Or it had, until last year. Like most people who spent their days going to the office and evenings going out with friends, the concept of ‘polish’ suddenly felt redundant. Silly, even. My best intentions — to keep making an effort, to not let myself slide into loungewear immediately — quickly went out of the window. And without really realising it, my sense of style became less about nonchalance, and more about simply not caring.
But as the world becomes bigger than our homes again, something strange has happened. I’m not just excited to get some of my old style back — I’m raring to turn the volume up. I’ve found myself looking at clothes and accessories in a whole different way; I’m drawn to colour and texture and pattern and fun.
Perhaps it’s because we’ve all been starved of that very thing, fun, for so long, but I’m longing to wear pieces that bring me joy. And while I’m not about to overhaul my entire wardrobe, I’ve started with my accessories.
I recently spent a day wearing the Toolally Daisy Studs, and couldn’t believe how much they made me smile everytime I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I thought I’d feel outside of my comfort zone, wearing something so bold after so long sticking to my own fashion rules. But for the first time in a long time, I felt like myself.