My Style Evolution

If there was ever an illusion that I'm cool, I'm 100% about to shatter it. Because, what better way to return after a blogging hiatus than showing strangers on the internet the heinous style and beauty mistakes you made through your teenage years? A fine idea! Let's delve in shall we?

Instagram, or blogging/'influencing' specifically, has a funny way of making people think you've always had decent taste in clothes. This is incorrect in my case, and as someone who generally likes to keep things as 'real' as possible, I thought it might be a fun exercise to sift through the archives (read: my tagged photos on Facebook) and give you a snippet of some of the sartorial choices that made me the person I am today. 

I've seen a couple of other style evolution videos/blog posts and, to be honest, none of them satisfied my desire to see some shit haircuts and badly drawn on eyebrows. Let's face it, we all enjoy sharing the schadenfreude of looking at terrible old photos of people we know, so I'm going to give it that to you right now. 
I'm part of one of the first generations to spend a large portion of their lives online, so luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it), all of my questionable choices are available to view at the click of a button for your viewing entertainment. With all the depressing news that's shoved in front of us daily, we could all do with a laugh, couldn't we? Let's begin:

When Julie Andrews sang 'Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start', she was obviously referring to your very first tagged pic on Facebook, which can be reached almost too easily by pressing the left arrow on your keyboard. Here we have mine - taken in 2007, I would have been around 14 here. You know how 14 year olds nowadays can do cut crease eyeshadow and contour like Kim K? I'm not sure I even knew what mascara was here. You might notice I'm barefoot and carrying my shoes, this is because I bought ballet slippers for use as everyday footwear after seeing Amy Winehouse wearing them. Ignoring the fact they are an incredibly impractical choice of shoe unless you are doing actual ballet, I wore them outside and obviously got very cold, wet feet. If there was ever proof I've always been a fashion victim, this is it.

In 2008, I watched Britain's Next Top Model religiously. That year, the winner was a girl called Alex Evans and in that episode where they all get their 'makeovers' (looking back this process was quite sadistic on the producer's part), she got her long hair cut into a pixie crop. I thought this was uber cool, so instructed my hairdresser to give me the same thing. Unfortunately, it didn't translate on to my head in the same way, which you can observe on the far right in this pic. This was also the year I tried to dye my hair blonde and instead turned it ginger. Lesson learned, don't dye your hair at home folks.

Well, well, well. What do we have here? A selfie, before selfies were really a thing? I'm wearing some Hollister short shorts which are a bit inappropriate really, given my age. Remember when you thought Hollister and A&F were like, the biggest deal and not run by a bunch of elitist twats who only want skinny, stereotypically beautiful people wearing their clothes? Ah, hindsight, a wonderful thing. I'm unsure why I'm posing like I really need a poo, and why I haven't bothered to tidy up the mess in my brother's room but overall: a 6/10 selfie. May have garnered a solid 4 likes on Facebook.

I honestly think this is one of about three photos from my teenage years that I'm not painfully embarrassed to look at. This was my secondary school prom dress, and I feel proud to this day that I didn't opt for primary-coloured meringue. Instead, I got a dress that belonged to my mum altered as I loved it so much, and a family friend bought me the matching silver heels and bag from Dune. I remember trying the heels on in store and feeling like Carrie Bradshaw in her manolos. I did spend half the night pulling the bustier up thanks to my flat chest but I felt so special in it, and I still love it now.

Dear 2010 Polly, 
Regarding the belt round your hips, what the fuck is the point?
2017 Polly

Wearing a Jack Wills jumper (another preppy brand I had an obsession with round this time), and wearing leggings in lieu of trousers. Not acceptable for many reasons, not least the fact they went see through every time I bent over, giving any poor sucker in the vicinity a view of what pants I was wearing that day. This photo was taken at a church youth weekend away, which is ironic given that God probs does not like see through leggings.

I mean, this really could be worse but I wanted to alter the sleeve length on this dress and tried to do so using bobby pins. Funnily enough, didn't work all too well. Regretted not taking Textiles GCSE but drinking cheap wine so swings and roundabouts. 

Arghh!!! The eyeliner!! The absence of eyebrows!!! My hairline!! So many issues here, and I don't even have the excuse that I was young. 18 years old in fact - much too old to have such a problematic make up routine.

Just over a year later, I'm now at university in Cardiff where, if you go out out, you wear a dress, huge heels and basically just try and look as mint as you can. I discovered hair dye again this year, and to be fair I think my locks look pretty great here, but in general I am glad that I no longer go out wearing shoes that make my toes numb. 

For my first year at Bestival, I decided I was really going to throw myself into some 'edgy' festival fashun. I bought these desert boots from a market in East London and thought I was rad af, and I still own these vintage Levi's denim shorts. Clearly looking cool was a higher priority than keeping warm, though. 

'Hello, make up counter assistant, I'd like you to take all your make up and put as much of it on my face as possible. Like, a shit load.' - not an accurate account of what I said but it may as well have been because WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON HERE. The eyebrows again, no words. 

This is just after I moved to London - cliche as it sounds, this city has had a huge affect on helping me develop my personal style. London's obviously hugely cosmopolitan and personal style varies so much here, but I feel like 'dressing up' is much less of a thing. Sure, Londoners put just as much thought and effort into what they're wearing as they do in Cardiff, the only difference is they give the impression that they don't! As a result, my personal style has grown into something much more laid back. Who knows how it will change in years to come, but I feel at a point in my life where I am confident in what I like, what suits me, and what looks good. For that, I have London and its residents to thank!

Wearing: Jumper, H&M; Trousers, Topshop; Boots, Topshop (sold out, similar here); Bag, Gucci.

1 comment

  1. Polly I am dying with laughter, I have all the same kind of photos from the last 10 years! It's amazing how your style can evolve. I wouldn't have wanted to be a teenager with perfect style and perfect makeup, because we wouldn't have anything to look back and laugh at in our twenties! Helen x


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