Sunday, February 2, 2020

My Style Journey: 2012-2020

One cold January night, while I was trying to prepare for a seriously demanding exam but was in fact just scrolling through my Instagram profile, I started to notice the way I was dressing. As I got deeper and deeper into the horrible 2016 and under period, I realized that my style has drastically changed and I haven't really given it much notice. And then I remembered that I have a whole time capsule right here, specifically dedicated to fashion (and not the horrible flatlays I was trying so hard to make) and thought "Hmm, what if I went through my blog and did a little style overview?" And that is exactly what I am serving today, on a silver platter, to you all! Enjoy my cringy evolution starting from the beginning of my blog, 2012, up until today!

I started my blog near the end of 2012, more specifically December 1st, BUT that doesn't mean that 2012 doesn't count. Oh no. 2012 was a revolutionary year for my style. I started high school and felt like a grown-up, and I wanted to dress that way too. During the final year of my elementary school, I really got into button-up shirts and blazers. Like, a lot. They made me feel sophisticated and intellectual because every 15-year-old wants to feel that way ya know (catch my sarcasm here). I was also obsessed with anything studded and DIY. Oh, and owl jewellery, that was a big part of the 2012 fashion craze.
And so, I started high school, positive and ready to leave a good impression with my bright green pants (that I was certain were actually the colour mint, which was a big colour in 2012-2013, and I desperately wanted pants in that specific shade even if it meant lying to myself about it).
Jane By Design was my absolute favourite TV show (and I think all little fashion nerds would agree) and I took GREAT inspiration from Jane's bold style - uber girly, lots of tights, skirts and cardigans. Ugh, I miss that show.

2013 was the year of the Isabel Marant wedge sneaker. Yep, that atrocity. Okay, I'm being a bit harsh here, but all of the knock-off versions that were still holding on for dear life two years later made me want to scratch my eyes out. BUT, I was set on getting a pair that looked as close to the original, so I bought a pair from Stradivarius that looked damn good if I do say so myself. And I loved them so much that I even dedicated a whole post to them.  As the year progressed, I upped the quality of the photos, and my style became more and more girly. As I said, I was really into blazers, that preppy look and DIYs, and my most infamous DIY was when I dyed a pair of white high-waist jeans burgundy - my mom hated them, but I LOVED them.

Ah 2014, the Zoella period. If you were into YouTube, more specifically the British YouTubers, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. I was reaaally inspired by her style. Sadly, this part is kind of wiped out of blog history since the photos are all corrupted now :( But I managed to gather enough from good old Facebook so no worries there!
In 2014 I experienced a new side of fashion in Skopje, I attended my first Fashion Weekend Skopje and took part in Fashion Blogging and Photography Workshop (blogpost about it here) which is still one of the coolest things I've been a part of. I was young and totally out of my head, but I deeply enjoyed talking about fashion, attending fashion shows and collaborating with photographers.
And as the year came to a close, my style took a swift grunge turn, and I began wearing dark colours and patterns, dark lipstick, wide-brim hats - the whole ordeal. I think that was due to my drastic hairstyle change - I basically had super long hair my entire life and that summer I decided I was sick of it and I chopped it off.

2015 was probably the beginning stage of my current style, the trial version if you might. I began playing around with street style, looking up different ways to style certain clothing pieces and started to slowly ditch the preppy, girly style. I wore my red flannel shirt to death, as well as high-waisted everything. I started collaborating with different photographers and I absolutely loved how everyone had a different style of shooting. I was so used to how Angela and I shot that this part of my blogging career was quite refreshing.
In 2015 I also took part in the MY:TIME x Fossil Watches blogger challenge, which I still to this day am SO PROUD OF. I absolutely love the photos that we took with Biljana Klisarova, I love the stories that those two posts tell, and I put my heart and soul into those two posts. I didn't get to make a third post, but I was still super proud of everything I achieved and they are still to this day in my top blog posts list. In case you want to see the photos, you can click here and here :)

2016 is when I got the basic staples in my closet that I still wear to this day: mom jeans, striped shirts, a denim skirt, a cosy long cardigan and my (very) loved long, grey coat. It was a chill year for me, nothing too girly nor sophisticated, I lived in Vans and Converse, oversized sweaters in winter and skirts in summer. I remember I got to travel a lot that year, so I was always dressed like life is a vacation, and that influenced my overall style that year. The year started off darker, a lot of black and burgundy, but as the weather got warmer and warmer I introduced more blue and red into my life.

At the beginning of 2017 I set myself a new mantra: Stop caring about what other people think. And that applied to all fields of my life: style included. I started to wear more daring silhouettes I always thought would look horrible on me like oversized jackets and culottes. Today, I can't imagine my life without them. My point is: even though it doesn't look like I stepped out of my comfort zone style-wise, I did. I still kept that casual, youthful look but played around with more pastel colours and different shapes. Also, I gotta admit, I looked damn good in 2017 so yay for 2017 Elena. I hope 2020 Elena can emulate that same energy haha.

2018. Agh that year. Objectively one of the worst ones for my mental health but it was also the year that I started making content I really enjoyed. I started to cover topics such as body positivity and anxiety and made some really dope photoshoots to go along with them, and I am so proud of each post I made that year. I pushed myself even more out of my comfort zone that year, but my style was basically what it is today, just the .1 version of it. I remember I bought my first beret that year and I wore the hell out of it (as I still do) but I always thought that hats like berets didn't suit me. You'd think I learned my lesson in 2017 about that haha.

And since I described 2018 as the worst for my mental health, it would be only fitting that 2019 was the absolute best. I didn't post much on the blog, but I did document a lot of things (and by things I mean outfits) with my phone. I spent half of the year abroad which meant packing only a suitcase full of stuff and that made me more experimental and creative with my outfits. I started to accessorize more and I found out that yes, accessories do matter and they do make the outfit. Madrid was a big confidence boost because the style there is outrageously cool and I would get so inspired to step up my game and wear whatever I wanted. I didn't get any strange looks (which happened once I returned to Skopje) and that made me want to go even bolder with my outfits. I was loving life and I am immensely grateful for that experience.

And as for 2020, since I don't have the sufficient documentation (nor a time machine that will take me to the end of this year) I can only give my predictions as for what direction I think my style will be heading to:

  1.  This year, I'm ditching fast fashion. *Disclaimer: not completely, since I am still new to the whole sustainability and fashion consciousness train. Sometimes I will just have to cave in and buy a piece of clothing ONLY if I really need it/want it, but overall I will try to stay away from unnecessary buying* I want to buy more second hand, vintage and sustainable clothing, but mostly cut down on my spending habits and learn some damn self-control! I want to dedicate a whole post only to this topic, so stay tuned for that. 
  2. I want to revisit my closet and give some love to pieces that deserve it. The pieces I have in mind are a couple of really cool jackets from when my mother was my age, that have just been collecting dust in my closet. That means that maybe my style will take a more vintage, sophisticated turn. Only time can tell for sure!
  3.  Lately, I've been enjoying adding a pop of colour to a basic outfit, or just having something that catches your attention while the rest is simple and put together. A colourful beret, funky earrings, a statement top. Anything goes, as long as I don't go overboard (which can easily happen). So think Parisienne chic but with a twist!

That's all I can tell for now, and I'm really interested to see how much of this I get right haha. Thank you for sticking around till the end of the post, this took me an embarrassing amount of time to put together, but I really enjoyed making it! Xx

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