Thoughts on style: what's in a name?

Work's been crazy this week, and has left little time for shopping, posting, or much of anything really, so I've been doing some thinking about the words I want to describe my style. Begin navel-gazing in 3...2...1..

I think the wardrobe shift I've been experiencing over the past year has only a little to do with the weight I've lost, but more to do with internal changes that have been happening. It's convenient that nothing fits physically, as it certainly doesn't fit mentally. Moving from the US to Australia has shifted my perceptions (as I expected it would), and has made me a little more experimental in my choices. As I'm getting ready to move on to Europe, I know it'll shift again, so I'm trying to leave room in my wardrobe (and budget) to accommodate that.

I've done some thinking, and reading of the archives, and trolling individual blogs, and it looks like one of the first questions is "Well, what do you want to look like? What speaks to you?"  And the first question is easy. I want to look like me. The second--well, I've found some inspiration, mostly among the arty/eclectics here, and others off-site.  

But on the first I don't feel like the words that I'd use to describe my wardrobe (durable, practical, plain) are really the words I would use to describe my personality (smart, creative, adventurous--but practical, too). Perhaps when I first chose these clothes, I wasn't feeling very adventurous? Looking back, in the weeks before I moved, I was a little scared. I think my choices reflected that. 

I really like the description that floats around here--the urban warrior princess. But I wouldn't use them to describe me. I'm not really a warrior. My personality veers more toward "protector" and less toward "enforcer". After some thinking, I realized that my sartorial inspiration has been on my hip (in tattoo form) the whole time--Bastet. She's the Egyptian goddess with the head of the cat, who was known for defending the home, and was also associated with art, music, and dance. 

So what does Bastet dress like? To me, she's interesting, eye-catching, feminine. Probably a bit playful. She doesn't put up with b.s. (she's defending the house, after all), so there's some leather around.  Her festival, by all accounts was decadent. Hedonistic, even. So, there's probably a little bit of allure there.... :) 

So what does this all look like to me, as far as a descriptor goes? Modern Adventurer Goddess. I'm living in the here and now, and want to keep it with the times. Adventurer captures my situation, and the words that describe me. I need some practicality, and I want to incorporate bits of style from everywhere I'm going. Goddess--a nod back to bastet. This is where shape comes in for me. Allowing for the fact that I look good in those classical shapes (defined waists, full skirts), and I am a big sucker for lushness. Fine materials, elegant construction, rich colours, and warm sunshine. 

That's the look I'm going for. Modern Adventurer Goddess. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Love it!!

    May I make a prediction? With this fabulous moniker, you may start a new trend here on YLF! 

    I agree it seems to encapsulate what you are up to, and what you aspire to. 

    I must say that Angie's designation "urban prince" rang such a bell for me, personally, that it has helped me advance in my style enormously since January, when she coined it. For some people the names don't do much, but for me, putting a name to my style was a real eye-opener and helpful in planning my purchases. It is possible that one needs to be poised at a certain stage of development for that to happen -- not sure. 

    Looking forward to seeing what you get up to with your new name, MAG! (Short for Magic).

  • replied 10 years ago

    I like that a lot, and your reasoning really does resonate with your choice! I felt the same, that I liked elements of UWP but I didn't feel the princess thing, so it morphed into Urban Sci-Fi Knight (with brief flirtations with Urban Prince). I look forward to seeing your style journey progress!

  • Kristin L replied 10 years ago

    I love how you have created your descriptor. And it can be trying when you're figuring out your style. I admire all of the Urbans out there, but I realized it's not me. I'm Casual Gamine Classic. I love playfulness and femininity in my outfits and I've realized that I'm more likely to gravitate towards classic silhouettes and designs. 

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 10 years ago

    What great insights and a wonderful descriptor, congratulations!  

  • Aziraphale replied 10 years ago

    Modern Adventure Goddess.  I like it!  Brings to mind Xena the Warrior Princess.  Although metal breastplate and leather skirt is probably not the kind of lushness you're going for...

  • Cindy replied 10 years ago

    I think that's a great descriptor! I'm still struggling with this stage.

  • ManidipaM replied 10 years ago

    Sounds... FAB!

    Coming down the other end of the street from Suz, I have often wondered whether my inability to encompass my style in a moniker is part of what is holding me back from achieving a signature look. Realisation can only follow articulation etc.

    If that's a true thesis, I surmise you're halfway there!

  • rae replied 10 years ago

    I LOVE it! Seriously, great job. I used to have this little Bastet pendant I wore at all times. Got it at the county fair, just a cheapie thing, but I wore it until all the silver plating wore off and it looked totally beat to heck. 

    Super excited to see where your new moniker leads you!

  • Vildy replied 10 years ago

    I enjoyed reading and picturing this SO much!

  • shedev replied 10 years ago

    That's a really great moniker. I like your thought process.

  • Gaylene replied 10 years ago

    Love the name, especially the Modern Adventurer part!

  • Sylvie replied 10 years ago

    Wow!  That is perfect.  This is among the very best pieces of navel gazing on the forum.  I predict this moniker is going to take you to a new level in your personal style.

  • rachylou replied 10 years ago

    I like it too. Makes me think of Marion Ravenwood in Indiana Jones.

    I also felt the same re. UWP. I'm in for the zombie apocalypse, but am more waif than princess and more likely to be carrying a slingshot than a sword (I'd need help holding a sword out, those suckers are heavy!).

  • cheryl replied 10 years ago

    Fantastic descriptor. I love it!

  • jayne replied 10 years ago

    I love it and for many of the same reasons that I loved UWP.  A little tough, princess being feminine and urban being modern, but I have totally different pictures in my head with the two! 

  • catgirl replied 10 years ago

    Great style inspiration! And very evocative. We just saw the Egypt exhibit at the Met and Bastet is my fave along with Horus. It's funny how princess resonates with me where goddess does not, maybe because I think of goddess as more earthy somehow. And even princess is only okay when qualified by "warrior" - the princess of a dark gritty fallen realm.

    Loved reading your thought process!

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 10 years ago

    This is a very interesting read! Thanks for sharing your thought process. I love the descriptor you came up with, and it sounds like it will be really helpful to you as you continue your style (and life) journey!

  • Sveta replied 10 years ago

    I am completely incapable of coining a moniker for myself so I am cheering you on!

  • froggiebecky replied 10 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback! 

    Suz--I think that having the words can help a lot--but I never could settle on descriptors. I think a persona (or moniker) is, in many ways, less restrictive. We'll see how it goes in practice! And MAG...I like it. :) 

    Kristin, I love the urban, too, but I don't think it really fits my style or my body. "Urban" has an androgynous connotation to me, and that's a look that generally fights my curves. And I've got enough earth-mother-hippie in me (and spend time in the rainforest for my job) that it's just not a good fit. I like your descriptor, I think it fits you very well!  

    Azira--it's interesting that you think of Xena, because I think UWP describes Xena, and I wasn't really going for the metal breastplate look! Isn't it funny how we use different words and come up with the same character? 

    Mandipa--That's an interesting thought! I've always struggled to encapsulate my current style in a few words. When I come up with some, it works for about a week before I fall back into my jeans rut. When I came here and saw the UWP descriptor, I thought "hey, that works!" I can immediately imagine an UWP (even if she's not me), far better than I can imagine "quirky and feminine with a touch of boho". 

    Alaska--I'm glad "goddess" evokes earthy to you--it does to me, too, and that's definitely something that describes me! 

  • Elly replied 10 years ago

    I really enjoyed reading this. I've never truly done the moniker thing, but I'm tempted to try now reading your post. I like how you started with yourself, your personality, you circumstances and made those the basis for your fashion story. 

    I also found it interesting how you conceptualize these descriptor words we throw around. I think our differing ways of forming ideas around personas says a lot about our core personalities and our worldviews and life experiences.

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