This year’s 5 fashion lessons I wish I’d learnt sooner…

Hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas! I say this as I have again filled myself up to the point where I need to have a little sit for another hour or so…
Anyway, taking another look back over 2015 as it speeds towards the end, I thought I’d share the things I’ve learned about style this year. So,Β last year I found a new affinity for midi-length full skirts, turtlenecks, glasses, crop-tops and co-ord sets. At that point, I kinda felt like what more could there possibly be to try… how could someone get to the end of their 20s and still be finding things out about what they like to wear? Particularly things that rank quite highly on the ‘duh’ scale. So, I thought, there won’t be one of these posts this year… but then all these ways my style has changed lately kept popping into my head and here we are.
With most, actually, all of these I just kick myself it took me so long to figure it out. They all get a very high place on the duh scale for sure. But it just goes to show, even fashion bloggers can get stuck in their ways or get it wrong… I say that like I’m some sort of Supreme Clothes Being, which is actually laughable… Of course I get it wrong!!
1. Earrings don’t make my face look weird
CiCi in earrings
Yep, literally all my life I’ve had this thing in my head that stubbornly said ‘earrings just don’t suit me’. In recent years, I’ve been blaming it on my small head – what can I say, I’m nothing if not (il)logical. Actually, though, I hadn’t even tried to wear any for the last decade, so really thinking that way was even more non-sensical than first appears. Thankfully, Jessica opened my eyes when she sent me lots of cute vintage pairs (like the above) to try out. Oh, how stupid I felt when I realised I actually love them. What a waste of all those years I could have been building up a collection… Le sigh.
2. You can have (way) too much going on
CiCi's over-complicating an outfit
This outfit wins the award for my most disliked of the year. I almost didn’t post it, but I was curious enough to want to know what everyone thought and if anyone could nail what it was I didn’t like about it. And my readers provided… there was just too much going on and it wasn’t all coming together that well. Mostly, there’s just too many colours here and they aren’t all very complimentary to one another. If they could talk, they’d probably all be trying to shout the loudest to get your attention. Once this epiphany had been reached, it changed the way I thought about the colours in my outfits – now I tend to work with a ‘rule of 3’ – up to 3 core colours in each outfit, with the exception that extras can be tones of one of these (and black and white do or don’t count as a colour depending on my mood). I have to say, so far I think it’s really made a difference to how put together outfits in the second half of the year have been.
3. Quality is sometimes better than quantity
CiCi learns quality sometimes tops quantity
I am the worst person for always choosing lots of cheap pieces over one classic, well-made item that will see me through the next few decades. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten out of the student mindset where I simply couldn’t afford to ever buy anything that decent. I’ve still got a lot of work to do on that, but I’m definitely coming round to the idea of adding some quality items to my wardrobe. This dress from Coast was a review gift and that’s probably the only way I’d ever have come to owning it, if I’m honest, but everything about it made me rethink my bad bulk-buying ways. The fabric and the cut are just so superior to a lot of other dresses I own. Lesson learned – sometimes it’s worth paying a bit extra (especially if there’s a sale on – what can I say, a leopard can’t change her spots completely!).
4. Gold is Good
CiCi learns to love gold
Yeah, I’ve got no excuse for this one. I can trace the roots back to my teenage years – gold just wasn’t cool back then. Silver was the only metal that ever graced my goth-y self. And then, like the fool I am, I just kept thinking silver was the only tone for me, without ever stopping to question the logic of someone who thought fake dreadlocks made with hair gel were a good look. Even though I have warm-toned skin, brown hair with a fair bit of ginger to it (in some of these photos here you can see what I mean) and every red lipstick I really love has an orange base. Thank goodness I’ve been reunited with gold this year. It’s mostly happened the last few months and now I just can’t stop myself from buying it. You’ll even be seeing a gold sparkly jumper in the upcoming weeks! It’s practically a neutral and it’s so flattering on me, I do feel a bit silly for avoiding it for so long.
5. Pink is not just for 5-year-old girls
CiCi and pink
And continuing the theme of ‘colours I’ve been avoiding since youth for no good reason’, we have pink. Actually, I’m not even sure I liked it that much as a child and I definitely took properly against it as a teen. There wasn’t much room among all the black everything. Quite like florals, which I’ve also been avoiding mostly until this year, I felt pink was a wee bit too girly and twee for me. And yet I’ve made it one of my blog colour themes and adorn myself with every traditionally feminine thing going… you see the contradictions here, right? I finally did too and now I’m adding some fuschia hues to my wardrobe at long last.
Right, I promise that’s the end of the ‘year in review’ posts – back soon with lots more new outfit posts!


  1. December 27, 2015 / 2:49 pm

    I think it is hilarious you thought you couldn't wear earrings. It is funny how our personal perception of ourselves can be so skewed.

    That last outfit is one of my all time favourites of yours.


    • January 1, 2016 / 8:56 am

      I'm still not sure I can wear ALL earrings πŸ˜‰ x

  2. December 27, 2015 / 5:49 pm

    Hello lovely, I hope you're having a fab festive time! I think it's fab to break our own rules sometimes, it gives us a bit of freedom to play and learn! I think I need more pink and gold in my life, you're setting a great example here. I went to some sales today but it was pretty fruitless. No hope of reinventing myself through a new wardrobe anytime soon! Xx

    • January 1, 2016 / 8:57 am

      It's all about online shopping – oh just wait until I tell you All The Things I've bought over the last week… Starting 2016 bankrupt! xxx

  3. December 28, 2015 / 5:07 am

    Love all of "the lessons" you've learned, don't mind if I use some for my own growing too. I love your style so much and can't wait to see what the 2016 will bring us in the Cici Marie chapter. Happy holidays lovely!

    • January 1, 2016 / 8:58 am

      Be my guest πŸ™‚ and thank you, looking forward to seeing your next chapter too! Happy New Year!

  4. December 28, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    Ooh I love this post so much! These points are so true and are very relatable, I have been through (and am still learning) all of these!

    • January 1, 2016 / 8:59 am

      I'm sure there will always be more things to learn, I'll probably be writing these posts until I'm 80 πŸ˜‰

  5. December 28, 2015 / 4:37 pm

    I love all these lessons you've learned. I can say #1 and #3 are probably top on my list of things I've learned and all the others are so true as well! On point CiCi! πŸ™‚

    • January 1, 2016 / 8:59 am

      I'm so pleased I'm not the only one and everyone seems to be relating to me here!!

  6. December 28, 2015 / 7:57 pm

    I love how silly things sound in retrospect. When at the time they feel very on point. So glad you are wearing fabulous earrings!!!

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:00 am

      And there are so many more fabulous earrings to wear in the world πŸ˜€

  7. December 28, 2015 / 10:00 pm

    I related to so many of these! It's so easy to think with each year that we've come to the peak of our fashion knowledge, but I've also had to learn to accept that fashion is fluid and what works for anyone will change throughout a life time. I also used to hate gold but over years have completely fallen in love with it! I've had to learn what too much in one outfit is too (sometimes I think I'm still learning, especially with how things photograph versus real life), though admittedly I don't think the outfit your spoke of is all that bad. Happy New Year! XO

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:02 am

      Very true, perhaps I'll do a u-turn on some of these too as time goes on! I don't think the outfit I don't like was 'bad', just not as good as I hoped it would be and it was interesting figuring out why I didn't like it. Happy New Year to you too! x

  8. December 28, 2015 / 11:08 pm

    These are some good style lessons to learn! Though I honestly don't think that that outfit is bad! I kind of like all the hues, but I totally get the idea of having "too much going on". I used to be matchy-matchy and it certainly didn't work. Learning from our style mistakes is a necessity.

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:02 am

      I guess it just proves there are no rules and what I 'learn' won't work for everyone!

  9. December 29, 2015 / 11:45 pm

    This such a fantastic post and introspective look at your own style. I too continue to learn things about my own fashion tastes (which certainly change to a degree as time goes on) and think that doing so is one of the key hallmarks of not only a good fashionista, but a wise one.

    Thank you so much for the very thoughtful shout out and for each and every opportunity we had to connect on each other's blogs and social media sites this year. I adore your blog to no end and can hardly wait to see what you'll be bringing us next year (while sporting understated high end gold and pink earrings, natch! ;D).

    Tons of hugs & joyful New Year's countdown wishes,
    β™₯ Jessica

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:04 am

      Hehe, of course on the earrings πŸ˜‰ and I'm of course very grateful to count you as a friend, Jessica – and for all the support you've given me this year too. Can't wait to see what 2016 brings for you, Happy New Year! xx

  10. December 30, 2015 / 12:11 pm

    I love these lessons that you have listed, I can relate to number #3 for sure, I have focused on quality over quantity during the past few years. I also must say your outfit in the third image is one of my favourites! x

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:05 am

      I loved that one too, it nearly ended up in my top 10! I used to think quality didn't make much of a difference but how wrong I've been all this time… x

  11. December 30, 2015 / 3:23 pm

    I think you look fab even in your 'worst' outfit. I wonder if you'll make any new discoveries in 2016? (Hopefully, we all will – life gets boring when there's nothing new to discover.)

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:06 am

      Very true! And thank you πŸ™‚

  12. January 2, 2016 / 4:02 pm

    I did have to giggle at the earrings statement, I'm glad that you have found a whole new road of accessories to skip down. I understand the thing about gold too, I do tend to wear silver, again, from a teenage phase, but sometimes a splash of gold is just the thing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *