Have you come across those social media posts that ask questions like: "what clothes should I avoid after turning 40?" or "what should I not wear in my 50s?" or "can a 70-year-old woman wear leggings?" or "what clothes are appropriate for my age?”. Or have you been guilty of searching Pinterest with these exact questions? I’m here to say: let’s scrap these questions altogether!
This approach of “dressing our age” only leads to seeking validation from others and looking for happiness and satisfaction outside of ourselves, which can never truly fulfill us. I'm not here to give fashion advice or comment on current trends… That's just not my thing. If you feel comfortable wearing skinny jeans or boyfriend jeans, scarves or belts, navy jackets or tennis shoes, black, beige, nude, stripes, textures, or any other silhouettes you like, then go ahead and do it! But since you are here and reading my blog, I’m guessing we might have a few things in common when it comes to fashion…
Being in the rag trade for more than 30 years, I have learned a few hard lessons along the way. When it comes to clothes, I agree with Marie Kondo in that it's important to get rid of any items that no longer fit or bring you joy. By doing so, you can make space for the things that you love to wear, and make you feel great!
Remember, you have the right to dress however you want, regardless of your age, and while I'm not here to dictate your wardrobe, I do have some fun advice on what not to wear. So, while I don't usually tell people what to wear, I really believe that there are three items that none of us should ever wear again, regardless of age (… don’t worry, I'm not here to take away your favorite jeans, leggings, or comfy clothes). Ok island girl, let’s stop wearing these three items and have some fun!
1. STOP wearing the burdens of your past.
“The day I understood everything, was the day I stopped trying to figure everything out. The day I knew peace was the day I let everything go.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Learning how and when to let go of past beliefs has been a big lesson for me. Letting go truly does enable a more peaceful life: less stress, better sleep, and overall more happiness. But the thing about letting go is that in today’s society, we are not really conditioned to embrace it. As someone who has been building a business for almost 2 decades, I have often played into the busy-ness of life and “letting go” doesn’t really support the notion of work, work, work until you succeed! However, in recent years I have found (in all areas of life, not just in business) that by letting go you let in all the things that in some weird, mysterious way, work FOR you so that all the hard work doesn’t need to feel like blood, sweat and tears. West Indies Wear is my passion and I want it to be my passion that drives it: I’m always working hard and putting in the time, but by letting go of the need to “hustle”, I’m holding space for the things that feel good. I’m reaching more island girls who get me and share the same passion for cool, comfortable, island style.
2. STOP wearing the need to compare your life to others.
In today’s social media, alternate reality world that we live in, comparison can be the root of all evil and I am here to say: island girl, STOP comparing your life and style to others on instagram! The pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect is completely unproductive and by connecting our worth with anything (or anyone) outside of ourselves, we are setting ourselves up for failure! You are who you are, island girl. And you are perfect just the way you are! I have been guilty of comparing myself to others, too! We all have. In business, I have often compared my journey to the journey of other similar small businesses: there was always another brand that “took off” faster, or reached a wider audience, or had a prettier Instagram profile, or a bigger team, or accomplished more in a shorter amount of time. But this only caused me to forget my own identity and stop enjoying my own journey. I realized then that I needed to STOP wearing these comparisons and START pursuing joy in building this incredible community. So, if you are currently in a phase of your life, where you are constantly comparing your life to others online. Or if you feel pressure to prove yourself. I urge you to look inward and create inner peace, and I urge you to surround yourself with a community that accepts you and loves you for who you are 🤗
3. STOP wearing synthetic fabrics.
As we all know, the skin is the body’s largest organ so it goes without saying that treating it with care is pretty important. This is exactly why we should be thinking about what your skin comes in contact with every day - like clothing. So, what’s the worst fabric for our precious skin? Hear me out… It’s polyester! While it’s tricky to completely avoid synthetic fabrics, here are a few reasons why you should try your hardest. Man-made fabrics like acrylic, polyester, rayon, acetate, and nylon are treated with thousands of harmful toxic chemicals during production. Toxic chemicals aside, these synthetic fabrics just simply don’t breathe! Anyone who has headed outside on a hot summer day wearing a polyester shirt is probably well aware of that! And these fabrics also trap odors, so not only do you sweat more but the fabric keeps all the stinky body odor trapped in it’s fibers. Gross! Truly all signs point to polyester being the number ONE worst fabric for our skin, and I urge you to STOP wearing it, especially as the days start to warm up.
There you have it, island girls! These THREE items are taking a toll on you, and it's time to put an end to it. Please STOP. Instead, you should start to express yourself through your clothing. Lead the cool, comfortable life you desire. And most importantly, be your true self! So, what should you wear instead? My main aim is to encourage you to wear things that truly make you feel great! So, when I talk about ditching things, I’m not talking about throwing away your favorite shirt just because it’s 6% polyester! Nope, I’m talking about simply filling your closet with clothing that gives you a little extra confidence when you wear it. The types of clothes that make you stand a little straighter and walk with a little more pep in your step. Think about how much energy, time, and happiness we would gain if we truly only ever dressed in clothes that fit great and light up our smiles! Think about it - what if we just let go of the things that don’t serve us? How much better could life be? We’d have more energy, more clarity, and more time to do the things we love. Maybe we’d even see the world in a whole new way. So, let’s kick those negative thoughts and feelings to the curb and start living our best lives!!
If you are looking for a community of like-minded island girls who will welcome you with open arms and truly accept you for exactly who you are. A community that shares your love of cool cotton clothing and bright, island prints. A community that encourages you to dress in outfits that light you up. A community that shares their island adventures and inspires you to travel. Look no further than our community of more than 1700 island girls over on Facebook: We can’t wait to see you on our island!