When I moved back to London after university, I left a huge part of me behind in Cornwall. Over the coming months and years, I slowly lost myself. I felt anxious, lost and depressed – qualities that have never really been my jam. Fast forward a couple of years and I took the brave decision to move back to the Duchy. Since then, I’ve been slowly finding my style, both in work and as a dog owner. With Woody by my side, things have changed in ways I could never have predicted and I’m finally feeling more me.
I’ve been practicing minimalism intentionally for a few years now. I’ve always had a smaller wardrobe, even as a child. I wear my clothes over and over until they become worn and can no longer be repaired. I have less pieces than most people but I love every single one. Aside from decluttering and the curation of my belongings, over time I’ve become more interested in sustainability when it comes to clothes.
Understandably, as a dog owner, I live an active lifestyle. Woody would be running around 24/7 if he had his way. I make sure to take him out for a long walk at least once a day. Exploring new places in Cornwall brings me so much joy and it’s important that my wardrobe compliments my lifestyle.
A huge part of finding my style involved deciphering the difference between my ‘dream’ self and my ‘real’ self. Dream Hattie wears long flowing dresses and princess skirts, with leather sandals and delicate tops. In my real life, these aren’t so practical – believe me, I’ve tried! Maxi dresses and skirts soon get soggy when you spend most of your time by the sea and delicate tops don’t mix well with over excited cocker spaniel claws! I’m also allergic to wool, which makes knitwear a minefield when winter comes around.
So how would I describe my style? Loose, casual and fun. My colour palette is inspired by Cornwall’s beaches. My wardrobe is filled with blues, creams, greens and greys. I love a good slogan or bold t-shirt design and simple silhouettes that allow plenty of room to move.
The majority of my pieces are made from cotton. I try to buy organic cotton wherever possible and if my budget allows, as it uses less water to manufacture than its non-organic counterpart*. I love buying clothing second hand, from sample sales and embracing hand-me-downs. Though I do have a fair few pieces that I bought brand new too.
I like pieces that can be dressed up or down. I live in dresses and shorts in the summer, with leggings and wellies for dog walks in winter. Finding my style has been a long process but I’m so much happier with fewer pieces that I can wear all year round. Being a dog owner is such a huge part of my identity now and this certainly reflects in my personal style. Dog themed pieces continue to sneak their way into my wardrobe; I can’t say I mind too much!
Owning a dog also helps me when it comes to making new purchases. I’m a firm believer in purchasing for longevity, practicality and comfort these days. If a potential new item can’t keep me warm, comfortable or dry when I’m out adventuring with Woody, it’s staying in the shop!
Are you in the process of finding your style? What tips would you recommend to those who have just started their style journey? Let me know in a comment!
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*indicates an affiliate link, though I would highly recommend Lucy Siegle’s book, it’s an insightful study into the fast fashion industry, uncovering the sustainability issues surrounding the manufacture of different fabrics.