A Desperate Exhibitionist?

Most girls in this stage are desperate exhibitionists and deeply competitive. Their individuality must be protected at all costs…

Bartley, L., Luella’s Guide to English Style, HarperCollins Publishers (2010), p.28

Thus one of the top names in British fashion describes the English girl in her 20s, as she discovers herself outside of education and parental controls but with a limited budget. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking Luella is criticising this age bracket, which includes myself, for being obsessed with self-expression and ‘discovering who they really are’.

If that is your first impression, then I suggest you have to read Luella’s Guide to English Style. Luella is a woman who really understands the eccentricity that being English is really about. That it is not just a way of wearing but also an attitude that pervades your entire life. She has done what no politician has managed to do. She has made me feel proud to be English again (I normally prefer ‘British’ as the inclusion of our Scottish and Welsh cousins reduces the ‘Englishness’ of it). She is a flag-bearer for the English girl who is purposefully subversive and rebellious in her wardrobe, because why look chic when you can be so ‘wrong’ it is ‘right’?
So why have I spent an entire paragraph gushing over Luella’s book? Because at the moment she is inspiring my sartorial choices, including the one featured here. I have not been visiting my beloved charity shops very much recently and my wardrobe was in serious danger of becoming conventional. Not great for a girl who likes to think she goes against convention. Luella has snapped me out of that and is causing me to size up my style again, along with some help from my discovery of ASOS Marketplace (Where has it been my entire life?). 
So on to the outfit in question. I love black pencil skirts. I currently own two and I have a third one hung up in my regular charity shop to try on tomorrow. They go with everything because the shape is so simple. However, everything inside me was saying they needed to be put with elegant shoes; I did the exact opposite. Picking my chunky Doc Marten Mary-Janes and an extra oversized jacket, I completely ignored all convention about dressing elegantly. Guess what! Luella was right and flouting the rules created a totally me outfit that didn’t look hideous. Am I allowed to admit I was little proud of my efforts?
I did add a little colour with a bright orange belt and rubber duck pendant. But what’s life without a little humour? 
Have you read Luella’s guide? What were your thoughts on her take on English style? How would you sum up our eccentric country’s style? Let me know in the comments below.
Style notes || Skirt: Vintage Sale | Shoes: Doc Martens | Top: Next | Belt: New Look | Necklace: Gift | Jacket: Encore at British Red Cross
The post A Desperate Exhibitionist? first appeared on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.
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