In your teens or twenties? Feeling like you’ve yet to develop your own style, or that nothing you wear really suits you? Don’t worry: just give it a few years and it’ll all work itself out, because according to a new survey by Marks and Spencer, most Brits don’t really feel comfortable with their style until they hit the age of 33, while 24 is the age at which we feel the least stylish…
Does this sound familiar to anyone? We tend to take these surveys with a very generous pinch of salt, but although we could quibble with the exactness of the ages quoted, the general principle does make a lot of sense. For many people, the formative years are a time either of experimentation (Which is a necessary part of developing a style, of course, but which always creates a few fashion casualties along the way) or of trying desperately to fit in, even if it means wearing clothes that don’t suit us, or which we don’t even really like in the first place. Sometimes we experience both of these conflicting desires within the space of a few years (or even, confusingly enough, at the SAME TIME, wanting to stand out, but still fit in. Growing up is hard, isn’t it?) which can make the teens and early twenties something of a style wilderness. We all have those photos we look back and cringe at, don’t we? DON’T WE?
By the time we hit our 30s, though, we’re hopefully not just older, but perhaps a little wiser, too. We’re more settled in our lives and careers, and we’ve also had time to accept who we are, to learn what we like and don’t like, and to learn from our past fashion mistakes. (All of those photos have to serve SOME purpose, no?) We’re also less likely to feel the need to use labels or trends to impress people, or to feel like we MUST keep up with the Joneses at all costs: we might not be in line for any “Best Dressed” awards, but we are, at least, happier with what we see in the mirror, and more comfortable with our sartorial choices.
That’s the theory, anyway. Is the reality, though? At what age did you start to feel most comfortable with your style?