At twenty-five, I was a wreck. Ian and I bought our first home in Vancouver the year before, returning to the city after eighteen months away. I quickly learned that my close friends were not as close as I believed. The job market was competitive and I was forced to take a significant, often humiliating demotion because that was better than having no job at all. My life seemed to have suddenly veered drastically off course. And since I couldn’t think of a better solution, I projected all of my feelings about that – the anxiety, the guilt, the crushing disappointment – onto my wardrobe. Yes, somehow I believed my clothes were to blame.
But it wasn’t really that. My clothes were something I could control, something I could fix, in a scenario where everything else was out of my hands. And so, I launched Coco & Vera. My life at twenty-five didn’t afford me enough opportunities to wear anything more exciting than skinny jeans with a sweater and a blog, I reasoned, would create those opportunities I didn’t otherwise have.
I was misguided, but I felt stuck in a rut and couldn’t think of a better way out. I slowly transitioned my skinny jeans to the kind of glamourous outfits I wished my life required. My life got back on course soon enough. I found a better job, and then another one. We moved to Paris and came back to Canada again. The scope of what I thought I wanted my life to be when I was twenty-five seems unambitious when I think of what I’ve actually done since I was that age. Beautiful clothes do not make a life.
And that’s just it. I’ve realised this year, as I reflect on a closet that doesn’t necessarily match my lifestyle, that my style has changed because the life I want has changed. If you had told me, at twenty-five, that someday soon I would prefer culottes to skirts, I would never have believed it. In fact, I probably would have asked, “What are culottes?” But I’m thirty-two now, I feel better than ever and certainly more secure in my style than I ever have. Which means I can confidently say that if my life doesn’t require me to wear a dress ever again, I will be totally fine with it.
How has your style evolved as you’ve aged? I’d love to know!