Twenty-Five to Thirty-Two

Winnipeg fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera wears a white off-shoulder sweater, Aritzia black culottes and Sam Edelman lace-up heelsOutfit details on fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera, including Aritzia culottes and Chanel Timeless handbagPortrait of brunette fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera wearing Celine Audrey sunglasses and a white endless rose sweater Fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera walks in downtown Winnipeg wearing a white endless rose sweater and Same Edelman lace-up heelsEndless Rose sweater (c/o Shopbop)
Aritzia culottes
Sam Edelman heels
Chanel handbag
Celine sunglasses
& Other Stories earrings

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!

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  1. My style has absolutely evolved as I’ve aged – not so much as I’ve aged really but as my circumstances and priorities have changed (which I suppose just naturally goes hand in hand with aging). 10 years ago I never, ever would have believed that I’d love a good blazer as much as I do now. I got really into them in grad school when I still imagined I’d be a prof one day and teaching all the time but I held onto my love of them long after I moved away from that.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  2. Happy Friday Cee!! And this post is reminding me I have yet to style my culottes on the blog. Whoops, I wear them all the time but they haven’t made there way to G&C quite yet! And love how you styled yours + aren’t they the best?! So comfy, yet you feel totally pulled together! As for closets fixing our lives? I’ve been there many times, though I’ll admit, the right outfit can help a gal weather a stormy day! 😉 But yes, fashion is definitely about evolution, my style has certainly changed so much since the early days, and I’m always so smitten with where yours is going too!! xo

  3. I loved reading this (as I do all your posts). I have always gravitated toward bohemian clothing on some level, but with each decade there have been apparent changes. I was a huge hippie in my 20s, and not just by style standards. In my early 30s, I was newly divorced and went through a phase of being obsessed with vintage clothing (mainly mod pieces), but then shifted back into a more boho inspired wardrobe by my mid 30s. I feel like I was pregnant most of my late thirties and casual comfort was key. Now I think it mostly depends on the day. I’m very casual, but I do care about how I look. And that concludes my 1 AM rambles… I love your style, and love seeing it evolve.

  4. I think I can relate to 25 year old Cee, needing clothes to feel like the life I want could become a reality with the right dress. In many ways that is what prompted me to start my blog as well, though I have not evolved past it as you have. I’m happy you can look back and see how far you’ve come, and I love your style just as much now as I did then.

  5. Oh yes, my style has changed over the years and I want to think its better now although I believe there is always room for improvement.
    Before I lived in jeans and flats. Hated dresses, make up and perfume. Nowadays I own just 5 pairs of jeans, LOVE dresses, work in the makeup and perfume industry which I now enjoy.

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