My Real Style Inspirations…

Miss Fairchilds Children

Miss Fairchild’s Ferals Children

Yes folks, those are my baby girls. My truest style inspirations. The ones who taught me to be myself…

When I was growing up I moved around a lot. As someone who was picked on I thought this was a good idea – new school, new chance to not stand out like a sore thumb. It didn’t actually work. It was like someone sent a memo to the mean girls at my new school letting them know I was transferring. Eventually I started doing everything I could to not stand out. Which wasn’t that easy to do as the pale skinned, freckled faced, orange haired, four eyed geek. I did everything I could (fashion wise) to conform and to be just like the other girls. I was miserable.

When frosted lipstick was in (oh yes, I am that old) I wore it. I hated wearing it, but I wore it all the same.

When I bought foundation I always bought it in the shade I thought I *should* be – the glowing suntanned goddess colour. I am pale as pale can be.

When I got married I put aside the picture of the blue 50’s style ball gown with miles of tulle in the full skirt and opted for the plain strapless white wedding dress I was “suppose” to want.

When I was running my business and having kids I opted for what everyone told me was practical and sensible – jeans and t-shirts. Even though I yearned for floaty dresses.

When my kids wanted to try something different when they were little I was all for it. You want to wear your spiderman costume to the restaurant for dinner? SURE! You want to wear shorts over jeans and long stripey socks over the jeans? GO FOR IT!

Then they reached school age and I became filled with fear. I dreaded them sticking out for fear they would be picked on. School crushed my eldest daughters spirits pretty quickly as she yearns for acceptance. My younger three might as well have said “F**k the world, this is who I am – take it or leave it” – sure enough, where my eldest daughter withered, they thrived.

It took some time after we started homeschooling for her to come out of her shell again. But she did. Then she started tagging along with me op shopping. She started wearing ladies skirts as strapless dresses – belted to fit. Vintage hats and gloves with converse and jeans. She has this amazing sense of style. You just never know what she will come out of her room wearing – and it ALWAYS looks amazing and now she just shines. The photo of her above she is wearing a crocheted beret, a stripey long shirt, a tutu/petticoat I made for her, rainbow socks and converse. She just radiates trendiness. All the girls now desperately want to be like her….and all it took was her deciding to be herself.

Miss 11, our middle child, has always been different. From when she would only wear purple clothes with butterflies on them, to dressing in 17 different layers at pre-school (her teachers always couldn’t wait to see how many things she would be wearing on any given day). She opposes matching socks and deliberately pairs them up mismatched and lives in hoodies. When she was 9 I allowed her to dye her hair. I have never seen her as happy as when she sat there admiring her shiny purple hair. Then she demanded it be chopped off short. All that long hair – I didn’t want to see it go. I knew purple hair was one thing, but as she was shunning dresses and wanted short hair I knew what was coming “are you a boy or a girl”. I was so filled with fear that I said no to the hair for so long. When we finally chopped it off the hairdresser begged her not to. After all – “girls have long hair”. She gave them the “f**k you, it’s my hair” look and it was done. She stopped shopping in the “girls” section and started demanding everything be “not girly”. The other day she asked for a mowhawk and I did it. I learnt to cut their hair awhile ago as I no longer wanted to subject them to the hairdressers who tried to talk them out of being them. If there is one thing Miss 11 is – it is unapologetically herself.

Then we have my babies. My twinnies have always been a little odd. At first I put it down to them being the babies. Then I thought it was a twin thing. Then I thought it was their adoration of Miss 11. But it turns out they are just not aware of the world at all. They think what they think and like what they like and that’s it. There is no “what do you think?” or hesitation. They just are who they are. Lion headress and a party dress? – sounds like the perfect thing to wear to the zoo. Hideous “chanel” sparkly baseball cap and a vintage playsuit? – just the thing to wear to the park. They cut and dyed their hair like their big sister. Tried looking different from one another then back to looking the same. Then the big test of my trust in them and let them truly be themselves. They asked to shave their heads. It wasn’t for a cause, or because someone they loved was bald…it was just because. As you can see from the photo they were pretty happy about it. They are truly individuals who have no interest at all in what other people think of them.

My girls have taught me how to be myself. How to say it’s ok for me to love 50’s dresses with 60’s handbags and 80’s ferragamos and 20’s cloches – and wear them all together. How to wear red lipstick or short shorts (it’s been very hot lately) and not be embarrassed. That it’s ok that while I love the look of heels, I can’t stand wearing them. How to look at things I love and say “I’m going to wear that because I love it” and not because it fits into some box of what I “should” like or what’s “trendy”. It was them that made me realise – I am not prim and proper and while I love all this vintage charm school stuff, I can still be snarky and sarcastic because THAT IS ME!

I had to let go of the fear of what people would think of me, in order to just be me. I couldn’t have done it if my brave and beautiful daughters hadn’t taken the lead and shown me how.

So todays question – who are your style inspiration?

Miss Fairchild xoxo

ps – With that in mind I am clearing out every piece of clothing I own that doesn’t fit me or my “style” any more. Check out my ebay auctions HERE and there are still some freebies up HERE

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13 Responses to My Real Style Inspirations…

  1. Oh the things we can learn from our children! My youngest went through a faze of wearing cat ears. My oldest is old-school punk with a dash of opera! Both are science fiction geeks. Life is always interesting and they are the bravest kids I’ve ever known. I’m glad I know them now, of course, but I wish I’d had friends like them when I was their age. And yours look like a barrel of fun! Enjoy every minute with them!

  2. Oh my gosh I love this. Your kids are amazing and it’s awesome how encouraging you are of them. Sadly there are many parents out there who would extinguish that fire instead of cultivate it – they’re lucky to have you as a mom! Oh and Miss 11’s mohawk is the BEST.

    • Thanks lovely. They are pretty incredible kids. We try our best and hubby came to the conclusion (he is so awesome) if we want them to feel like they have control over their own bodies as women, we need to start letting them make those choices now. Their body, their choice. And yes – Miss 11s purple mowhawk totally rocks!

  3. Teresa says:

    Your girls are amazing! I love how you haven’t tried to stifle their individual creative styles like some parents might be tempted to do. And from this, you’ve gained your own inspiration. High school wasn’t horrible for me but it wasn’t awesome either. I always tried to fit in while never drawing attention to myself. Sometimes, it just takes us time to realise who we are and what we are comfortable with.

    And I’m all for mixing different styles and eras!

    • I absolutely agree – they are so amazing. It has been hard sometimes as I worry they will get comments, but they are so happy as themselves. Their “real” friends love them as they are and I have to admit…most kids are jealous of Miss 11 and her purple mowhawk LOL. Glad to hear high school wasn’t awful for you. YAY for wearing just what you want regardless of eras or styles!!!

  4. Love Love Love. I have so much respect for you girls and their attitudes. I hope they never change and their actions encourage more young girls to be themselves and be happy about it!

  5. When my eldest daughter was little I wanted to get a badge for her that said ‘I dressed myself’ , as she was really out there. Now at 16 she dresses simply – but she would look good in a hessian bag. School uniforms tend to make our kids conservative I think, but mine love to op shop for their weekend clothes. Your home schooled lot will probably turn out to be fashion designers!
    I think I have got something from every actress in every old movie I’ve ever seen, from the Hepburns to Bacall, and Monroe and even Carmen Miranda. At present I need to lose weight, gain money and it’s almost too hot here to wear clothes, so I dress op shop chic. rather than the vintage I love. Heels have given way to flat sandals and chic suits to skirts and tees and sarongs for at home. But I can still wear my pearls and red lipstick!

  6. What a touching, deeply intimate, inspiring post. This was a moving, beautiful read, dear lady, thank you.

    ♥ Jessica

  7. I love this post, i have two daughters one seven one who is still only a bubba. I am slowly learning to be more relaxed with the older one and I still have a little way to go. By nature I like everything to look perfect and neat and she is probably stifled by this. I’m working on being less of a control freak and I hope that when the time comes when she is old enough she will be who she wants to be. I love the way you feel inspired by your four beautiful girls. And i feel inspired that you are now happy to be who you want to be. It’s very hard to let go of thinking about other peoples opinions all the time and with that comes so much freedom and happiness! You come across as such a fantastic mum and those girls are so lucky to have you xxx

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