Have You Given Up On Style?

Given up on style

“Ha. Style. It’s just too hard. I gave up on all that a long time ago.”

I was chatting with someone the other day who shared exactly these words. 

She went on to express the fact that in her mind, style is frivolous and inconsequential.

As a Style CoachTM, I obviously take a different view, although I do admit to finding thinking of this sort quite fascinating. 

Because for a great many people, style is completely inconsequential. For those individuals, style never, ever made it onto the radar. They are more than happy wearing whatever comes to hand. And that particular strategy impacts neither their self-image nor their confidence. 

But when I hear the words I gave up, or I’ve given up or any variation on that theme, my antenna goes up. 



Because the subtext is that – once upon a time – style did matter. 

And it is likely that, deep down, style still matters on some level for these women. It’s just that they are now choosing to ignore their feelings. And potentially allowing their confidence to be sapped in the process – because style and confidence are absolutely linked.

What’s more, giving up on style often means they have given up on other aspirations for their lives. Perhaps they are stuck in a job they don’t love. Or maybe they are remaining in a relationship that has lost its spark. All because they don’t feel good enough to put themselves out into the world.

If you are thinking that perhaps you have given up on style a little prematurely, here are some tips to help you get back in the game.

What To Do If You Have Given Up On Style – And Wish You Hadn’t

Grab A Journal And/Or Some Space To Think

Take a moment to delve into why you have given up on style. Was there a change in your lifestyle, circumstances or body weight that triggered you to start ignoring your style? Perhaps there were financial considerations? Or did it just get too boring or too hard? Working out when and why you gave up on style can help you understand if it was just a passing phase. 

Also look at whether there any other areas of your life that are being impacted due to your current lack of interest in style? Challenge yourself here and really look at your life. Has your confidence taken a hit, or is there any area where you are playing small because you aren’t happy with how you present yourself to the world? Ask yourself whether anything could be different in your life if style did matter – it can give you the motivation to start playing with style again.

Tap Into Inspiration

We all have things that inspire us to be our best. For me, that thing is France and all things French. For others, that inspiration might come from art or reading or travel. Jump on Pinterest and save pictures of outfits that you love. Take what inspires you and add a sliver of it to your wardrobe. It will add a spring to your step for sure and slowly reintroduce you to thinking about style again. 

Get Playful With Your Current Wardrobe

Look for different ways to wear the clothes you already have. Mix and match your favourite pieces. Belt that floaty dress. Throw that formal jacket over that casual top. Combine a couple of prints. Get creative and make the most of what you’ve got. Holding your approach to style lightly can help you get back into the game.

Think Laterally – Maybe The Original Problem Wasn’t With Your Clothing. 

Remember, your style is made up of many elements. Hair. Make-up. Accessories. Perhaps you need to tweak another element to get your style mojo back. A fresh hairstyle or a make-up lesson could change how you are feeling within an afternoon. And never underestimate the power of a new handbag or a killer pair of shoes.

Ask For Help

No one ever said that you have to do everything on your own. Whether you choose to chat to stylish girlfriend or invest in yourself by engaging a Style CoachTM simply exploring style with someone else could be the key to reinvigorating your own style.

Have you ever given up on style? What did you do to get back in the style game? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.

P.S. If you feel like you could do with a boost in the style department, then I might be the coach for you. You can find out more about Style CoachingTM here.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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8 thoughts on “Have You Given Up On Style?

  • Alisa

    Everyone has a style. EVERYONE. Either it is the style that you choose to adopt/create/discover, or it is the default that happens by itself. That is a style, too, and likely not a desirable one. It probably reflects your worst self.
    I think that posture is the first step to style. If you stand tall, pull back your shoulders and ‘suck in your gut’, you can’t help but want to start work on the rest.
    My ‘deux sous’ from Paris!

    • Janelle Post author

      Alisa – your point is SO true. Thank you for raising this. A choice to give up on style means you have a chosen an approach to style that likely does nothing to support you. As for posture – here is another point where you and I are in violent agreement. Personally it is the first thing I check in the photos Scott takes of me. My outfit choices account for little when I’m all scrunched up. I’m thinking I must explore this as a blog topic sooner rather than later…

  • Taste of France

    The other day in the park I saw a woman who looked a lot like a friend. But my friend would never be caught in public in shorts. My daughter, who was with me, agreed, saying our friend always “looks fantastic.” (Even when gardening, she is chic.) She doesn’t wear expensive or formal clothes (neither does she wear cheap or informal clothes), but she has style to the tips of her fingers. She is frugal but not cheap, and she has an innate sense of style. She knows her body type, she knows what works for her in her daily life, and she chooses the best pieces for that. Maybe because she’s French?

    • Janelle Post author

      I’m so grateful to you for taking the time to comment Catherine. Your friend sounds like someone who has done some real work around her approach to her life and her style. There is a little part of me pointing to the fact that she is French and, by extension, that fact alone supports her stylish approach to the world. But let’s all be clear – I have a bias in this space. French women were the impetus for my exploration of style in the first place. The more logical part of me knows that women all world can use style to their advantage – it all depends on whether or not they choose to do so.

  • jackie

    Style is so important. Whether it be a style uniform or something more quirky and expressive it is definition of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. I prefer black and navy column due to being so short but can attend any meeting feeling comfortable and presentable. Style can make one feel so much better and it does not have to be outrageously expensive.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks so much for sharing this Jackie. I love the fact that you’ve worked out what works for you and that you allow your style to support your confidence. I feel like women would be better placed in the corporate world if everyone took a leaf out of your book. And you are also right in pointing out that style doesn’t have to be expensive. The actual price of an item is less important than how it works within your wardrobe.

  • Diana

    As my husband always says “it is about bearing”’ how a person holds and presents themselves to the world. I am someone who has travelled that very rocky pathway you have described above and who lost all faith in herself and her style. This was due to several factors, those being weight gain ( I am 50 years old but also discovered I had a medical problem which is now rectified ), becoming age appropriate and diversing that minefield! Becoming a grandparent plus learning to love with a reduced income. These problems all came at the same time! Happily I have now rediscovered my new and true style thanks to your blog and others like it which helped me to believe in myself again. Clothes shouldn’t define us but as we need to wear them everyday then why not wear them well. I have tried not to care about what I wear in the past but that made me feel utterly miserable. Also I have noticed when I have made an effort that I receive both compliments and stares, usually from other women.

    • Janelle Post author

      Your husband makes a very strong point Diana. How you present yourself is incredibly important and it seems to me that you are someone who never gave up on style regardless of what life offered up. Congratulations on reinventing your style – a style which I am quite sure is perfect for the life you have today.