Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

August 18, 2012

The Big Question: Your Fashion Signature?

Filed under: The Big Question — Twistie @ 11:04 am

Whether or not we are dedicated followers of fashion, we all develop some sort of style. Some craft it carefully, parsing every sartorial message with more vigor than we ever applied to any sentence in English class. Others fall into a style naturally and without much thought. Some find one thing that works forever, while others change their signature as time, whim, or opportunity dictates.

But one thing is certain: somebody out there knows it’s you by one quick glance at an article of clothing or accessory you wear.

Just last night, Mr. Twistie and I were eating out when an old friend came into the restaurant. Why? Because he’d seen my ever-present hat through the window. There are people in the world I’ve known for years who literally don’t recognize me if I go out sans chapeau.  Once a woman who – at the time – I had yet to meet in the too, too solid flesh sent me the gift of a hat she knew was just my style. Funnily enough, she was absolutely right. I wear it all the time, especially in the rainier months when a tweed cap is just right. Particularly one with muted metallic sequins on it. Really, it’s much more tasteful than it sounds.

I’ve been wearing hats almost religiously since I was fifteen. It started as a simple whim one morning, and became a Way of Life quite rapidly. I actually tried to chuck the habit about twenty years ago, but it was far too ingrained in my soul by that point. I came back to hats.

And you know what? I will never turn my back on hats again. I love them. I love how I feel when I’m wearing them. I love how wearing one turns heads in the street. I love how wearing hats seems to make people smile. I don’t even much care if the smile is the first rictus of derisive laughter. Why? Because hats and I belong together. Hats are my signature, and they delight me.

So what about you? What’s your sartorial signature? How did you come by it? How long have you been doing it? Does it make you happy? Let’s dish!


  1. Dresses. Most people have never seen me in pants since I will only wear them when absolutely necessary (eg. horseback riding, not moving furniture or gardening). I also always have a big red purse. I always cause an uptick in skirts and dresses in any office where I work.

    Comment by Sarah Fowler — August 18, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  2. Pink. Which I know can be twee and little-girly, or overdone and just horrible, but that’s not the way I do it. I look absolutely fantastic in pink – it does great things for my complexion, and brightens me up. I have yet to encounter a shade of pink that doesn’t compliment me. I don’t always wear pink, but when I do, I always hear how good I look that day.

    Comment by Wendy — August 18, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

  3. Navy blue or royal blue. They’re my colors.

    Comment by Bethany — August 18, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  4. Used to be large silver jewelry – mostly vintage southwest style, but I just realized that as I’ve gained some weight and headed deeper into my 50’s, I’m not wearing it as often. Enough! I won’t simply give it up and disappear! Thanks for this blog post.

    Comment by Lora — August 18, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

  5. You know how the poem says “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple”? I didn’t wait. I’ve been wearing it since I was a wee tot, and I’m going to continue right through the rest home.

    Specifically these days, it’s purple eyeglass frames. I’m on my second pair (the first just wore out after being re-lensed multiple times). It’s not that people wouldn’t recognize me without them – I also have an absolutely stunning pair of red glasses – but those who know me know those purple glasses are ME.

    Comment by TropicalChrome — August 18, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

  6. Scarves. I’ve always had to make do with a small budget so keeping the basic items in basic colours means that scarves add colour and interest to my outfits.

    Comment by annabouttown — August 18, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

  7. Raspberry pink hair.

    Comment by ZaftigWendy — August 19, 2012 @ 12:06 am

  8. Very short hair and lots of funky jewelry

    Comment by lali — August 19, 2012 @ 12:41 am

  9. Lots of blues and green and in colder weather my ever present tweed cap. I got it when I was nine from my grandmother. It had belonged to her uncle in the 30´s or 40´s. I fell in love with it and it has been my main headwear for over 20 years now.

    Comment by Ravna — August 19, 2012 @ 12:54 am

  10. Bright nail polish on my fingernails, large earrings (usually hoops), and cardigans. I suppose bright color combinations might also be one. One of my favorite outfits is a sunshine yellow dress with a bright pink cardigan, I’ll wear that with large gold hoops and short nails painted dark navy blue. It’s……a lot for some people but I like it. I spent so many years trying to blend into the background (hard when your 5’10″‘ size 22/24) that I may now be dressing in a way that screams “look at meeeeeeee!” lol

    Comment by Jeni — August 19, 2012 @ 2:42 am

  11. The closest I come to having a ‘signature style’ is insisting on sticking to 7th-10th century Anglo-Saxon dress in a re-enactment group where most people ‘time travel’ with their wardrobes. I’m always the one wearing a simple tunic covered in simulated cut garnet brooches, with a repro Desborough necklace on.

    On the street, anyone trying to identify me by style is going to have a seriously hard time of it.

    Comment by TeleriB — August 19, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  12. Makeup. And accessories of all ilks; I wear hats, I wear scarves–jewelry. But I looooove me some makeup. Cruelty-free only.

    Comment by Lisa from SoCal — August 19, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

  13. Turquoise jewelry, it does great things for my eyes and looks well with my hair. Nice thing about turquoise is it’s popular in so many eras and cultures, SW Native American, Victorian Britain, Chinese, Egyptian that I’m not limited to a particular style or period

    Comment by Thea — August 19, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

  14. I started wearing black when I was a teenager. It has been my signature colour for 40 years now.

    Comment by mariebruxelles — August 20, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  15. I honestly don’t know if I have a “signature”, but I’m very much a jeans girl (which are fortunately allowed in my workplace). I also tend to gravitate towards hoop earrings, and am usually recognized by my long, wavy, thick red hair (usually with sunglasses perched on top).

    Comment by La Petite Acadienne — August 20, 2012 @ 9:49 am

  16. Until recently, I wandered the earth in blue and green and black… until one day, I wore red, and the compliments did flow. Now, I’m definitely trying to add it to my wardrobe.

    I also really like hats (despite believing I didn’t look good in them) though they’re not a go-to item for me. Yet.

    Comment by Jelly — August 20, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

  17. I have spectacular shoes, and I wear them.

    Also, I have a very good stylist and the red hair to show for it.

    Comment by AnthroK8 — August 20, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

  18. I know it’s a trend that is more associated with tweens/teens and tends to not be very “professional”, but I notice that my go-to colors are black and pink. Sometimes I wear all black (I love how I look in black) and if I wear a bright pink I always pair it with black. And it is very rare that I will go a day without at least one piece of clothing that is not black. Just this morning I had to laugh at myself because of all the pink and black I had! I’m wearing black slacks, a bright salmon-y hot pink silk blouse with tiny white polka dots and ruffled collar, and a black cardigan sweater. I grab my bag and it is black with hot pink stitching, my water bottle is translucent pink with a black lid, my makeup bag is hot pink, my umbrella is hot pink, and my notebook is hot pink and black. I also can pull off bright reds very well. Besides the colors though, I guess you could say that my style is more of a 1940s retro feel. Cardigans, short bobbed hair, black winged eyeliner, those amazing blood-red patent leather shoes!!! Regarding makeup, I can go without except for my eyeliner! That is a must have staple! And there is nothing that gives the perfect amount of “pow” than a painstakingly crafted winged eyelid with brush and gel liner in blackest black.

    Comment by margie — August 24, 2012 @ 10:51 am

  19. Hair. I have three feet of titian hair. I’m generally lazy and don’t do much to it — I shower at night, sleep on it wet, and it looks like a shampoo commercial in the morning, doing things to it would be an awful waste. It’s apparently so distinctive that people who have known me for years will sometimes walk straight past me if I have it all pinned up or stuffed under a cap.

    Comment by Arabella Flynn — September 9, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

  20. Catching up on my reading, and I have to say I’m stuck for what my fashion signature would be! Leggings as pants? Obnoxious use of colour? Tacky accessories? Gratuitous use of leopard print?

    I’m still finding my own style – I really didn’t allow myself to have style until a few years ago. I’m slowly building up a way of dressing that I love.

    Comment by Kath — September 14, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

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