• Rosemary Mac Cabe

What's Your Style Touchstone?

Updated: May 14, 2020

The most recent episode of Call Your Girlfriend (an excellent podcast, by the way – much recommend*) opens with a reference to the Wall Street Journal article in which US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke about her very own style touchstone, the scrunchie. It got me thinking about my own style touchstone – or, rather, whether or not I have one.

I have always (in fashion, as in a lot of things in life) been a big fan of trying new things. I owned a pair of parachute pants, for example, in hot pink; I saved up and purchased the Miss Sixty jeans that were all the range in the mid-noughties: big, side pockets, a ballooning hem and extreme stonewashing that would make the biggest country music stars proud. I had a bodycon vest top with a large metallic dragon on the front; I owned a Spice Girls T-shirt that I wore under a pair of faded denim dungarees, one strap buttoned, one hanging loose (nonchalant, natch).

Because of my sartorial promiscuity, I've never considered that I had much of a distinct "style". When I had more disposable income – and less of an inclination to spend it on food and/or home décor – I would spend all of my pay packets on the latest "on-trend" clothing, with the result that I went through phase after phase (after phase). One year, I was all flared jeans, tees and fitted blazers; the next, I wore tiny minis with boxing boots (yes, really) and fitted camis. For a while I was very into cardigans – thigh-length and worn over skinny jeans with plain tees or vest tops and long, flowing scarves.

So when I started to think about my style touchstone, Bader Ginsburg's scrunchie or the CYG ladies' turtleneck, I was kind of stumped. And then I looked down at the oversized T by Alexander Wang (stolen from my sis, thanks bbz) knit jumper I'm wearing, in a navy and white bastardisation of a Breton stripe. I noticed the striped Vince sweater, also sitting in my wardrobe, and the long-sleeved Cos tee, the closest to true Breton I own, boat neck and all.

As it turns out, I'm not quite as eclectic as I thought I was – nor am I as original. My style touchstone is most likely the style touchstone of thousands of other women and men: the striped top, in one iteration or another. (I even went one step further and Googled myself – fine, I do that every day, don't act like that's weird – and found, on the first page of Google Images, 11 pics of myself wearing stripes. So, y'know, quel suprise.)

*I'll admit, I've just started listening to CYG so please, don't come at me with references to old episodes. I'm only about four episodes deep and I'm very much excited to listen to the back catalogue.

**This post contains affiliate links. If you click through, I’ll get a small commission. It won’t make a difference to your experience and won’t cost you anything extra, but it will make me very happy! (If you hate the idea of improving my day, clear your cache after you click and I won’t make a red cent!)

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