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A Style Bootcamp

A Style Bootcamp | Sheela Writes

In the same ole, same ole?

Batteries need a little recharging?


Last week, I talked about being in a creative rut.  You know, that moment when your mind is a naught but a black hole, completely devoid of thoughts, and you draw a blank in terms of what to write next?  Yes, that rut.  Today, I’m still on the same macro topic of being uninspired (seeing a pattern here) but this time, it focuses on style.  I suppose one could call it a style funk.


In a manner of speaking.

Everyone who blogs, or reads a blog post, shares a love and a passion for design, fashion, and clothes (in varying degrees of obsession, of course).  And a deep desire to make our visions for how we dress, how we look, how we present ourselves to the world, come to fruition.  But, for most of us, we are the ones holding ourselves back.  Confining ourselves within self-imposed cages that prevent us from venturing pass (invisible) boundaries, exploring, experimenting, trying new things.  If you really think about, when it comes to putting together an outfit to wear, there’s much more of a battle going on in our minds than we realise.  As such, we tend to slip into the expected, the easy, the same.  Into our personal style ruts.

A Style Bootcamp | Sheela WritesA Style Bootcamp | Sheela WritesA Style Bootcamp | Sheela Writes

Graphic White Tee (stolen borrowed from Eve) | Embroidered Cropped Jeans (Zara, option, option) | Yellow Leather Cuff (courtesy of Unearthed) | Rings, Sunnies & Wooden Bangle (thrifted) | Ankle Booties (GX by Gwen Stefani, similar)

In my case, I wasn’t the slightest bit aware of being deeply entrenched within my style rut until a few months into blogging regularly.  You see, I was going through the archives of my outfit posts, to review what I’d previously done/worn, so as not to repeat myself.  And lo and behold.  My infamous capri pants have made SO many appearances on the blog, I couldn’t even keep count (here, here, here, here, here, and here, to list but a scant few).  I cringed.  I grimaced.  I hung my head in shame.  It was a serious moment of reflection.  It’s one thing to wear something often because you love it, it fits well, and it’s comfy, but it’s quite another thing to appear as though there’s only one pair of pants hanging in your wardrobe, and then proceed to flaunt them in back-to-back-to-back-to-back posts.


There you have it. 

A profound eureka moment. 

Actually, in truth, it was more of an, “Oh my god!! No wonder my blog isn’t gaining any traction, I’m wearing the same pants over and over and over!!” moment.

Know this.  Whilst I’m not positive that everyone struggles with style paralysis, I have the teeniest inkling that everyone who is honest with themselves, does.  Yes, even the blue bloods.  The royalty of bloggers.  Perhaps with less frequency than us mere mortals but with no less dire consequences.  And it’s a battle which has held us back, kept us paralysed, in one way or another.

A Style Bootcamp | Sheela WritesA Style Bootcamp | Sheela WritesA Style Bootcamp | Sheela Writes

As I partner with Jodie and Eve to showcase the versatility of ankle boots this week (love these ladies, it’s always loads of fun when we come together), it seemed a timely moment to reflect upon style ruts, and possible ways of extricating ourselves out of those deep trenches.  I mean, collaborating with peers is always a nice way to get those style juices flowing, yes?  So how exactly do we climb out of a style rut?

These are my two key pointers in overcoming style paralysis.

1. We need to know what we love

2. We need help (no, I don’t mean a stylist or a psychiatrist, although the latter is something I personally may need on a regular basis, to deal with life and stuff, you know)

I also intend to talk about the actual obstacles I face when it comes to dressing-up.  Ha.  This may very well spin off into an actual series (light bulb) and by obstacles, aside from us being in our own way, here are a few I’ve identified to roar their ugly heads ever so often.

  • Indecision
  • Fear
  • Impatience
  • Money
  • Embracing Reality
  • Time

A Style Bootcamp | Sheela WritesA Style Bootcamp | Sheela WritesA Style Bootcamp | Sheela Writes

Allow me to dissect the first point – know what we love.

There is so much beauty in this world to admire.  So much art.  So much design.  So many creative people who are out there creating, that oftentimes, we’re caught like children in a candy store.  There are so many choices.  Gorgeous choices.  And even within our personal limitations, choices abound.  Throw into that already convoluted mix, social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, magazines and lookbooks (yes, they do still print them), and the entire blogosphere, we have an endless supply of resources delivered straight to us.  We see picture after picture of loveliness.  Overwhelming, to say the least.

As we absorb all these gorgeous images, I think we all waffle somewhere in between being inspired, discouraged, and confused.  On top of that, many of us suffer from style ADD.  So, how in the world are we to know what we love, let alone define a personal style?  Before we can even attempt to get out of that rut?

“First, we need to accept that our opinions and tastes can, and will, change.  Secondly, we need to put in the work to narrow down what we love, discover it’s quite alright to have more than one thing that defines our style.  Lastly, and this one is a no brainer (albeit the hardest to pull off), we need to have confidence.  Only when we have confidence in the things we truly love, can we begin to move towards having a signature style.”

Clearly, we can’t handle all this in one post.  So, throughout this week, we’ll chat about the steps to finding what we love, the help we need, and scaling those mountains  🙂

Now, before you (completely) tire of my prose, welcome!! To the first of a tri-part project between Jodie and her ladies, Eve, and myself, featuring the one and only style of boots both men and women can strut in with pride.  Kicking things off, we’re parading our ankle booties with jeans.  Have a look.

Eve, Teens (the world according to eve)

The World According To Eve

Wearing muted colours could so easily go south but no, trust Eve’s effortless vibe of nonchalance to up the ante, and create something completely street edgy.  This beautiful composition of colour and texture is soothing yet compelling.  Especially her quirky pearl encrusted sunnies, and those Black Suede Ankle Booties.  You can’t see them here but pop over to Eve’s blog to witness the flirty fringe detail.

Sheela, 40s (sheela writes)

A Style Bootcamp | Sheela Writes

In the spirit of battling my style rut, I’m trying something new here.  Cropped boyfriend jeans (I think the cut is so unflattering).  Loving the embroidery yet I maintain they’re not meant for my body shape.  It was hard deciding on a pair for this project but ultimately, I chose these Burgundy & Red Ankle Booties because I hardly ever wear them.

Jodie, 50s (jodie’s touch of style)

Jodie's Touch Of Style

Jodie’s clearly upping her pattern matching game here and I’m loving it!!  Graphic tee perfectly balanced with a solid coloured blazer, crisp white jeans, and fuchsia glass frames.  And then the mother of all ankle booties.  Florals.  In pinks, purples, greens, with sporadic touches of red and blue.  Oh my heart.  My heart.

Nancy, 60s (jodie’s touch of style)

Jodie's Touch Of Style

Nancy looks positively charming in this outfit.  Nothing is matches, yet everything works together so beautifully.  Her white tee is the perfect foil for the rich, intense colour of her quilted vest (and her nails too).  And, of course, we all know how the mere sight of animal print sets my heart racing so clearly her ankle booties are a big hit in my books.

Charlotte, 70s (jodie’s touch of style)

Jodie's Touch Of Style

Oh my god!!  Charlotte looks like she belongs in the Hamptons in this get-up.  Seriously.  The Sage Green sweater with its high neck.  That waterfall of necklaces (especially that Madonna-esque cross).  Those pants in such a playful print and palette.  And take a look at those boots.  Super pointy-toed, super sexy!!

Come back and see us on Wednesday as well as Friday, as we pair these same ankle boots with completely different garments.  And a continuation on how to extract ourselves out of a style rut through identifying what we love, finding the help we need, and leaping over those hurdles.  I do so hope you’ll join the discussion because I really appreciate and look forward to reading your comments.  In fact, my posts are often written based on what you say, and how you feel.

What prevents you from defining what you love?

Do you find you can find plenty of things to like?

But have trouble knowing what you confidently love?

Love, Sheela

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.





  1. robjodiefilogomo says

    Hah Sheela—we ALL need help! But I digress!!
    I have learned to try out so many clothing styles & items that I would NEVER have before blogging! And it’s a good thing. Now how do we convince the regular women to try it?
    And those jeans—they show off that taut booty like no other! Besides—the booties give them game!!
    And ruts are only for tires! Can’t wait to hear the rest of your prose—because only you can bring up a word and have it mean so many things!!

  2. Oh my, you are strugling! Just Keep on breathing….what else can I say. Only that your ankle boots are so fabulous but I could never walk on them! And Nancy s (what s in a name) are the perfect ones!

  3. CUTE jeans!!! I used to have a skirt with similar flowers on it, and I wore it all the time!!

    This is a great post.

  4. I have clothes that I love that I have kept for years that I wear all week. Seriously. I totally don’t think of it as a style rut, but more of loving what I have! I think if I get to the point where I wear something and don’t feel good about myself then I think of being in a rut. Hope you find some inspiration!


  5. Fear is a massive issue for most women and men for that matter trying to define themselves through style. You always manage to find interesting topics to discuss…despite being in your rut.

    I adore those jeans on you!

    I am also having a hard time loving myself in pants or jeans as of late. I blame that on my weight.


  6. Preach it! I find myself in a style rut A LOT lately and am guilty of wearing the same pants over and over only because I am waiting for the next best pair (I am looking and not finding well for my shape and for what I have in mind that I am comfortable in wearing) if that makes sense? When I shop I go with a need or list in mind and if I don’t find it and for the budget I have then I wait. I so wear what we can over and over, just styled differently. Great post and I love how you stole Eve’s shirt (insert wink).
    Rachel xo

  7. This was fun. To see you all together. Style rut, right? Hmm… Yes I had a “always wear skinnies” period. Then Daniela of The Pretty Cute told me with her delightful Italian accent that she started to follow my blog back then, when i was wearing dresses and skirts. And I no longer did. That was a wake-up call. I immediately started by buying skirts, followed in January by a sprained ankle (= no high heels which equals no skirts or dresses). I am back on heels now and I bought about 7 dresses. Together with the skirts of last year, it will be rare to see me in trousers on the blog for a while. OK, next week, but that was because of the brocante. You don’t go to a flea market as you call it in a dress and high heels.

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