29 Sep 2020

Plus ça change, Plus c’est la même chose

The more they change, the more they stay the same.

That’s the way I would describe my personal style. Susan, Cindy and I decided we would write about this together and talk through our evolving fashion styles, where they have changed and what remains the same. Thinking about this the last few weeks has been an obvious eye-opener for me; the way I look has changed but my style is much the same. I see elements of what I loved in my 20’s still emerging. Much has moved but so, so much remains the same. When I reflect on the fashion features I write here, so many have consistent elements and the pieces I recommend today are similar to those talked through years ago. They resonate over and over not only for me but also for others and the personalisation comes in the wearing and styling.

Self -confidence is what makes personal style come alive and find its unique heart.

Many times I have described my personal style as classic with a twist. It was then and it is now. I have always loved simple, plain colours and straightforward shapes and yet I have more than not added an accessory to make the usual my own. Shoes and bags not to mention eyeglasses of all types are my passion; I wear a zillion shades of red lipstick. Here I can be adventurous and play – it says “me” – these choices differentiate even if my clothes are standard. A far from conservative blouse is a place I venture but worn with a straight pant or simple jean – I love flair but not too much. I wish I had the whimsy of Iris Apfel or the creativity of Vivienne Westwood but that’s probably not going to change now.

When I deviate away from what feels comfortable for me the inevitable happens and I feel plain wrong – not myself – and am reminded to be confident in my choices rather than emulate someone else.

Fashion to inspire is wonderful, as a dictate it’s dangerous.

Some women know what their style looks like and for others, it doesn’t come simply. We’re surrounded by many sources of inspiration, which can make pinpointing what we truly like confusing. Throw endless trends into the mix and the fog intensifies. The places we live, our friends, the shopping we have available and our work will influence the way we dress. Not to mention a year of monumental change and staying at home; I never had such a hankering for hoodies and sweats – now they are part of life and take up space as a wardrobe essential.

Defining and refining our aesthetic is what keeps the personal style journey exciting.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose on vickiarcher.com

How do we get there?

For me, it was easy because I know what I like and always have. This is such a gift and makes life so much easier. Whenever I deliberate I am lost and now understand confusion means it’s not for me.

It helps to take note of where we gravitate and is the best place to start. Is it certain colours, shapes, fabrics or do the “looks” of others resonate? Seeing where these factors overlap will help gather a mental mood board and make refining our shopping bags a little easier. How do certain clothes make us feel?

Taking time to figure out what pieces are most flattering for our body types is essential. It means better investments and less impulsive choices.

Experimenting is key. The more styles and shapes we trial will make understanding our signature look a little easier and perhaps surprise us with pieces we otherwise didn’t think would work.

We don’t need to be pinned down to one look. Instead, we can embrace the many things we are inspired by to make our personal style, more meaningful. Our aesthetics don’t need to be static; they can be forever changing, as much as we want them to.

Time is our best friend and can help us not only discover our style and our confidence but also ourselves. I relish these days of knowing what works for me – it’s a refreshing and welcome change to my younger years of indecision and uncertainty.

Staying curious and being unapologetic can make the journey of self-discovery and style a fun one. I’m still playing and will continue to experiment as long as my tried and true favourites remain by my side. xv

plus c’est la même chose

have and would love all of these

off the shoulder in black (wear this style higher up on the shoulders)  ||  in leopard  ||  chanel style with pleat sleeve  ||  band silk collar

high neck in poplin  ||  broderie anglaise in poplin  ||  ruffled cotton ||  ruffles and ruffles   ||  tie back with smocking  || smocked like mine

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GOod morning BEAUTIFUL! Vicki, again, I agree. We live in cycles. I keep learning the same lesson over and over, round and round, that my life can’t be a straight, one-way journey. It’s as if you were traveling the earth; it feels as if you are traveling in one straight line when really, you really are circling the globe, coming back to home. Home for each of us is the unique personality that radiates in the artistry of self.

Love your jeans and your amazing HAIR! I got a trim on my long locks and I’m so glad. Now it’s time to let my hair continue to grow in a healthy fashion. I think I finally accepted what my tried and true favorites are and that is to simple be myself and let my hair hang loose, wear what makes me feel the most confident and just keep discovering.


I love your longer hair Anita… it’s gorgeous… as was your short style.. if someone can wear it you can :)
me.. always better longer rather than shorter.. mine has grown back and a good length now.. Phew!!


As always so inspiring and insightful. I certainly love a red lip, a great pair of jeans and a great shirt. I always look silly in ruffles but so admire those that can. That’s what makes us all so unique isn’t it? Do we finally know who we want to be when we grow up? I think I am getting close!!

Linda B

This post was just the shot in the arm I needed this morning–thank you! New inspiration. . .and the encouragement to stay true to my own slowly evolving sense of style–that does truly RE-volve around the same central delights, over all these decades of dressing myself! The very first photo above, with you in that utterly gorgeous Thierry Colson blouse, is a prime example of that principle. It combines elements I fell in love with as a teen–smocking and embroidery and folk-inspired style.

Also, reading your dialogue above with Anita, I am encouraged to think of keeping my longer hair, which also echoes back to my teens. It will never grow THAT long again–down to my waist!–but I am getting rather fond of it being below my shoulders now, and considering keeping it going (though when I’ll be brave enough to go back to the salon for a proper shaping is an open question!) Long hair both echoes my youth and somehow fits with being a granny!


Do it Linda.. you can always chop… harder to gather the length ;)
Thank you .. I love that blouse too..


Thank you, Michelle.
I believe and hope we all encourage and support each other.. that’s the joy I find in writing here.. and really the point of it all. I am so inspired every day by our community… it’s the best :)

Sandra Sallin

Let’s face it. You’r fabulous. You have your very own style. I can’t think of you with out it. It’s just you. It doesn’t need definition we all know you when we see you. Maybe it’s the glasses, the hair, the lipstick. You’re just very you!! Bravo to you.


Thank you so much, Sandra …
That’s such a lovely compliment:) Some days are better than others… ha ha ;)

Angela in NZ

The penny finally dropped for me this week and what a relief. Striving to find the authentic me began at new year when I made the decision to transition my hair and ditch the dye. Hair length muddied the waters until my highly damaged hair, from the lightening process, was finally cut to a short shaggy bob. That in itself gave me confidence to recognise my lifelong classic style. I just need to continue to look for the twist, for me being jewel colours, a detail or a jewellery piece.


That’s so fab, Angela… nothing like finding that heartfelt confidence to be who and where we want to be :)
Love the sound of your hair…


love the idea of all these blouses with ruffles but a little unsure on the ruffles; I feel I’m more a less fussy but am liking ones with the belt or tie. You do really look lovely in the photos Vicki. Although the post was clothes based it had made me, like Linda B, think about hair length. I had my hair cut in St Remy and loved it a little shorter more on my hair line but suited the very hot days we had. Now home I’m thinking about when we were in lockdown and it grew to my shoulders. I quite liked it! And it’s so different to how I normally have it. So going to just leave it for now to grow a little more!!


I’ve always been able to articulate my style and it has changed very little over the years. Classic minimalist elegance, no prints and few trends. The trends I’ve tried still hang in my closet. I love some of the bold looks on IG friends but when I try them, they end up wearing me and I’m so uncomfortable. I have a dozen beautiful crisp white shirts and silk blouses. They work with jeans or black leather pants, even midi skirts. It was difficult for me to say goodbye to heels, but after a few years of insane misery, sore feet and regret, I went through my own 12-step program and went cold turkey. xoxo, B


Hi Vicki – great selfies and I love your look as always! I have a similar leopard print tunic top – love it.

I now have different feelings regarding ‘fashion’ since COVID-19 took over our world! I think high fashion is reverting to more classic/uniform styles, fewer clothes required in better quality fabrics – leaving the trendy, cheaper, throw away bits and bobs to the younger generations as their ‘right of passage’ into adulthood and ‘grownup’ dressing.

I’ve recently gone through my much too large closet of clothes – a good time to do this as the season changes – really editing and taking many bags to the charity shops. I may still do it again at the end of winter when there will be things I didn’t wear and they too will have to go! I’m longing to wear my remaining sweaters, jackets, coats – cashmere, wool, alpaca etc., with favorite boots, booties, Oxfords and loafers – the sandals now boxed up until next spring! Scarves and cowls – I knit my own while watching far too many evening TV series – are waiting in a drawer, and hats will definitely be required (fortunately I love hats) as I continue to grow out my grey! Oh what a job – now have 3″ and get a trim to chop off the remaining red every 4 weeks now my stylist is working again. It’s a long process which is requiring a lot of patience – I could NOT have done this in the old days when traveling so much and wanting to look more elegant and tidy! Now I use no dryer or straightening tools – no heat at all – just let it dry naturally and find I have some waves and I think my hair is much healthier, yay!!!!!!!
Stay well – have fun – enjoy the autumn days – we will get through all this.
Hugs – Mary


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