Some of the blogs I have discovered within the past few years have both awed and intimidated me! If I compared my blogging to others, I would have to give up based on the successes of those who have started earlier and developed further or differently than I have. But the well bred woman in progress should not compare herself to others, rather seeking what is fulfilling to her own life. One blog that I love is The Simply Luxurious Life, authored by the exquisite Shannon Ables. I highly recommend my readers visit it; I have found so much of the author’s articles and wisdom to be profoundly simple and on point with the lifestyle I am trying to achieve.
Having recently read through Shannon’s series on developing one’s signature style, I wrote down some thoughts that I hope will encourage my readers who may be interested in developing their own style further. First of all, the series reminded me that style is not just what one wears: a checkbox list of fashion statements, cuts, or colors. It begins with an attitude and a spirit; truly it is one’s unique personality reflected in one’s life, as water reflects the skies and foliage around it or the sky reflects the light. Therefore, one can never truly develop her style merely by taking quizzes online or perusing Pinterest and pinning wishfully. One has to live it, breathe it, and feel it to know it. That includes taking chances and being willing to make mistakes, though hopefully not costly ones. From everything I have heard and researched, having a personal style analysis done would be an excellent way to get straight to the core of one’s signature style as far as dressing goes, though for many this is not an option. It is something I have on my bucket list, having already gotten a color analysis last year and being very happy with those results. But I find myself wishing there was a way to find my style on my own, without feeling so clueless and having to wait until I have enough money to pay someone else to find it for me.
After reading Shannon’s post about her signature style elements and commenting with what I would consider as my own signature style, the main thing I realized was how much style I already possessed. The variety of information on the internet can open one’s mind to so many possibilities that she never considered before that it can be easy to assume that one has no personal style at all and must start from scratch, considering and trying multiple styles and fashions for years before one day magically discovering the perfect fit. Even if she already knows what she likes, it can also be tempting to allow the advice of others to influence herself, trying to become more like others instead of more like herself. I realized today that for years, I ran from what I was naturally drawn to and floundered in the sea of all things possible because I did not appreciate the unique interests I already possessed, thinking that true style must be over here or over there, whatever was being touted by so-called style experts. I read dozens of articles on the timeless pieces essential to a classic wardrobe, finding it telling how many of the articles espoused styles that just happened to be the fashion trends of the year the article was written.
Now that I have accepted that I cannot let others do the legwork of finding my style for me, do I have all the answers now? Not really. In fact, I am currently in the unique position of having very little to wear (literally, not the closet full of clothes with nothing to wear). I have items in my closet that I got in 8th grade, and yes, that was as long ago as it seems (above 14 years). I have items that others bought for me in my wrong colors. Almost all of the rest is poor quality and looks as old and worn as it is. So I have slowly been replenishing my wardrobe, but to be honest I have been daunted by the task because I want to know exactly how to do it and buy top quality, expensive things that will last forever. (Or at least, another 14 years) 🙂
Writing out the things I already like has provided great clarity of thought. I had been going about this figuring out my own style thing completely backwards. Instead of perusing thousands of pins hoping to come across just the right thing, akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, for me it has been best to focus on old favorites that provide parameters within which to update my style. I encourage my readers, no matter how little style sense you feel you have, to write down your favorites, your standbys, your instant successes both now and in the past–colors, cuts, styles, ensembles, habits, traits. You might find the list to be longer than you think, and whatever it is, it will provide a framework within which to compare any new items that catch your fancy or that are recommended by style experts.
~ Know thyself ~
My style framework; share yours in the comments.
Always wear earrings
Only wear fine jewelry, never costume
Prefer low heels and athletic shoes
No flats, prefer more of a sole between my feet and the floor
Wear minimal makeup, eyes only and natural colors
Hair is always “fixed” some way, never just loose
Natural hair – I use no dye or coloring or heat styling
Dress according to my color analysis (soft summer)
Painted natural nails, never fake nails
Sunglasses every time it is sunny
Rarely wear jeans or tshirts
(Almost) no synthetic fabrics
No spaghetti straps or sleeveless or strapless without something sleeved on top
Sweaters galore in the winter
Enjoy wearing tights or pantyhose
Love peeptoe pumps but have never owned any