Since I'm on a style kick today, I was doing a little research on one of my favorite magazine's website, luckymag.com and came across an article on global style. What was most captivating about the article was not what the women were wearing (even though all of them were well-dressed), but rather the specifics and limits each woman featured imposed on herself about her own style. Comments like, "I stay away from lipstick at all costs..." made me think about what it means to have personal style in the first place. When we're trying to reinvent a look, I think it's very easy to slip into the habit of subscribing to every look, trend, and fad in the effort to "be stylish". What the women of the article were all alluding to, was that they each have great style for the things that they don't wear as much as for the things that they do. The reasons why they don't wear certain things varied ("...I look like a 10-year-old girl who wants to look like her mother!") but their choices were intensely personal and made their style stand out as their own rather than that of some celebrity or fashion magazine.
Over the last few weeks, I've been working towards my goal of rebuilding my wardrobe and looking more "grown-up". While I totally recommend looking to others (i.e. my obsession with Tracee Ellis Ross) for style inspiration, it's important to keep your personal tastes and needs in the forefront. In an effort to follow my own advice, below is a list of my own personal style quirks that I'm keeping in mind on my quest for a more grown up look:
- I recently read a quote in a West Elm catalog that said "I'm not a fan of brights. I think earth tones are good for the soul." I instantly thought, "Wow, that's me!" even though I thought I was a colorful dresser all l this time. I love grey, black, cream, and neutral colors, so I guess I can quit trying to force myself to incorporate colorful pieces just because I thought it was something you're supposed to do.
- I adore the look of heels and really do wish I could wear them all the time, but in reality, I love flats for their convenience and comfort. Despite my taste, I am a flats girl unless, as one .
- I think simple sneakers can be really elegant. The original All-Atar Chuck Taylors don't look good on me because my feet are too big (size 10, baby!), but the slimmer, skipper-style "Chuck Taylor Light" sneakers look great on me. They only come and cream and black, which is enough variety for me.
- I've always been drawn to that laid back, California style because I need to be comfortable. I wish I could dress as unreasonable as some of the things I see in fashion magazines, but at the end of the day, I need to feel as good as my clothes make me look. Jersey cotton, silk, and cashmere are some of my favorite textiles.
- I love a jean with a great fit, but I realize that can include more than skinny jeans. 90% of the time you can find me in low riding skinny jeans...I
wantneed to branch out to straight legs, bootcuts, and wide-legs with a higher rise.
- Speaking of jeans, I really want to experiment with colors other than blue. Black, grey and pastel jeans will really add dimension to my otherwise neutral color pallet.
- Much to the chagrin of my boyfriend, I looove pockets and hoodies...on anything! Dresses with hoods, shirts with side pockets, it doesn't matter. Don't ask me why I like 'em, I just do.
- I had so many dresses in my wardrobe at one point that I had to remind myself to put on some pants. I am the queen of dresses. If I could wear a dress everyday, I would. I think dresses are incredible feminine, comfortable, and are the easiest way to look pulled together.
- I don't really spend a lot of energy picking out tops. I tend to make my pants, shoes, or accessories the focal point of an outfit rather than the blouse I'm wearing. When I do go shopping for shirts, I like to look for basic tops with interesting cuts, shapes or details.
- I love pieces that accentuate the waist—cinched jackets, wrap dresses and belted tops are all easy ways to add a little oomph to an outfit.