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Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Fashion Philosophy

I recently read "Without Saying A Word: The Silent Power of Style" by Monica Barnett.  The title alone instantly captured my interest, because I am a strong believer in dressing well and allowing your image to give the world a taste of who you are.

Monica provides a great blueprint to help navigate the waters of pulling your look together, including topics such as wardrobe basics, special occasions, traveling, and much more.  Monica's approach is conversational and very entertaining, and she makes you feel as if she's one of your girlfriend's who's lending a helping hand.   

Monica included her list of "style musts" and I thought that section was great.  Most women probably have a list of their own personal style guidelines, myself included, and I loved that section so much, it inspired me to publish my list.  Here goes:

My Beliefs
  • I believe in treating myself well.
  • I like to look pulled-together and classy.
  • Money can't buy happiness, but I really do love my wardrobe, which costs money, and in turn does make me happy.
  • You don’t have to spend a ton of money to look good.
  • There are brands/designers that I like, but style and quality dictate my purchases more so than name brands.
  • Sometimes less is more, but there are other times when more is more. 
  • Sometimes it's worth it to suffer for beauty.
  • You don't always have to "match."  It's great to mix it up sometimes - but a good monochromatic look can make a powerful statement. 
  • I don't see why I can't wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.  Fashion rules such as these are silly. 
I Love… 
  • I love black and white.
  • I love bold colors.
  • I love camouflage.
  • I love animal prints.
  • I love tulle.
  • I love menswear – cufflinks, a tie, a bow tie, etc.
  • I love dresses.  They're so feminine and easy.
  • I love style from the 1950's.
I’m Inspired By...
  • My mother is one of my first fashion role models. I used to be in her closet ALL THE TIME!
  • I get fashion and style inspiration from many areas - fashion/style magazines and books, women I see on the street, menswear, other eras, etc.
  • I appreciate stylish people, particularly if their style is very different from mine.  It helps stimulate my creative-thinking related to style.
How I Spend My Money
  • I don't invest heavily in trendy items because I like most of my wardrobe to be wearable for several seasons. If I indulge in trends, I'll go for less expensive options.
  • If I find something that I like and it's affordable, I will buy it in multiple colors.  I may even buy more than one of the same color, so when one wears out, I'll have another.
  • Lately, I've been trying to buy only those things that I really love - instead of having mediocre pieces in my wardrobe - just because they're on sale or just because they may be "nice-to-have."
  • I almost never pay full price for anything.
How I Approach Getting Dressed
  • I spend time, almost every day, thinking about what I'm going to wear the next day, and when I get invited to an event, I immediately start planning my outfit. 
  • I try to avoid wearing my pieces more than once within a two week period. If it's a particularly notable piece, I'll wear it less frequently.
  • I try to avoid wearing my pieces the same way so I can create the illusion of an abundant wardrobe. I'll use accessories, including jewelry, tights, shoes, blazers, etc. to help vary the looks.
  • I'm extremely low maintenance on the weekends.  If you run into me, you'll likely see me in a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers or flip flops and little or no makeup.  Although I do love to get "dressed," I don't want to be a slave to my appearance.  It's a little liberating to not have to go through an elaborate routine to get myself together.

 Accessories/My Favorite Things
  • I love cosmetics.  I consider makeup to be an accessory.
    • You can get great buys at the drugstore.
  • I wear prescriptions glasses.  I have about 7 different pairs and I use them to complement my outfits. I love to accessorEYES.
  • I consider hair to be an accessory. I love short hair, I love long hair - curly, straight, braided, etc., as long as it looks good.
  • I have a particular fondness for short hair on women. I think it's bold, confident, and sexy - not to mention low-maintenance.
  • I own several nice pieces of jewelry and most were gifted to me from my mother.  Gold, silver, brass, black pearls, some precious and semi-precious stones.  I love them because I've been able to work them into my style repertoire for years, and they've stuck by me.  I also like fashion jewelry, but it's generally not durable, which upsets the heck out of me.  I want my things to last.
  • I have a lot of very basic pieces in my wardrobe. (e.g. sheath dresses, simple a-line and circle skirts.)  They can be brought to life and look like a completely different item with the right styling and accessories.
  • I prefer leather handbags – particularly Coach leather bags, because they're well-made and durable.
  • My goal is to look like I got dressed with intent.
 Despite all the shopping and planning, I do have bad days too! But I try to keep those to a minimum.
There.. I think that's a good start.  I'll add more things as they pop into my head.