Last week, a blogger friend and I were sharing our love for fashion and discussing our unique style. I joked that I had given away enough bags of “identity crisis” clothing over the years to fill a moderate-size landfill. What about you?
I have always loved fashion. For as long as I can remember, I have combed the aisles of places like Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and even supermarkets, gathering all of the latest fashion magazines such as Vogue, Porter, Harper’s Bazaar, Style, InStyle, Ebony, and Essence. You name it, I read it.
Reading fashion magazines has been a part of my life for at least four decades. Prior to that, I was a stylist for my paper dolls, ha ha. Talk about instant style gratification. I could change the clothing on those paper doll cardboard frames in seconds. As I changed each doll into various outfits, I distinctly remember how her attitude and mood also changed.
Unfortunately, I thought switching out my style would be as easy as the quick wardrobe changes that I did with my paper dolls. I forgot that, unlike those dolls, I had a unique personality and style that would continue to evolve.
So, as I read the magazines on the latest style trends, I went out and purchased each item regardless of how it looked on me. It took some time and confidence before I recognized that not all styles suited my body type or personality.
And one more thing: not all trends should be worn at the same time like a walking advertisement. Yes, that was me, too. I used to wear every trend, and it screamed, “Look at me!”
Remember, when too many trends are worn at one time, it is difficult to focus on the beauty of a specific item.
You want the right kind of attention. Once I became more selective in how I kept of with trends, I started noticing that people would genuinely come to me with compliments that spoke to the overall look, as well as specific details. This was a reminder that I had done a better job bringing my best pieces forward.
I love these conversations and enjoy when others are inspired by pieces that I also love. I recognized that not everyone has my personality and may not feel comfortable wearing a beautiful show-stopping ball skirt to the hot dog stand, and that’s okay! However, when they recognize that they can wear the same style to a garden party and make it their own style, I am overjoyed. This is your unique style identity, and it’s not as complicated as it seems.
It’s simple: know who you are and what looks good on your frame. Be authentic. While imitation is the highest form of flattery, keep in mind that not everything that I love and see on others works with my body type. When clothes fit well and complicate my frame, I feel phenomenal and more confident. Conversely, if clothes fit poorly, I am noticeably uncomfortable, tugging, pulling and hiding so that certain areas are hidden.
Haute Grey Foxes Suggestion: When you see a specific style, ask, “Is this something that will complement my frame? Does it match my personality?” If the answer is, “yes,” by all means rock it. If the answer is something different, then figure out a way to make the outfit your own. You could combine different jewelry, a fabulous statement piece or even tone it down with some super cute kicks. Remember, whatever you do, please just make it your own style.