Style Secret: Choose a Style Icon

sketch1488914234287 (1)2Maybe it’s my background of being an artist (a term I use loosely considering my number one patron is my mother) but I believe inspiration is key to creating anything worthwhile. This includes creating a spectacular wardrobe. One of the easiest way to gather inspiration for your wardrobe is to choose a style icon, or a combination of multiple. These icons could include celebrities, fashion bloggers, a family member, or the fabulous mature woman with snow-white pixie-cut hair, red lipstick, and a crisp, starched collar that you see every morning at Panera (true story). Choosing a style icon serves as a continuous source of inspiration, even if you choose someone who is no longer in the public eye, such as Marilyn Monroe, I continue to find pictures and films of hers that I hadn’t discovered before.

In a perfect world, your style icons may include people with similar body types, coloring, and lifestyle. In the real world, go crazy. Find people that really excite you, while at the same time, still seeing a part of yourself in their style. For example, one of my favorite personal style icons is Audrey Hepburn, I love her elegance, and clean but feminine lines of the 50’s, as well as her embrace of bold colors and silhouettes of the 60’s. I mean, c’mon, she was best friends with Dior. As you can imagine, I have no reason to walk around in a couture Dior gown, but I love the essence of her look, her persona. Those are the kinds of elements I try to incorporate in my personal style. Other icons of mine include, Olivia Palermo, Blair Eadie, and Jenna Lyons.

Imagery is so much more powerful than words, like, “I want to look chic,” or “stylish,” or “cute.” Okay, ready? Compare that former sentence to, “I want to look like Audrey Hepburn when she meets her dream bae on a tennis court in a full-length gown in the middle of the night. You know, fabulous but relatable.”  So that may have been oddly specific, nonetheless, having a particular person for example will have a similar effect. When you begin to fill your brain with inspirational images, it will automatically be drawn to like-aesthetics.

Creating a great wardrobe does not mean reinventing the wheel; you can take a cue from other stylish individuals, put what you’ve liked and learned in your magical mixing pot, and end up creating something uniquely you. Because we’re not about copy-catting here, we’re here to create something really special and personal to you. So, once you find your style icons, find a way to document them. You could add pictures of them in your favorite outfits to your Pinterest board, cut out pictures of them from magazines and paste them on an inspiration board, or it could just be as simple as a single photograph taped to your bedroom wall (but not like in a creepy, shrine-like way. Just keep them somewhere that will remind you of what you’re going for).

The key is to remain inspired, when I feel directionless I always have trouble figuring out what to where. But when I see one of my favorite pictures of my style icon or just a great outfit, suddenly getting dressed seems is exciting, like a creative process. My closet becomes a wonderland…Maybe a little dramatic until I get a walk-in closet. Point is, you have to know what you like before you can choose what you like. And who knows, maybe you’ll end up serving as inspiration to someone else along the way.

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The First Step to Finding & Defining Your Style

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With summer fashion now in stores full swing, I have finally decided to start narrowing down what exactly I want my summer wardrobe to look like. I’m glad that I waited to see what stores were offering and what trends are…trending. It’s all apart of gathering inspiration, the first step to creating a style that’s irrepressibly you. i.e. the foundation to every great wardrobe.

Which brings me to addressing the importance of cultivating inspiration. When you do not have a clear vision of what you want your wardrobe to look like or how you want to present yourself to the world, it’s almost unavoidable to buy things on impulse, have a closet of miss-matched clothes, or be left with outfits that you feel don’t represent you. No wonder Pinterest was an explosion of popularity on the internet, it’s just about the easiest way to find and store inspiration. This would be my preferred method, but just because it works for me, doesn’t mean it’s the best for everyone. There are other great ways to cultivate inspiration, whether it’s Polyvore, books, movies, magazines, or the good, old-fashioned inspiration board, still the preferred choice by most designers and creatives. Whatever your jam, it’s important that you keep this source of inspiration easily accessible and reference often. Having this visual reference of what you’re interested in makes choosing clothes so much simpler, it’s easy to see if an item goes with the vibe or function your going for, or if it just doesn’t work with your wardrobe.

Last season I started testing choosing inspiration for my wardrobe instead of just buying on impulse; and by choosing inspiration beforehand, I was able to strategize how everything would work together and what wouldn’t work at all. For winter I chose festive tartans such as Stewart plaid and bright colors like candy apple red and sunny yellow (you can take a look at my inspiration board here). Though the Christmas-y plaids are purely seasonal, yellow and red remain as some of my favorite colors to wear, so you will definitely see them in my wardrobe throughout the year.

Yellow is also a popular color this summer, as well as pastel pinks. Along with an emphasis on yellow and pink, other elements I want to include in my summer wardrobe include gingham plaid, off-the-shoulder styles, distressed/paint splattered jeans, and to top it all off, a straw boater hat (the perfect walk-in-the-park-in-a-summer-dress hat–SO Édouard Manet!). Next, I will pick the perfect pieces to reflect my inspiration, strategize how they will all go together, and voila! A wardrobe that is fun, functional, and inspired. And of course, I will keep you updated on here along the way.

To take a further look into my inspiration, simply click on this link. You can even stay updated with everything that inspires me by following me on Pinterest (I assure you, there will be more to come).

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