Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Learn your style, Learn Yourself, Love Your Life

I was perusing the UK celebrity gossip website (my daily indulgence) the DailyMail, and came across this article about a recent Miranda Kerr spotting in New York.  They often report on her, and it's apparent from all the pictures that Ms. Kerr is one of those rare celebrities that has and practices a keen sense of style on the daily.  Every day, she looks polished, chic and very well put together.  I doubt her stylist (if she has one) styles her every day outfits, so I think it's safe to assume that these looks are all Miranda. Here's the picture from the article:

Then, as I was reading the comments (best part about DailyMail, by the way...) I came across this comment:

"Ok, that's enough!  I just can't believe this girl - almost every single outfit she wears is impeccable.  I would kill to own half of her wardrobe!  Some girls have it all! So unfair!" -MsKingsley, Southsea, United Kingdom 25/11/2012 12:28 

My very first thought after reading this was: "Wow...I guess I'm at an advantage.  I'm so glad I know that you don't need money to have style.  And a little Forever 21 does NOT hurt."

I don't know how and I don't know when, but... I am going to pursue and achieve the following.  After years of aimless wandering within my career, I've finally found the direction I should be traveling in (fashion) and I've finally composed one of my top career goals.  Somehow, someway - I will not only make America's women well dressed - but I want to teach them on a broad scale - the knack for dressing themselves with style.  I want this to be known amongst American women in a manner that will be as widely accepted and exercised as driving a car. I want to teach women how to understand their bodies - good fashion coming as a side effect of that. The comparison to learning and knowing how to drive a car I believe is surprisingly fitting.  A woman could go her whole life without knowing how to drive, and gets by just fine.  Not the most convenient at times, but no harm done to her whatsoever, not knowing how to drive.  However, having a drivers license and being able to drive a car provides many more opportunities and general benefits over not having a car.  Similar to looking good.  You don't have to - but it damn well helps matters, and I think it should be just as commonplace as women driving cars in 2013.  It's an untapped skill.

I think with a lot of women, style and dressing well is an "all or nothing" kind of thing.  They think that either you have it, or you don't - and if you don't, that's just fine because it's too high maintenance, anyways... and besides, poorly dressed women are so common here in the US, this leads women towards justifying putting next to zero effort in and always looking sloppy.  When you are surrounded by mediocrity and can easily blend in to the blase, frumpy canvas that is the majority of the American fashion arena, the easy action is to jump aboard the cattle heard and follow along.

Clothing, fashion, style, my wardrobe - is my thing, and I guess people have come to know me for it.  If I'm going to go out and be seen, I have a certain fashion reputation to uphold!  However...I have a confession. Half of my clothes come from forever 21.  HALF.  You would never guess, because I will style an outfit that looks near identical to what Miranda Kerr is wearing in that picture, for drastically less money than most women assume it takes to achieve that kind of look.

I recently went wild in the children's section of target.  Yes, the kids section - and I scored numerous pieces reminiscent of J Brand, Theory, Burberry (yes, Burb), and L Wren Scott.  I'll even prove it to you.  I bought this girls' cream lace crop sweater, perfect for layering and fits exactly like all of my other "Womens'" cardigans I've bought in the past:

Cherokee Girls Sweater, $16.99

This one below, available at Barneys by L Wren Scott for $1695 gives the same ambiance and style of what I had in mind when I purchased the Target brand.  I even like mine better, because the lace is in the front instead of the back!  Here's the seventeen hundred dollar one:

Of course I realize that there are certain benefits of going with the L Wren Scott purchase...better fabric, craftsmanship, life of the piece...but lets face it.  Some people will never be able to afford this caliber of clothing.  Most of us aren't included in the target market which these clothes are geared towards.  Does that mean we can't look just as good?  Nope....

And here, this coat:

$59.99, Merona Wool Coat with shawl.  Sixty bucks...compared to these:

Max Mara Gatti Coat, $2,719

Tahari, Mink Brown Wool Blend Oversize Collar "Janine" Coat, $595

Here's the most important part of this piece:

It's one thing to find one piece that you adore, scouring the web/racks until you find a cheaper version of something that brings the same effect, but it's an entirely different thing - developing the skill of recognizing a piece at random, on your own, in a setting that doesn't automatically arouse your fashion radar.  THIS, my friends - is the trick.  Once you develop this skill, your ball is rolling.  You are now becoming fluent in fashion.  For this, you need to develop "the eye".  The eye is about a true understanding of your body and your style.  I believe that a lot of badly dressed women are so because they never discovered what their personal style is.  So, the next time you do stumble upon something unexpectedly instead of passing it by without a second thought, almost missing a gem - snatch that sucker up, ignoring your freinds' snickers, because after they see how you wear it they'll be asking "Hey, where'd you get that jacket from again? It's growing on's way cuter on than in the store!"

I fully believe that having an understanding of your body and knowing your personal style can secure an understanding of who you are, what you want out of life and who you want to be. It sounds a little exaggerated, but it's has more value and is more relevant than you might think. You look good, feel put together - this will extend into other parts of your life and for me, keeps me in tune with myself. It's not about just shopping - it's about becoming and embracing your style - beyond your clothes - and this builds confidence.  

It bugs me when I hear people say "the cheap clothes never fit right.  And they fall apart after one wash!"  This my friends, is an EXCUSE!  When girls quip that they "cant deal" with Forever 21 and that "their clothes don't fit my body type", my eyes begin to roll themselves.  The women who say that are usually the women who don't know what they're doing with fashion.  Yea, I said it. Its all about knowing your body type, working with lengths, layering, balance and a developing "know how".
We all have aspects of our body that don't work with certain styles, cuts, trends, ect. Forget that - forget the rules of fashion.  When people say that, I believe it's 1. A sign of not knowing one's personal style, and 2.  It's an excuse for not being willing learn how to dress yourself properly 3. A girl pulling her nose up at lesser quality clothing brands, stating that her impossibly unique body type can only be dressed by X super expensive fancy designer.  It doesn't take money to have style.

Have you ever heard the expression "She would look fabulous in a brown potato sack".  It doesn't just refer to women with the perfect figure - it's often said about women who always look fantastic - no matter what they're wearing.  There are very few things that are just completely, impossibly atrocious with zero hope or potential of ever being styled to look halfway good.  It's great practice to take the boring pieces you have, and pair them in ways you typically wouldn't.  You'd be surprised how the inspiration and "on a roll" you will feel after just a little while of doing this.  It's fun!  And, the benefits are highly worth it :-)

Here's some more examples of Target childrens' section scores!

These Mossimo jeggings, on sale for 4.99:

And then there's these...

Jbrand Maria Leggings, $189

And lastly, this and this - fun for the holidays!

Cherokee Girls at Target , $16.99

Cherokee Girls at Target , $16.99

Compared to these...

 L Wren Scott, $2,470

Jones New York, $89

Happy hunting!  Ps, WalMart is NOT the same as Target.



  1. Missed your blogs! Beautiful writing, wonderful fashion advice, smart and sensible tips and good advice.