While I believe firmly that some people are simply born with tremendous amounts of style, those fashionable freaks are the exception, not the rule.
Most folks with any sort of chic at all take a heavily revisionist hand to their early sartorial development.
Case in point: legend has it, moments after emerging from my mother’s womb I took one look at the delivery room wallpaper, said “Mauve? Really?” and popped back in until I could be brought into this earth surrounded by more suitable wallcoverings, perhaps something in a William Morris print.
What I fail to mention is the time in 8th grade history when Mrs Cheeseman made me go to the bathroom to wash the purple lipstick off my face, or my middle school years which were heavily punctuated by Liza-with-a-Z quality rayon “big shirts” (the bane of the Big Girl of which I still have the horrors) and deeply ill-advised trapeze top/leggings sets, the most famous of which was a head-to-toe Holstein print bestowed upon me by my grandmother who, despite all evidence to the contrary, really did love me at the time.
(this is less than ideal)
The point is: It’s a process.
As with most processes, you’ll naturally want to tweak here and there, otherwise you’ll end up in a rut and before you know it you’ll be That Lady. The most obvious examples of That Lady is the middle-aged woman who wears her hair the same way she did in high school or the sweet old lady who could stun a yeti with her “signature perfume” which she’s been wearing since 1954, immune to the idea that her nose is dead to the scent.
I can’t tell you how many folks I talk to get frustrated with their own ruts.
They complain how “it” seems to come so easily to some people while they struggle along and can’t add something to their wardrobe without feeling like it’s a costume. They shove the piece they love in the back of the closet because they felt uncomfortable wearing it, or like it was wearing them and then these poor souls feel they’ve let themselves down, like they can’t wear Capital F Fashion and might as well go back to the jeans and t-shirts, because at least then they won’t look stupid.
It just breaks the heart.
Because here’s the thing: a sophisticated sense of style takes practice and getting mad at yourself for not being good at it right off the bat is just, well forgive my language, doofy.
For the next few days we’re going to talk about the process from inspiration to realization of incorporating elements into your personal style so it feels like a natural, easy extension instead of a gimmick or costume. This is valuable for absolute beginners as well as folks who already feel they’ve got a handle on advanced fashion but want to branch out.
Stay tuned, it should be fun.