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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Finding Your Personal Style

"You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning.  It's a way of life. Without it you're nobody. And I'm not talking about a lot of clothes." - Diana Vreeland 

Here is the scoop: I love clothes. They are kind of my happy place.  When I get overwhelmed or have too much on my infamous to-do list, I sometimes ditch it all and shop.  I know some ladies hate to shop, but for me, it’s the bee's knees.  Of course I don’t always come home with a jazzy new outfit.  My honeybee might hit the fan if that happened all the time!

It makes me giggle to think of different types of pieces that I have acquired throughout the years and how much my personal style has changed.   As my personal style has changed, I have learned that it is just as important to look my best as it is to feel comfortable and true to who I am.  My philosophy has always been that “when you dress better, you feel better, and when you feel better, you do better.”  It sounds a little dramatic yet overly simple, but I really do believe in the importance of personal style. Personal style is just that: Personal. Others can influence or inspire your style, but at the end of the day you are the one dishing out the money and choosing which clothes to wear. Can I get an amen? Maybe you are a lover of bright, fun, and patterned clothing just like me. Or maybe you are not. Either way, I'd like to share a few tips I've learned on defining your own personal style. Let’s hop to it!

1. How Do You Perceive Your Style?

This is a question I think we can all ask ourselves from time to time.  Gotta keep ourselves in check, gal pals!  For me, I would say that my style is generally Classic.  While I love a few trendy pieces here and there, my style is turning in to more of a Classic look. Being petite means that I must know how to dress my body and look age appropriate. I can't even tell you how many times this little lady has been mistaken for underage. Oy vey!  I appreciate tailored clothing with clean lines [hello beautiful button ups!] and a dash of whimsy. This is where my accessories come in to play.  I am a fan of pairing neutral colors [think navy] with brights [think chartreuse, yellow, hot pink, and poppy red].  I feel that I am an energetic, cheeky, and friendly person and I find that my style and what I wear is the best way to express my personality. How would you describe your personality? Does it match your style?

2. Who Inspires You? 

We are typically drawn to others whose style we are inspired by or that we feel mirrors our own.  Looking toward our personal style icons is a perfect way to generate ideas and inspiration on how we can take what works for them and build it into our own wardrobe.  Although it was a little tricky for me to choose, I must admit that I am constantly smitten by the style of the following ladies [in no particular order, of course!]: Jenna Lyons, Iris Apfel, Kate Middleton, Olivia Palermo,  and the late Diana Vreeland.  While I love a classic look, sometimes a gal needs a little "bad" taste.  Classy with a twist if you will! I feel that these lovely ladies all encompass a small part of my own personal fashion sense.

3. What Inspires You?

Often I feel like I am in a fashion rut.  Maybe it seems that I wear the same thing all of the time [uh, hello polka-dot button-up shirt]. Or things just aren’t looking the way I thought they did in my head [why did I buy those pants again?].  This is when I happily turn to catalogs, magazines, Pinterest, and personal shoppers at retail locations. Did you know that many retailers now offer free styling appointments? Bring in your favorite pieces you already own and they will help you style them with what you have or may even entice you to add a few new things to spice it up! Don’t be afraid to look for other resources even if it is just the Internet for a little inspiration. This includes brands.  Kate Spade and J.Crew are my go-to brands when I need a little inspiration. I [shamefully] save all of my old J.Crew catalogs. They are like hitting the jackpot in this household.  I typically turn to my catalogs when I'm needing a little bit of a fashion pick-me-up. They are especially fabulous at giving me color pairing ideas! If we always had to rely on our own fashion advice, where would the fun be in all of that? Personal style should be something that is an exciting confidence builder and helps you feel true to you. 

4. Find A Signature Piece

I personally like pieces that are timeless but still fun. I love a darling button-up or a brightly colored sweater because it means that I can make a number of outfits out of four or five pieces.  Stripes are a quickly growing signature piece in my closet as well [you can never go wrong with ‘em in my book!] Let’s not even talk about my love for ballet flats in all colors!  Switch to a different colored pair and hello colorful and snazzy new look! I am a fan of jewelry but I realize that large pieces are not always practical for my daily lifestyle. My Kate Spade watches are a signature accessory of mine although I never leave the house without my gold pave studded earrings.  Without them, I feel absolutely naked, chickadees. Whatever your signature piece may be, use it toward your advantage! Build off of that one piece using different pieces whether it is a scarf, piece of bling, or different type of kicks!

5. Be Open But Stay True

When searching for your personal style, it is important to keep your inspiration in mind. Maybe you love a new trend but don’t think that it will look good on YOUR body. The important thing to remember is: TRY IT. If it isn’t you, then at least you gave it a shot and leave no doubt in your mind.  The most important thing about personal style is that what you have on makes you feel perfectly and beautifully you! 

At the end of the day, having personal style is all about defining you as an individual.  Personal style isn’t about breaking the bank and going out to buy every new piece of clothing that catches your eye.  You don’t need to dress fancy, you just need to stay true to you! It is not about focusing on what we don’t have. It is about having confidence and accepting yourself for who you are. Flaws. And. All.  Now let’s get out there and have a little fun!  

Like my personal style or just need a little outfit inspiration? Find my personal style hashtag on Instagram: #stylemesmitten.


  1. I definitely love your style!

    I tend to gravitate towards classic tailored pieces too (5'2" petite here), but in fun colors. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not very good at buying neutrals.

    1. Thank you! Being so petite isn't always what it's cracked up to be, is it? I'm just 5'0" and I am always having sizing issues. Thank goodness for J.Crew making my life a little easier! I used to be terrible and never bought neutrals but I am trying to get better! I have been all about colored accessories lately! If you are not good at buying neutrals, hey lady, there is nothing wrong with that! You know what your personal style is and stick to it! Thanks for following along! :)