I recently read a book called “The Last Lecture”. It’s a heart-warming book based on the final lecture given by a well-known professor, Randy Pausch, after he discovers he has pancreatic cancer. Within the book, Pausch mentions how he thinks fashion is just a way of being “hip” and a way of trying to be impressive on the surface. He leaned toward the long-term, earnest way of living and abided by his parent’s teaching of only buying new clothes when your old ones wear out.
As a personal stylist, this stuck with me. People’s perspectives and relationship with fashion is something that has always fascinated me, which is why I love doing what I do. Obviously, my views of fashion and style differ from Pausch’s, but I still respect his choice to prioritize earnest living over what he believes to be “hip”. My problem is that fashion always has the connotation of being pretentious, snooty and expensive, but that’s not always the case.
I believe there is a connection between someone’s outward appearance and how they are feeling internally, and a lot of the time, people don’t know how to bring those two together or develop their own personal style that portrays who they are. Some may laugh at the idea that fashion is a representation of ones self, but take a walk down the street, look at people and actually pay attention to the thoughts that arise when you digest those first impressions. Personal representation matters and style is a big factor that plays into it.
So, how do you develop your own style? One thing that has always worked for me is observation and adaptation. I’m always absorbing what’s around me (believe it or not, I was a very shy child and observing was my favorite hobby, aside from dressing my Barbies). I will see something on someone and love it, or hate it, or decide how I would adjust it to fit my taste. Developing style is like developing a certain palate for food. You have to find what fits you and what you like, and with everything at our fingertips these days, there is inspiration everywhere – the streets, Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, and so much more. Ask yourself, "How do I want to look? What do I like/dislike? What makes me feel my best?"
For instance, I’m a big fan of long, billowy-sleeved blouses paired with belted denim shorts. It’s just a look I’ve always liked on other people and I tend to wear the combination often because it fits me. It has a bohemian, balanced sexiness to it that I love. One thing to keep in mind is that everything you like may not fit you, and that’s ok, but don’t be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone in order to develop your personal style. You’d be surprised at how it will make you feel.