Saturday, August 8, 2009

Inspired Style

Know first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly – Epictetus

When it comes to establishing one’s style, I’ve discovered that most people simply don’t know where to begin. Daily, we’re bombarded with so many visuals – magazines, television, etc. – that it’s difficult to know the difference between what’s great and what’s garbage. Because our society tends to be a trend-obsessed one, we tend to buy just any old thing without considering whether or not it truly represents who we are.

Understanding who you are is the most important key to the content of your style. You can’t have style without inspiration. When I embark on a style journey with new clients, we do a little exercise designed to help them become attuned to things that inspire them. Using a corkboard and pushpins, I’ll ask my new client to cover it with anything that brings her or him joy: quotes, photos, colors, pictures of role models, fashion looks they love from magazines – anything that makes her or him smile. (This is actually a technique designer Isaac Mizrahi discusses in his book, How to Have Style)

This concept goes much deeper than fashion, and it changes as one’s moods do (that’s okay; our style is meant to grow over time). It encourages one to think in visual terms.

One client filled her board with fabulous stilettos, yet had nothing but flats in her closet.

Another client’s board was awash in vibrant reds, purples, and golds, yet she wore nothing but black and gray.

They each learned a lesson about themselves: their wardrobes were not a true reflection of who they really were.

I encourage you to follow Shakespeare’s line, To thine own self be true. That truth will set you free!

Beth Newman
Look, feel, and live your absolute best!

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