The essence of your style is all you. It sounds obvious, even silly. But how often do we ip through a magazine or look at others on the street and long to have some other woman’s wardrobe, body, or charisma? The best make it look effortless, but we know it rarely is.The great thing about true style is that it stands on its own, and you don’t have to judge or envy anyone else to get it, because it’s already yours. Every outfit you admire, every color that lights up your face, every pair of shoes you flip for—they all reflect you at your best, ready to take on the world.
My best friend claims that whenever she’s going through a major transformation—being red or quitting a job, the end of a relationship, or a move—she buys one thing that seems outlandish for the circumstances. Something she may feel she can’t quite afford, but that she absolutely loves and will treasure for a long time. She calls it her I’ll-never-[work/be happy/fall in love] -again dress, and considers it a kind of reverse psychology good luck charm.The thinking goes that if she’s all washed up, at least she has this one last beautiful thing to remember as she wallows in her misery.
Of course, she’s not one to wallow.And I think the true purpose is to force herself back into the game by embracing beauty in her own way and on her own terms. It cheers her right up to tote around a new bag or get compliments on an inspired new ’do. And let me tell you, it works for her…she’s never been down in the dumps for long (and even if she was, she sure wouldn’t look at it.)
After conducting an informal poll of the most stylish women I know, I’ve put together the 1-2-3 rules. (And of course, the best of the best know how to outdo themselves by breaking every rule.)
Simplicity is the key—especially on a budget. Clean lines, strong colors, no fuss.Always feel comfortable in your clothes. If you love the way it looks on the hanger but feel funny every time you put it on, it goes right into the clothes swap pile.Quality over quantity. For the price of a lot of cheap stuff that wears out in one season, buy one great thing you’ll have forever.
Express Your Inner Beauty
First things first, we gotta address the obvious: you are an amazing person, and you need to flaunt that fact! You put so much before yourself so often, whether it be work, family, friends, community, etc., that it is way past due for you to start treating yourself. And what better way than a transformation so the outside can match the absolute jaw-dropper on the inside?
Now, change doesn’t have to make you a stranger to yourself. It’s all about highlighting the best parts, and one such feature is being comfortable and confident. And there’s one judge you have to astonish, and she is the most important above all others. In other words, dress to impress no one but yourself. Like what Maria Mitchell once said, there is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. Look for a style that brings out a beauty that is true to you. And don’t you dare hold back. This is for you, and let’s face it, succeeding goals is your speciality. Whether it be new shoes or a beloved old T-shirt, put some elbow grease into how you want others to really see the version of yourself that you feel.
Shop ’til You Drop, Pamper ’til You’re Pooped
Maybe you feel like it’s time to update your wardrobe, and if the movies have taught us anything, right now is the perfect opportunity for a shopping montage. There’s a reason why they’re so short in movies: nothing makes time fly by than a fun time. Here are some ideas to start with or be inspired from:
Converse with a hair stylist about fresh cuts and colorsGet creative with a rainbow of nail polishesOrder some new makeup and try out different looks in the mirrorShow off your runway walk in potential buys at a shoe storeBuy a piece of jewelry that you love, then scout your local mall for a matching outfit
Remember, look for quality over quantity. Don’t feel pressured to spend more money than you’d like. One of my favorite places to shop is my neighborhood thrift stores since there is always a hidden treasure to be found.
Brainy is Beautiful
Beauty is about letting the best parts about you on the inside shine through (it sounds corny, but is absolutely true), and you have so many strengths to choose from. Kindness, empathy, integrity, courage… The list goes on. For us Career Girls, our best feature is our brains, so why not put that on display through our style!
Looking stunningly smart can be styled a whole bunch of ways as long as it reflects who you are as a Career Girl. Try to keep in mind (along with company dress code) on how you want to present your skills and talents to your company just by looking at you. Maybe you want to dress the part of a professional representing your company, invoking ideas of pants suits and blazers. Or maybe something more relaxed and fun to work with, like button down shirts and long skirts.
One of my favorite examples is my neighbor. She loves to wear T-shirts she made herself to wear at our town’s farmer’s market for her herbal tea business. Paired with a nice jean jacket and her iPad’s card reader, my neighbor looks like her own brand of Career Girl. Any way you want to go, show that you mean business with a touch of your identity. It will go a long way for your style and company.
And if your workplace is a bit more firm on the dress code, that doesn’t mean you can’t add some small additions that are still meaningful. For me, I love wearing a pair of earrings with my birthstone in them every Monday to start the week with positive energy. A friend of mine always has her lucky pink scrunchie on her for big design projects so her brain can come up with new creative ideas. Anything that represents you or the version of you want to be at your job should be worked into your wardrobe.
So you got the new clothes. But we still have to cover the most essential part of expressing yourself through style: are you ready to try? Here’s a bit of fashion wisdom that nobody talks about: feeling fabulous takes time and practice. No one feels 100% confident right off the hanger. Even people in the fashion industry need reminders every day. It’s scary to try something bold when judgement from others can bring you down
But don’t ever back down. Your style is you, and that’s nothing to apologize for. Beauty has many faces, and this is your beauty. Leopard print skirt, jewel-colored heels, crystal jewelry, you name it! If it makes you happy, wear that happiness with pride. Let the world know that you are a million bucks in what you are wearing. And if they’re judgy, judge them right back for trying to bring you down!
In the words of Linda Evans, “Looking after yourself goes hand in hand with looking good.” Fashion is expression, which means a lot of getting to know and loving yourself. And don’t be scared to try. You can never regret being your own icon.
This guest post was authored by Becca Anderson
Becca comes from a long line of preachers and teachers from Ohio and Kentucky. The teacher side of her family led Becca to become a women’s studies scholar who writes The Blog of Awesome Women. An avid collector of meditations, prayers, and blessings, she helps run a “Gratitude and Grace Circle” that meets monthly at homes, churches, and bookstores. Becca Anderson credits her spiritual practice with helping in her recovery from cancer and wants to share this with anyone who is facing difficulty in their life. She is the author of Think Happy to Stay Happy, Real Life Mindfulness, and Every Day Thankful. Becca shares her inspirational writings and suggested acts of kindness at https://thedailyinspoblog.wordpress.com/.
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