Style is an inside job
I am a great believer that a style should be created from inside out. When you build your wardrobe to reflect who you are on the inside, shopping, putting outfits together and getting dressed becomes effortless, natural and easy. More then that, your style tells so much about you, so if you have worked really hard to develop your skills and talents it makes sense to package them in a way that tells the world that what you bring is of the highest quality.
There is a myth that people who are stylish were born with some sort of gift, special taste in clothes and have a flare for fashion running through their blood. That might be true for people who pursue a career in fashion and live for fashion every day. However, style isn’t exclusive to those working in fashion industry. I know a lot of people with different skills and talents and different goals and dreams who always look stylish and dress well. The truth is, you don’t need to be passionate about fashion, you do not need to read fashion magazines and spend your weekends trolling shopping centres in order to be well dressed and look good. In fact, obsession with all the latest trends doesn’t necessarily mean you have a style at all. A person who buys all the latest trends without judgement might be trendy for sure, but that does not mean they are stylish. As Karl Lagerfeld said ‘Trendy is the last stage before tacky’
Style is more than following trends blindly without any thought. Style is an expression of who you are and therefore cannot be dictated by fashion industry alone. When talking about style I often use the Pandora box metaphor. I’m not talking about the mythological artefact filed with all sorts of evils but the box modern day Pandora charms come in. I once received a package in the post that I wasn’t expecting. From the stamps I could see it came from Norway, where my friend lives. It was just a basic brown postal box. I cut it open and inside I could see a familiar white paper bag with black ribbon. I started to get excited. I took the bag out, untied the ribbon and looked inside. There was a little square perfectly white box with embossed writing. I took out the box and started to feel even more excited. I could tell that there was something really special inside. When I opened the box, I found this beautiful silver charm with a little infinity mark and a love heart engraved with ‘Forever friends’. I was so touched and so happy to receive such a beautiful gift. It is something I wear every day and I will treasure forever. The reason I tell you this story is that the day I received the gift was the day I realised that we as mumpreneurs, professional women, capable talented females are just like Pandora boxes. Our skills and talents are unique, something only we can bring, they are like charms- special and valuable. The same way internationally acclaimed company packages their unique charms in highest quality boxes, bags and ribbons we should package our skills in the way that represents their value too.
I am a strong believer that the best way to do that is to start with the charm inside. Same way the jewelry company started with the jewelry first and then created packaging inline with the value and the spirit of their goods, we should start with who we are, what we stand for, what we are aiming to achieve and what our needs are and then build our wardrobes to represent that. When done that way our style aligns with our spirit, with who we are and how we want to feel and that feeling becomes the best guide when considering new fashion investments. When we dress in a way that reflects who we are on the inside it feels natural, comfortable and easy. Putting outfits together is easy as everything you have in your wardrobe not only fits you but also goes together and most importantly makes you feel good. Shopping becomes simple as you have a very clear image of what you are trying to achieve, you no longer waste your money on useless impulse buys and you know exactly what suites your body and fulfils your needs. When you know your style story you no longer feel the need to justify yourself to anyone, explain your choice or waste energy on worrying what will others think. The overwhelm is gone and what you are left with is a wardrobe that serves you. Same way seeing the little white Pandora box left me without a doubt that there was something really special inside, your appearance should do the same for your gifts and talents that you worked so hard to perfect.