I have to say, my sense of personal style has developed enormously over the last few years. This recently occurred to me when I did a major closet clean out. After looking at what was left of my wardrobe, a few patterns started to emerge. It was clear that there are a few distinct elements that make up my wardrobe: contrast, femininity, and edge.
I have amazing pieces that have held on through many years, investment pieces that I splurged on and some that I saved on, trendy pieces and classics, each of them blending to create my personal style. I like to pick and choose the trends that I love and try to incorporate them into my wardrobe in a way that’s more unique to me then trendy. I have been asked who my fashion inspirations are, and I know they exist (Blake Lively, Amber Fillerup, Kristina Bazan, etc), but I’ve realized that these individuals inspire me to create my own unique style more then they inspire me to recreate theirs. I’d say that I have more style influences that aren’t necessarily individual people. I like to give credit to the places I have lived, visited, and explored for their influence on my sense of style more than necessarily individuals. I definitely look to stylish individuals and admire their use of trends, but I look to my past to understand how my personal style has developed.
Growing up in the South East definitely had an enormous influence on my personal style. I’ve always thought Southern dressing is very much based on rules, such as what is appropriate for which place, time, activity, etc. Lets just say that I’ve never embraced this idea, but I would admit that it has influenced the way I dress. Southern style taught me that elegance is always beautiful and that less is often more. This last message has really shaped how I wear jewelry because I love the simplicity of a single piece or two. The idea of elegance and femininity has definitely stuck with me as well. I love incorporating feminine pieces into my wardrobe such as lace, crisp whites, baby pinks, and flowy styles. I think that these pieces look great paired with both classic cuts, like my look here, and edgy textures such as leather.
Being able to travel throughout my childhood and adolescence really encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone in terms of fashion and incorporate new and interesting pieces that are inspired by different people, cultures, and styles. I have to say that the French have left the greatest lasting impact on my personal style. Their love of classic elegance and effortless street style has really impacted me. The French taught me to embrace the colors black and white and to use textures to add contrast to a look. I used this idea of contrasting textures here in this outfit. I love the combination of the classic trousers in a fun color paired with a feminine but trendy touch of the lacy crop top.
Los Angeles definitely taught me a lot about my personal style. It taught me to be free in the way I dress, to experiment, and to always dress for myself. LA helped give me access to an enormous range of styles which allowed me to test and try different things. This led me to to discover not only what works for my body but how to build a compatible wardrobe that coordinates and builds upon itself. Pairing a crop top with these classic trousers is something I never would have thought of before moving to Los Angeles. I never imagined that you could blend these two unique styles, trousers that lean towards the business side with a lacy crop top that screams Summer and take me to the beach, but they coordinate amazingly. I’ve also learned a lot about experimenting with skin. For example I love this top and pants combo because it contrasts the amount of skin showing between the two pieces. The lacy strappy top shows a lot of skin, but the more conservative trousers counterbalance it creating an outfit that complements itself.
I’d say that my personal style has a classic elegance and an edgy twist. I like to think outside of the box and push my comfort zone a bit in order to find perfect balance between these two elements. The best advice I can give about forming your own personal style is to wear what you love, understand why you love it, and experiment. Then you can start to build a wardrobe full of pieces that you feel great in while still incorporating an unexpected twist that can be unique to you.
OUTFIT: Pants – ASOS (similar here & here); Top – Urban Outfitters (similar here & here); Shoes – Dolce Vita (similar here & here); Bag – Kate Spade (similar here & here), Hat – unknown (similar here & here); Lips – Nars Dolce Vita
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