Sunday, June 10, 2012

Where Do You Get Your Style Inspiration?

Don't forget to enter the BlogHer Life Well Lived sweepstakes.  You could win an iPod Touch and a $50 gift certificate to iTunes!

To say that I worry about fashion takes it too far.  But I do like to wear something that fits well and has some stylish flare.

In my mind, there is a fine line between paying attention to style so that you look well turned out and being obsessed with it so much that it is a constant worry or fixation.  I try to stay on the sane side of that line.  The occasional foray into trendy pieces as accents or single piece notes works much better for me than a head to toe blast.

Maegan Tintari of BlogHer's Life Well Lived style page has some great suggestions for online and in-print browsing if you are trying to find your own style. 

Take a peek at some of the personal blogs on her list -- they are a wonderful peek at individual style imprints just in the way the individual blog aesthetic is put together for each, let alone in the styles featured therein.

One of the things that I did several years ago, and continue to do off and on now when I start feeling a bit frumpy or in need of "refreshment" in my day to day wear, is to keep a "style book" of sorts:  this is a hard-bound sketch book, into which I paste cut-out photos from magazines of outfits, colors, fabrics, accessories, etc., that grab me as I'm looking through magazines.  (I also do this with decor for the house and housing styles as a "someday if we build our own" dream book, too.)

Keeping everything all in one place is incredibly useful, because you realize certain things that always catch your eye.  In my case, it was scarves.  Once I started wearing more of them, I was a much happier person in my clothes.  Sometimes, it is the little things, right?

I get most of my style tips from three places, and I find it funny that two out of the three concentrate as much on what you should not do to yourself with bad clothing choices as what you could do with better onees:

-- InStyle magazine (both print and online)
-- What Not To Wear  (both the show and online)
-- Go Fug Yourself

When I was younger, I loved Vogue magazine.  While I still buy the Fall and Spring fashion issues pretty regularly, I'm doing so for the art inspiration and not really for clothing suggestions.   As I've gotten older and mercifully more mature and confident about my own self, I've found that Vogue's artsy, edgy, uber-expensive aesthetic doesn't really fit who I am and what I need clothing to do for me in my day to day.

Honestly, I think that has proved true for a lot of women my age, too: who can afford to cook dinner and play Wii fit plus with their kids in haute couture 24/7?  (or ever, as the case may be?!?)

What I want is to be stylish without going completely over the top.  It isn't so much about being on the cutting edge as much as it is about finding what really works for me and my life.

As I have gotten older and wiser, I've realized that less really is more.

Simple, clean lines are my friend.  Structure, seams, and good shape built in to the clothing works well for my curvy, hourglass frame.  I can play around with pattern and color all I want, but if the clothing isn't cut well for my short, curvy body?  It will not work.

Just understanding that has made all the difference in how my clothes fit.  And fit really is everything. 

So find your inspiration in magazines but keep in mind that the models most of them show aren't realistic visual goals for most of us.  The most important thing is to be brutally honest with yourself about what will or will not work for you as an individual.  That has made a huge difference for me:  even though I'd still love to fit into a cute little shift dress, it makes me look like a big, round stump and that is no good for my self esteem.

Wear what makes you feel good about yourself.  Confidence and happiness with yourself is always your very best accessory, don't you think?

Don't forget to enter the BlogHer Life Well Lived sweepstakes.  You could win an iPod Touch and a $50 gift certificate to iTunes!

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