The catwalk isn’t the only place where I feel comfortable strutting my stuff; I feel dauntless even when prancing down the château hallways and alongside my model friends on the sidewalks of Paris. This inner confidence exudes from every bat of my lush lashes and every wind-swept fur on my bod.
But where does this self-assurance stem from?
My ability to make every walk a catwalk flows from being comfortable with myself and my personal style. I have identified my spirit humans, I play to my strengths, and I don’t label myself. I am my signature style and I own it every day.
Having a signature style is a hautely discussed topic and not just among my fashion industry peers; if you Google “Signature Style” you will come up with over 1 Billion (yes, BILLION as in Kylie Jenner’s net-worth) results. It’s as if every human is on the same life journey to find out who they are through their expression of style. As if Google will miraculously turn you into the stereotypical French woman with her effortless “undone, done” look.
NEWSFLASH! You and only you can find your personal style that helps you to make every walk a catwalk.
–Understanding signature style is about pinpointing key fashion elements that make an individual easily identifiable. Take “Mommy” Coco Chanel for example. Try as you may to make a tweed suit part of your capsule wardrobe and fail to compete with Chanel herself. The tweed suit is as synonymous with “Mommy” as her pearls, which even made an appearance while she lounged about her apartment.
I am not advising you steal your grandmother’s pearls, mother’s smokes, and pose on a chaise. This look worked for Coco Chanel but in modern day, between scrubbing dishes and Swiffering, those pearl strands are bound to get caught and crumbled.
-Once you understand what key style elements make an individual, well… an individual, then you can find your spirit human. We’re not taking Ayahuasca and going down a rabbit hole connecting with spirit animals. We’re selecting humans, celebrity or not, who embody an aesthetic we hope to achieve ourselves.
Your spirit human is a person who you admire for their fashion choices. Oui, we all admire Meghan Markle but we don’t all have perfectly coiffed hair sans calics that allows for trademark messy buns. My point? Your spirit human is not just a fashion-forward person who has a stylist on call to dictate their red carpet choices. Your spirit human should be alike to you in body type, shape, complexion, and hair that allows you to use them as a standard for which you base a look’s ability to be successful on. Don’t do yourself a disservice by admiring the rich and famous (unless it’s moi) who have trainers and stylists on call. What looks good on them after hours of self-tanner application and tailoring, will not help you to find your own personal style.
-After naming your spirit human, you can create a list of signature pieces, which said human wears that you’re drawn to and that will play to your strengths. Your spirit human (and you) have shorter legs and a petite frame? Your capsule wardrobe will have tonal coordinating tops and bottoms. Wearing too many different colors will overwhelm your petite frame and make your legs look shorter. Your spirit human (and you) are on the go 24/7? Cinderella’s glass slippers won’t be a part of your capsule wardrobe in this lifetime.
Choosing signature pieces boils down to not only what plays to your physical strengths but also what fits with your lifestyle. Outfits and accessories that work for one individual’s job or daily activities might not jive well with yours.
-Now is the fun part: shopping! No need to consult your financial advisor. I’m not advocating for a complete wardrobe overhaul; Unless that’s in your budget and if so, let the games begin dahhhling!
This shopping trip will take place both inside and outside of your closet. In order to shop smarter (aka budgeting, which is a new concept for moi), you need to plan your shopping trip based on what you already have in your closet and the holes you need to fill in.
Open those wardrobe doors, unearth the denim skirt in the depths of the closet (and toss it), and arrange your clothing and accessories based on the signature style you’re trying to achieve. Would your spirit human wear that army-print sequin blouse your roommate passed down to you? Be honest with yourself! She would not.
Now that you have two piles for the “old you” and the “future you”, donate the lightly used “old you” pieces, put on your walking shoes and hit the stores. It’s time to fill in the wardrobe holes.
Enter stores with a mission. You are not lackadaisically walking around a mall with no goal in sight. Know where you’re going and why you are going into each store. Need 3 white tees sans logos? J Crew is calling your name. Want oversized black frames like your spirit humans Mary-Kate and Ashley? Celine is waiting.
-Once mission shop for the “new you” is complete, it’s time to become a more authentic you. You’ve spent the time understanding what having a signature style means, you’ve identified your spirit human, created a list of signature pieces, shopped smarter, and now it’s time to embrace your look. Whatever your look means to you, whether bohemian or “Instagram-worthy”, don’t label yourself.
Your signature style isn’t about fitting into a box, it’s about being the most authentic you who is comfortable enough in their skin (and new capsule wardrobe) to make every walk a catwalk.
[Photo Source: Monica Smiley eighty seventh st]