~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #159
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“Style trickles into everything you do, who you are, and who and what you attract in life. Whittle down your style to what matters and project what’s meaningful to the world: Be the lighthouse. Be honest. Be real.” —Kate Schelter
Settling on a style that is our own can be overwhelming. Beginning with the style that adorns our bodies, but also the style with which we approach life, our routines, our hobbies, our habits, our way of contemplating and dancing with the life we have, and journeying toward the life we want. With so many options, ideas, seasons, and lifestyle icons to draw inspiration from, there is such a thing as paralysis by abundance.
Creative director and stylist Kate Schelter understands the quandary which is why she wrote her new book Classic Style: Hand It Down, Dress It Up, Wear It Out. Having read through the style resource, I picked 18 gems of wisdom I have found to serve as trustworthy guideposts when it comes to homing in on our individual classic style. There are of course many more as well as a wealth of examples which is why I encourage you to take a look at the book, but until then, let me offer you a taste to assuage the fear that curating your style might be impossible. Quite to the contrary, you can do it, and these sage descriptors of classic style will help you do so.
~Be sure to tune into the audio episode of the podcast as I dive into each item on the list in-depth, sharing specific examples. Below merely touches on the surface of the content that is shared.
Your classic style will . . .
1. Bring you joy
2. Be functional for your lifestyle
3. Be deeply simple
4. Add a touch of a signature
5. Be unmistakably beautiful to you
6. Free you from constraint
7. Move toward what you fear
“The jitters are love in disguise, reminding you that you’re getting closer to what you want. Face it. Go toward it. Do it. Dive into your most meaningful experiences and relationships —the ones that make you feel like you’re alive. Don’t worry if you can’t access what you want just yet. It will come. “
8. Have no expiration date in sight
9. Be a reflection of your character
10. Will use a limited color palette
11. Offer proper proportion and scale
12. Will focus on less rather than more
Schelter suggests shopping like an editor, “Turn down the volume. Tune in to yourself. You really don’t need much.”
13. Involve creating your own personal classics
“Find fabrics, colors, cuts and shapes that work on you. Then Repeat-wear and rely on them without a second thought. Know that they are yours to trust.”
14. Find a balance when it comes to personal grooming
“Just the right amount of grooming: not too much, not too little.”
15. Require quality tailoring
16. Involve investing in what you love
With patience, saving up and waiting for what you know will work and what you know you love will earn you the reward of “quality, craftsmanship, and charm”.
17. Require you to not buy based on the size, but buy what looks best on your body
18. Not knowing is actually a positive sign, so long as you keep your eyes open
“When you embrace not having a set direction, you may experience the “dead zone” (dormancy, fear, dread, confusion, self-doubt), but that always comes before the spark of spring . . . When you give up expectations and rules you sow seeds for creative thought; you give yourself room to find your individuality and your own vocabulary. You are no longer defining yourself in someone else’s terms.”
Listen to your life. Listen to what puts you at ease, what makes you feel beautiful, what fires up your confidence. And then ask yourself why. When you listen, when you tune in to what your life is revealing to you, your true personal classic style will come forth.
“The key to personal style is simple: Forget what’s cool and trust your gut. The magic is in your mix. When you draw confidence from your classics — pieces that you come back to again and again — your style is your own. Classics let you do more, and be more, with less.” —Kate Schelter author of Classic Style
- Best to buy in the bud stage as they will last longer; don’t forget to cut an inch off the bottom and remove all leaves that might be submerged in water. Add plant food.
- Common peony meanings include romance, prosperity, good fortune, a happy marriage, riches, honor, and compassion — but peonies can also mean bashfulness via FTD.com
- Peonies are native to China. They are highly valued there, and are often referred to as the “king of flowers”.
- The peony is the state flower of Indiana.
- It is also given for twelfth wedding anniversaries because the peony symbolizes honor, fortune, and a happy relationship.
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