finding your style

Sorry for the silence. It turns out that a gut renovation and moving take a LOT of time. Many of you already knew that. I had no idea just how exhausting and overwhelming it would be even though I’ve already moved twice in the past 8 years, one of which was an international move… Renovations are just different. I’m looking forward to NOT doing it again for a long time, hopefully.

In any case, here I am again, getting my bearings and still waiting for the nice person who I hope will someday come to set up my internet. It’s getting a little ridiculous…

While I wait, let’s talk about personal style, shall we? I recently picked up a copy of Allison Bornstein‘s book, Wear It Well. I like Allison’s approach to styling. What she has to say about finding your style is, I think, brilliant. She suggests choosing three words to help you define your style. Here’s how it works:

The first word is your practical word, the word that says something about your current style. You can find this word by looking at what you usually wear and finding the commonality in your clothing. For me, that word is probably Classic. But for you it might be Sporty or 1960’s or Colorful. It can be whatever you want it to be.

The second word will be aspirational, something you want your clothing style to say about you. For me this word might be Tailored or Elegant or Relaxed, I’m still trying to decide. Right now I’m going with Tailored, but it might change. (Allison says your words can and will change over time, so I’m not going to worry too much about it at first.)

The third word should be emotional. How do you want to feel when you’re dressed? I chose Sexy because I want to feel attractive and feminine in my clothing choices, and because sometimes Tailored and Classic feel too conservative and rigid if they’re not loosened up a bit. I want to express my relaxed and fun side in my wardrobe, too.

The fun part of the Three Words process is in the mix. When you get dressed, try to combine your clothing in a way that embraces all three of your words. So for me, since Classic is basically my entire wardrobe, I look for ways to express Tailored and Sexy in how I wear those items. I might be wearing jeans (which is all I’ve worn for the past two weeks thanks to all those boxes I’ve had to unpack), but I’ll look for a way to wear them with something Tailored (perhaps some loafers or a blazer) and Sexy (maybe a Classic Shirt worn a little unbuttoned and with a gold necklace barely visible).

Fun, right? I really love this Three Word explanation because it puts an explanation behind something that often just feels intuitive. Maybe it will help you, too?





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  1. Teress

    Great post!
    Just wondering if you have a pattern €that can be used for white skirt(with black sweater).

    Hope renovations come along soon,

    1. Absolutely! Try our Garibaldi Skirt.

      You can sew it the way it’s written with an invisible zipper or try my tutorial for a bias-cut version with hidden elastic waist (slip-on style):

      1. Teresa

        Thanks! Looking forward to spring patterns!

  2. Madeline Styron

    Oh. I guess because of my age, when you said “gut renovation,” I was thinking you’d had surgery to your digestive tract! Glad that’s not the case. I’ve just discovered your patterns and am having fun trying new styles to sew and wear. Thank you!

    1. Ha ha, that would be an interesting way of phrasing it! Fortunately just apartment surgery!

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