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True Spring

Jacket: ASOS | Tee: Banana Republic | Jeans: Gap | Scarf: Express circa 2000 (similar) | | Halogen (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelets: c/o lifetherapy

Today feels like spring, finally! After a weird last week with snow and wind and rain, it’s nice to have a day where I can let my ankles breathe and see sunshine. While I love these boyfriend jeans, they stretch out a lot and not just at the waist. This is a second wearing for them and I far prefer how they look on Day 1. Luckily I have my Beltaway to keep them from falling down. Beltaway started following me on Twitter a couple months ago, I was curious, clicked on their link and dug what they were selling. I think many of us deal with jeans that gape at the back or stretch out during the day, but regular belts can show lumps under knits. Well I told them I liked their idea, they were nice enough to send me one. Beltaway is slim, I have a navy one that disappears with denim, has a low-profile plastic belt that not only isn’t bulky, but means you can keep your belt on through metal detectors. Beltaway sent me the belt to be nice, with no expectations. I’m just sharing my love because it really does rock and it pretty much lives in these boyfriend jeans so I don’t have whale tail by noon.

I had the CUTEST outfit Thursday, but somehow lost my memory card en route to the office. I pretty much built the outfit around my new favorite bracelets from lifetherapy. Lynette sent me these bracelets and they have become as much of my uniform as a pair of leopard shoes. The combo I am wearing is the Indigo Spiritual & Focus Bracelet with Turquoise , Indigo Spiritual & Focus Czech Glass Bead Bracelet , and Indigo Spiritual & Focus Silk Wrap Bracelet . I chose an indigo theme because it supposedly helps one focus on personal issues, develop intuition, solitude and inner communication. Indigo symbolizes wisdom and spiritual realization. Good fit for me right about now, no? Each of these lifetherapy bracelets has a turquoise stone which represents friendship, wisdom, vibrant growth, courage, and good fortune. The Silk Wrap Bracelet has a charm that is a replica of a Chinese Ching Dynasty coin which represents the heavens and the hole in the earth. While I did get these bracelets as a gift, I have been wearing them pretty much non-stop (check out my Instagram for proof) because they are beautiful and I do think at least by looking at them, help calm me and give me focus. It’s nice to find jewelry that both looks beautiful and possibly provides a benefit.

Oh, and the hair? I’m starting to figure it out when it’s not straight.  It’s coming along nicely!  This was letting it air dry with just argan oil, then adding Neil George Detangling Spray, twisting pieces, and hitting the bangs with the flat iron, and Elnett to set. 

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The True Fashionista

I often use the term “True Fashionista” on this blog when discussing how some trends (white shoes, visible lingerie, etc.) works for no one but this select few. Many of you have written me asking me what makes one a True Fashionista.

The True Fashionista…

… Understands, accepts and embraces her entire figure – bust, hips, height… you name it.

…Already knows how to accentuate her positives and also knows very well what those positives are.

…The only time she curses her reflection is when she notices a stain on her shirt or a run in her hose.

…Never searches magazines and the ‘Net for information on which haircut or glasses shape best suits her face shape.

…Knows she is fabulous in her own way, and even strangers are fully aware of how fabulous she is.

…When friends describe her, they can immediately describe her sense of style – a typical look, a signature accessory, a uniform of sorts (even if she changes inspirations and genres on a daily basis).

…Even if her tastes are 180 degrees the opposite of theirs, friends will always come to her for fashion and design advice.

…She doesn’t need this blog.

In essence, if you are reading this blog, you usually are here looking for style advice. If you are seeking style advice, you don’t fit into the True Fashionista category, and many of the zany, artsy and funky fashions will not carry off well on your person.

Don’t be upset or frustrated by me stating this; most of us women (myself included!) are NOT True Fashionistas, and will never be in our lifetime. We all can’t be award-winning journalists, coveted interior decorators, brilliant painters, or Oscar-worthy actresses. Fashion is an art form, and like an art form to be successful with it you need a combination of proper training and born-with-it talent.

One can be a wonderful painter with proper training and examination of one’s work; one can have a beautifully decorated home with some research of design books and Web sites; one can possess fabulous style without being born with the True Fashionista gene.

Style can be learned by understanding yourself, accepting yourself and the life that you lead. Researching, observing, trial and error will help you find your personal style. This doesn’t mean you will someday be able to sport snakeskin trousers, rockabilly chic, boho chic, or even leggings; but this doesn’t mean that you can’t be an utterly stylish and polished woman.

Fashion and Style are not synonymous and style can be achieved by every woman, regardless of figure, age, budget, lifestyle or how many years she has been wearing elastic-waist pleated polyester trousers. As with any other art form, it is possible to learn it and to understand it – and there is such beauty and talent in various levels of the craft.

Your first piano recital may have been the most beautiful sound you and your parents had ever heard; after five more years of lessons and practice you may laugh at or be embarrassed by that simple song you tripped over at that initial performance. That doesn’t make that first recital piece any less beautiful – it was beautiful because you took a first step. You practiced, you found something you felt relatively comfortable with, and you brought it to the public. You learned from it – tempo, how to better hold your hands, what style of music that seems to be a best fit for you and from it you grew. The same holds true for personal style. Making slow changes to your look is beautiful – no one expects you to become a virtuoso overnight, and not everyone can be Chopin… but everyone can find what works for them and bring a bit more beauty to them and to this world. Enjoy the journey and be proud of how far you have come!

True Fashionista: Laura

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

Simple isn’t easy. It’s easy to pile on the trends and hide behind flashy baubles and of-the-moment silhouettes. It takes skill to make simple pieces and ensembles look chic, polished, and covetable. I’ll admit, this is something I am working on, and I am always thrilled to find a blogger who masters simple style. When I found the blog Laura Wears I was hooked, and I was thrilled when Laura was willing to be part of my True Fashionista series.

Laura makes simple chic style look effortless. She wears the same pieces over and over without it being boring or wackadoodle (far too many blog posts out there claiming anyone can make a dress into a jumper or skirt or a shirt into a skirt). She dresses for her real life – you’ll see her in outerwear, career attire, formalwear, and everything in between.

I love that Laura’s wardrobe is a mix of high and low. Thrifted gems, pieces bought on travel, popular retailers like J. Crew and Banana Republic, as well as factory store scores. Laura will also let you know the age of a piece, be it something she bought a couple years ago or something she bought back in high school. It’s inspiring to see someone truly have a working wardrobe of staples that transcend the years and the trends.

For those who mention that my outfits aren’t relevant to you because you live in a place with a colder climate (or who want to see what style bloggers wear in the snow), I encourage you to check out Laura Wears, for Laura lives in Ottawa, Canada and often poses in parkas and boots with a snowy background.

Laura shows with her blog that you don’t need an overflowing wardrobe or every hot trend to look stylish and sophisticated. Simple can be elegant and quite chic. She reminds me that often less is more, be it choosing just one accessory or focusing more on fit than trend. I am glad she was willing to be part of my True Fashionista series; I asked her to answer the same five questions I ask of each participant:

How would you describe your personal style?
I would say my style is mostly preppy and classic. On occasion, I try to incorporate other trends, namely bohemian pieces. Each season I try to incorporate a few trendier pieces into my wardrobe (ie. I finally made myself a peplum top…).

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
From a young age, I always loved seeing people (men and women!) with beautifully put-together outfits. This probably had a huge impact on my love of fashion. Also, since I am not overly artistic in my everyday life, putting together and photographing my outfits quickly became an outlet for creative expression.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
Everywhere! Blogs, magazines, people on the street, Pinterest, etc. As crazy as it may sound, I also get a lot of inspiration from menswear blogs. I absolutely love the simplicity of men’s looks. The no-muss-no-fuss style really appeals to me

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Style is timeless. Fashion changes each season.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?

  1. Experiment, experiment, experiment!
  2. Seek out some help from the sales associates/personal stylists at your favorite stores. They normally have a wealth of knowledge and can help you pick out great pieces.
  3. Consider photographing outfits here and there… Taking photos for my blog has really helped me interpret what works for my body and what doesn’t (the mirror sometime lies!). On occasion, I’ll leave the house with an outfit I love, but when I see the photos of it, I have a what-was-I-thinking moment.

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True Fashionista: Beverly

It’s so sad when a beloved blog stops posting. You may have never met the blogger, heck you may have never even commented but when the blog leaves you feel as though there’s a hole not just in your RSS reader, but also your life. Blogs just have that effect on some of us. So when a favorite blogger returns, it’s cause for celebration. And a blogger whose style is worth celebrating is in my mind a True Fashionista. This is why I asked Beverly of Beverly Like Hills to be part of my True Fashionista series.

I work in an office. I’m not 21 anymore. I have a daughter and my social life is more restaurants and wine in a friend’s living room than clubs and bars. Blogs that have fun yet realistic style for my life are sort of hard to find. Beverly from Beverly Like Hills isn’t 21 anymore either. She works full time, is a parent, has a life but a life I can relate to. All this, and she has amazing, inspiring every day style.

Excellent use of color? On-trend prints and silhouettes? Drool-worthy shoe collection? Awesome specs and awesome hair? Beverly has all this and more in her personal style. She shops from popular chain stores, incorporates hot trends without looking like a fashion victim, has polish and professionalism while having a sense of whimy and fun to each outfit. I think I’d wear almost every item in her closet and often see that we have similar pieces (or the same like the brown Banana Republic hobo in the first collage!).

Beverly rocks fabulous, wearable fashion. She’s not afraid to embrace a trend or modern silhouette. She proves that you can be chic, trendy, fabulous when over 40. She proves that age is but a number when it comes to fashion, and one shouldn’t feel the need to only shop certain stores, silhouettes, or trends because of what is on her driver’s license.

I’m thrilled to have Beverly back in the blogosphere, and thrilled she was willing to be part of my True Fashionista series. I asked Beverly the same five questions I ask of each woman in this series; her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
I’m going to start off with “a classic cocktail: shaken with a splash of trend”, add a little “menswear gone girly”, and end with “mature on the edge”.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
This may sound strange, but I think I was born with it, although it went unrecognized for years. My mom has shared with me stories of how picky/stubborn I was with regards to my clothing when I was a little girl. I also remember memorizing outfits of friends I saw at school or from movies I watched as a kid. I had no idea there was such a thing as “fashion” or “style” until I was well into high school. I just knew what I wanted to look like. It wasn’t until I started purchasing my own clothes that I discovered fashion magazines and catalogs. That opened a whole new world for me and basically validated my love of clothes and how I dressed.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
EVERYWHERE! I’m always looking: blogs, magazines, online lookbooks, pinterest, the mall, the street, Starbucks, school parking lot, TV, movies, etc. My eyes are always wandering. You never know when inspiration will strike.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Well, that’s THE question, isn’t it?

I’ve read how others have answered this question and I agree with all of them. Fashion is what’s being offered and style is your personal interpretation of it.

Getting nerdy on you, fashion is a fixed point in time, as in, that was in fashion the Spring of ’92. However, style is timeless and never fixed. Just like your life, your style changes, evolves, adds pieces from the Spring of ’92, then keeps maturing.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Wear what makes you happy, cover your basics, and know what fits your body. Once you got that down, start experimenting and don’t stop. The more you do that, the braver you become. As we age, we have a tendency to tame our style of dressing. It should be the opposite. What you wear is it’s own language, so why not say, “Look at me! Look at what I’ve accomplished”? Believe me, people like me are looking at people like you and we are appreciating your efforts.

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True Fashionista: Cynthia

I’m kinda glad that Google Reader is disappearing. I had been neglecting it for a long while and with the news, I decided to find a new subscription tool (Feedly, which has an awesome app and plug-in for Firefox) and with it, have been reading blogs more regularly. It reminded me that there’s a heck of a lot of awesome blogs I follow, bloggers who inspire me and consistently have fun and fabulous fashion. And one of those who I have reunited with thanks to Feedly is the awesome Cynthia of Simply Cyn.

If Cynthia looks familiar to you, you may remember her blog with the old name, Addicted2Etsy. While Cynthia is still a big fan of that site and features sellers and products from it regularly, her blog showcases her personal style, as well as peeks into her personal tastes and lifestyle. Her music mentions thrill me because I often learn about new artists that I too end up loving. Her hair is amazing and she regularly writes about how she cares for it. She does reviews of fashion and décor trends and beauty products without it being overkill and they always fit her clean, bright, fun and spirited aesthetic.

And Cynthia’s personal style? Just as stated above, it’s bright, fun, and spirited. She can pattern mix like the best, but always does it in a clean, thoughtful manner. You can see her personality and lifestyle through her clothing choices, be it a vintage Coach bag from Etsy, a band tee shirt, or a pair of sandals she picked up on a trip to Barcelona.

Cynthia can rock color and bold prints without it feeling costumey. She has a good eye for proportion, balancing voluminous blouses with skinny jeans and knowing the right hem length to flatter her figure. She shops at budget-friendly shops but looks like a million bucks with her creative styling and pairing. I love how her hair is constantly changing, switching up the look of re-worn pieces and giving a whole new effect to her personal style. And her smile – gosh it’s refreshing to see a big happy smile in a sea of duck lips and pouts!

Simply Cyn is a blog I always look forward to showing up in my reader; Cynthia is positive, creative, and inspiring. I was thrilled that she was willing to be part of my True Fashionista series. I asked Cynthia to answer the same five questions I ask of each True Fashionista; her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
I think my personal style is about being chic but with a healthy dose of ease and comfort. There was a time I would try anything that was fashionable but I learned that I feel most beautiful and get the most positive response from people when I wear something that I am truly comfortable in. Being comfortable in your clothes and in your skin really comes across. It’s about confidence.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
My mum was always a top notch dresser. I grew up in Cameroon, West Africa and my mum actually owned a tailoring shop. I would hang out there with the tailors and watch them work and watch my mum give out instructions. I think that’s where I started really liking clothes and patterns and different designs. It wasn’t however until later that I realized how that fashion is not shallow, at least it doesn’t have to be. It can really help on a crap day, the saying that when you look good, you feel good.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
A few years back it would have been mostly magazines, but now it’s definitely from other bloggers and living in NYC, its the ladies & gents on the street and on the train.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Fashion is temporary, style is forever.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Experiment. Its harder in the beginning, but if you don’t try, you won’t figure it out. Grab something you wouldn’t normally wear, pair pieces you don’t think go together. Be adventurous. You might be surprised what you discover.

***

The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Annette

I often hear conversations in the blogosphere that one cannot be a certain age and be a personal style blogger. What does a blogger do once she hits 35? As a personal style blogger who is closer to 40 than 30, I feel it’s even more important to showcase your personal style when you’re older. Women have plenty of resources for fashion when younger, be it magazines, TV shows, and yes blogs. But blogs – quality blogs with quality photos and quality style aren’t as easy to find when you’re over 40. So when I came across Annette’s relatively new blog, Lady of Style, I cheered hooray! I have been a subscriber for a few weeks and love seeing elegant yet wearable personal style by a woman with class and taste. I find Annette stylish and inspiring and was thrilled when she agreed to be part of my True Fashionista series.

Annette’s life motto is, “Style is a reflection of your attitude and your personality.” This is clear in how her personal style fits not just her figure, but her age, her lifestyle, and her passions for travel, fashion, and home décor. Her blog, Lady of Style is geared towards the mature woman, but as you can tell by me it can be inspiring to women of all ages, especially those who are looking for style that is appropriate for the workplace. Annette works for NATO and deals with high ranking officers and civilian guests on a regular basis, but doesn’t lose her style when at the office.

“Just because you have the freedom to wear anything you want and don’t need to care what others say, you should not ignore a sense of good taste.”
                – Annette, Lady of Style

Though Annette resides in Bavaria, Germany she wears brands (H&M, Zara, MANGO) and silhouettes that are relatively easy to find in the States. She admits that she does most of her shopping online since she lives in a small town, and swears by her seamstress for custom fits. Annette’s style is classic with a touch of current trends, sophisticated yet never dowdy. She has a base of neutral and classic shades that are complemented by bright colors and more trendy of accessories.

“Attractive, mature and self-confident woman certainly don’t need to cover up or wear conservative clothes in muted colours.”
                – Annette, Lady of Style

Annette not only shares her personal style, but also discusses the topic of style for women over 40 and how style and trends don’t have to stop with a certain birth date. She proves in each post that style is achievable at any age, and that you can have fun with fashion and trends. Her pleasant demeanor is clear in each post, and her blog voice is positive and just as elegant as her personal style. I asked Annette the same five questions I ask of each True Fashionista; her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
A feminine, elegant style which friends and fellow bloggers tend to call “sophisticated”. Dresses are my favourite type of clothes and I wear them as often as I can!  Even when I was younger (I turned 50) I was never a casual girl and over the years my style more and more evolved. When I call it “ladylike” people always associate it with a beige cashmere twinset and a pearl necklace! But that’s not me – I love combining trends, youthful elements and colours with more elegant pieces. That’s my style!

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
I grew up on the countryside with not much inspiration when it comes to fashion and trends! Yet my passion started early by reading fashion magazines and putting together my outfit for the next school day the night before. I even made little drawings of my outfits ;-) Many years I worked for an international airline, travelled a lot and always have been fascinated by what we nowadays call “street style”! I love the natural elegance of Italian or French ladies, something I often miss here in Germany.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
I follow a lot of blogs, international magazines and naturally I am addicted to Pinterest ;-) My 18yr old daughter started her blog FashionFlirt in 2011 and I was involved in getting her started. It was Alena who introduced me to the blogosphere before I started Lady of Style – a fashion and style blog for mature women – in January 2013.

We share our passion for fashion, we go on shopping trips to London together, with her I watch livestreams of fashion shows and we even share clothes and accessories!

My style icon is Olivia Palermo. Even she is a lot younger, I love her ageless style.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
I wear a lot of high street fashion, whether it is MANGO, ZARA, H+M or Wallis – that is fashion. The way I combine a new dress with the right shoes, add a vintage necklace or an old handbag from my wardrobe and people say “you look so elegant!” – that is style.

Very often my readers can’t believe that a dress I am wearing actually was on sale for 15€ at H+M. It is not about designer pieces… ok, I wouldn’t refuse a Céline bag ;-) but it is about how you put your outfit together. I am far from being perfect but for me styling is quite easy.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Usually a woman knows the type of clothes she naturally feels comfortable with. That is a good start! It doesn’t help if you are an outdoors person and somebody tells you that you should wear a shift dress and high heels.

Go from your comfort zone and find accessories to enhance your current look. I always find
shoes most important as they can be the highlight of your outfit or completely kill it. Don’t pick accessories randomly, put some effort in creating a new look.

Go shopping with a friend and try out various themes like spring floral prints, pastel colours, try on a dress in a bright colour! Let her take photos, compare the looks and see what flatters you. If you are not sure it might take a while until you really know “that’s me and this is how I want to look!”

It is true, if you feel good, it shows.

***

The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Erica

Growing up, my mom made a lot of my sister and my clothes. Easter dresses, corduroy overalls for playtime, Halloween costumes, even my prom dress was made by my mom. When my mom was a single career girl in New York, she sewed the majority of her office fashion (and even made a patchwork bedspread from the remnants that I use to this very day). Though my mom tried very hard to teach me how to sew, I mainly use my sewing machine for repairs and simple crafts. However, I am so inspired by those who use their sewing skills to hone their personal style, and make fashion work for their figure and budget. When I consider a blog like that, I immediately think of Erica B.’s D.IY. Style, where the talented Erica Bunker has blogged her sewing skill and personal style for almost eight years. And since I found Erica’s blog many years ago, I have been a fan and found her to be creative, talented, inspiring, chic, and a True Fashionista.

“How many times have you seen clothes in an upscale department store or a posh boutique and cringed at the sight of the price tag?” asks Erica Bunker on her blog. She caught herself saying to herself, “I could make that!” and so she does, recreating popular trends and silhouettes and providing tips on how she customizes the patterns to fit her body and looks on the runways.

“What’s point of sewing if you can’t make it your own?”
                  - Erica Bunker

I love how Erica shares where she gets her inspiration, be it yellow for spring, the current Balenciaga print ads, something she saw on Pinterest, or a pair of Tibi trousers that she saw on the runway during Birmingham Fashion Week. She goes into her thought process, how she alters the style, the pattern, why she chooses the colors, the notions, the linings and how she would change it if she used the pattern again.

Erica is proof that you don’t need to have a designer budget to dress in a designer manner. She shows what we hear time and time again – a custom tailored fit will increase the style of a piece and make it look more expensive. She learns from her projects, knows her body, her personal style and how to dress for her here and now. She knows fashion, design, and designers and how to interpret them and learn from them.

Erica’s talent and style is inspiring and awesome, she’s has been a regular in my blog reader for years and I am so honored to have her part of my True Fashionista series. I asked Erica to answer the same five questions I ask of each True Fashionista; her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
I’d describe my style as colorfully classic, feminine (but not girlie) yet current. I love classic pieces in bright hues and pieces that are cyclical. I know that when I invest the time into tailoring a jacket or a coat, I’m going to wear it for the next 10+ years. But I also love mixing in current trendy pieces.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
My passion for fashion began when I was a little girl. My favorite day was Sunday. That was the day I could get all dressed up for church. Those frilly dresses and patent leather Mary Janes were everything!

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
I live for Pinterest, street style and personal style blogs. I’m not so much into watching what celebrities are wearing. I’m inspired by the way regular ladies pull an outfit together without a stylist and a glam squad.


What is the difference between fashion and style?
Great question! I feel fashion relates more to buying the trends and labels. Style is how you put it all together and wear it. Style sets you apart from everyone else.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
The advice I’d give is to step outside of your comfort zone. Try things you’ve never worn before. Add color to your wardrobe. Just go to a store or boutique and try on and take pictures. Take your time and build your wardrobe, you don’t have to do it over night. Read blogs! Find someone whose style you love and follow them.

***

The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Sheila

I hate the idea of changing your style or love of fashion because you’ve hit some age milestone. It’s utterly ridiculous, we don’t lose our personalities at certain ages, why should our style disappear? As I get closer and closer to 40, I’ve been more and more inspired by women in the blogosphere who have amazing, inspiring personal style and show that age is but a number. One of those women is Sheila from the blog Ephemera, and that is why I asked her to be part of my True Fashionista series.

I’ve actually been a fan of Sheila for many years; I can’t recall how I found her blog but it has been on my reader a while and I continue to be inspired and excited by her outfits. Sheila rocks color, print, unique cuts and silhouettes. She is a thrifting queen and creates the most unusual pairings. Her personal life is infused into her outfits – a bit of steampunk, accessories with sentimental value, garments she has swapped with other bloggers. And speaking of which, Sheila is one who truly loves the community created with style blogging – she has made many friends, has met many of them, and even trades clothing with them.

Sheila is proof that you don’t need to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks. She thrifts and cosigns, she keeps things for years and brings them back into rotation when they fit current trends or her current personal style. She isn’t hesitant to get rid of something that isn’t a wise choice (and I love how she asks the opinions of her readers), and is always adding new secondhand scores to update the wardrobe.

Sheila’s blog Ephemera makes me feel as though I’m hanging out in her bedroom with a glass of wine, watching her try on clothes in her closet. She shares multiple views of the clothing (as you can see from my collages I adore her reclining on the stairs pose), her reasoning behind the garments and ensembles, and a peek into her life and where she wore the outfits.

Sheila’s style is creative, unique, yet extremely wearable. She is proof that one can still have fun with fashion (and life!) and look polished when over 40. She’s fun, inspiring, intelligent, and has amazing personal style. As with every True Fashionista, I asked Sheila to answer the same five questions; her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
Um…crazy lady chic? Classic with a twist? Eclectic? Eccentric? All those kind ways to say, “Sheila’s a little “out there” with her clothes.” I love colour, pattern, texture, shine – even better if it’s all in one item! I’m a bit of a crow that way. I don’t like to look like everyone else; I want to stand out, especially the older I get (I’m 45). I refuse to disappear into drabness in my middle age – I have more confidence now about my body and myself in general than I did 10/15/20+ years ago, and I make a statement with how I feel by how I wear my clothes. I’m a supporter of Patti’sVisible Mondays” at Not Dead Yet Style, because it’s helping women feel better about themselves, no matter what age they are!

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
I grew up surrounded by creativity – my mom is an artist, so I learned about colour very early in my life. I don’t remember ever not wanting to wear bright colours. My grandmother also dyed her hair bright red (I’m a blonde right now, but I’ve been a box-dye redhead for a good portion of my life) and wore bold jewelry, which was also inspiring. When I was 14, I met my great-aunt Ann – she must have been in her 60s, but she was wearing a flowered mini-skirt, hot pink heels, and a fitted top. Her black hair was scraped back and she had pink lipstick and bold make-up. I remember thinking, “I want to be her when I grow up!”

In my teens and experimenting with fashion, my mom gave me some excellent advice that I’ve never forgotten: “Never wear the same thing twice. Always keep them guessing.” She didn’t want me to get locked into a look/stereotyped and encouraged me to try on different personas through clothing. I looted clothing from her, from my dad, and shopped vintage and loved playing with people’s perception of who I was.

I struggled with my weight and my self-esteem in my twenties and thirties. It wasn’t until I lost 50 lbs 6-7 years ago that I finally felt like I was getting my life under control. I work hard to maintain my weight, and I am proud of my shape. I want to show it off!

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
Oh, gosh, everywhere! Afraid to mix colours? Look at nature for inspiration: irises for blue and yellow, cherry trees in bloom for pink and burgundy and brown. I love seeing what other people wear, both in the blogoverse and in real life. I always notice what people are wearing, especially if they’ve put some thought into it and are pushing the creative envelope. I like to look at fashion magazines to see what’s coming, and then I either shop my closet (I have a large closet and a big wardrobe!) or keep an eye out for it in thrift stores and consignment stores.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
I think fashion is inspiration and style is perspiration – you have to work at style! You can be a slave to fashion and end up looking good, even great, but constantly chasing the next new thing – fashion is ever-changing, fleeting and ephemeral (which is where I got the name for my blog, by the way). Style is taking what you like and what suits your personality and body type and creating an expression of yourself. When I really feel like “me” in an outfit, I know that I’ve hit my personal style just right. Style is always experimenting and trying something new, even if it fails – you’ll never grow if you don’t at least try! Style also changes, sometimes due to time and aging, or a change in circumstance (my job allows me to be fairly creative in my sartorial choices), or just through one’s own personal growth, but it has a timeless quality that never looks stale or dated like trendy fashions eventually do.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Don’t be afraid to try something different; don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Embrace who you are – right now! – and wear what you love, and to hell with what other people think! Be yourself and enjoy your clothes!

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Vivi

It’s not easy to shop when you’re not built like a mannequin. A couple hours in a shopping mall can really destroy a woman’s self-esteem and cause her to hate all fashion. I have mad respect for those who see the fun challenge in fashion, have that desire to prove that everyone can and deserves to look and feel amazing in clothes. I try to prove that myself, but I get a lot of my motivation from my fellow bloggers. One blogger I constantly find positive, creative, and inspiring is the effervescent Vivi from the blog Heart, Print & Style and this is why I asked her to be part of my True Fashionista series.

If Vivi looks familiar to you, it’s because I previously featured her and her great style. Vivi has amazing thrifting skills, and is able to find the most unique, chic, and flattering pieces in our local second-hand shops. And yes, I wrote we, because Vivi lives in the same town I do. We met at a CapFABB event and have been buddies ever since. Vivi has been trying to get me to go thrifting with her and a quick glance at her blog will show it would be in my best interest to do so. Now that I am paring down on blogging,I may have a chance this spring to experience Vivi’s expert thrifting first-hand!

What’s so great about Vivi, other than her knowing herself, her figure, and her life so well and expressing it through her fashion choices, is how nice she is. In the blogosphere, there’s a lot of frenemies, faux buddies, and out-for-herselfers; in DC I have found quite the opposite and Vivi is one of the very sweetest I have met. She believe in the blogging community, supports her peers, and enjoys the entire social portion of blogging. Oh, and her tweets make me giggle out loud on a regular basis and I also enjoy following her on Instagram and Facebook.

Through her fashion, the commentary on her blog, and her in-person self, Vivi expresses happiness, individuality, and style. I’m honored to call her a friend, and honored that she was willing to share some of her thoughts on fashion and style. I asked Vivi the same five questions I ask each True Fashionista; here are her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
Simple and subtle. It may not be the loudest style nor the trendiest (and I don’t mark myself as a trendy person) but there is just something there, y’know?

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
Early on. Growing up, I was really into drawing and creating outfits. Imaginative. Visual. Still am, really. Anywho, my brother and sister would be playing outside and calling me to play with them. And I’m like, nope. I’d rather be reading or drawing/creating outfits. I remember back when I was, like, 10 years old knowing that a sweetheart neckline looked great on me. I blame hitting puberty early.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
Blogs, blogs and more blogs. With a bit of InStyle and People Style Watch mixed in. Folks on the street aka people watching. Also, at times, music videos and TV shows.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Fashion is what you see on scripted TV shows, movies, and/or magazines. Style is what you take from the fashion you see and making it your own. And there are some (truly lucky) folks out there that do not even pay attention to what the fashion industry says and yet still have a great sense of style. You either have it or you don’t.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Just know what works best for you. Now, there’s nothing wrong with trying something new or following the latest trends. Just know that if you do not feel comfortable with what you’re wearing, it shows. If you look like you’re trying way too hard with an outfit, it shows. Also, I’m a huge lover of accessories. Sometimes, accessories say more about your style than the actual clothing. So start from there and work your look around the accessories.

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Zoe

I was a pretty creative teen when it came to fashion and style. I wore sweaters as skirts, sewed some of my own clothes, embellished and drew on my denim, even pulled down one of my bedroom curtains to fashion it into a cummerbund for a school dance. I’m eternally grateful that my parents gave me the freedom to express myself sartorially; while it made for some awkward social moments at the mall (strangers can be so cruel) it helped me be strong, believe in myself, and take risks.

I’m always thrilled to come across a blog of a younger woman or teen who has a bold and clearly defined personal style. I know it’s not easy at that age to buck the norm, and I understand the passion and creativity and drive that goes behind such outfits. Some young bloggers you can see are still feeling things out and finding their way, and others you can clearly understand their message and can be in awe by their voice and maturity. When I came across Zoe Schlacter’s blog, Girl With The Flower, she stopped me in my tracks with her incredibly creative, unique, and inspiring personal style. I subscribed, I became a huge fan, and asked her to be part of my True Fashionista series.

Zoe has always been a fan of fashion, in fact her second post on her blog, Girl With the Flower is from December 2009 when she met Tim Gunn. It’s fun to scroll through her archives and see her personal style progression. Doing so you see that Zoe has always been a step ahead of the rest – her outfits in 2009 and 2010 look very much like what many personal style bloggers are wearing today, and I can bet that her current ensembles will be imitated in a couple years.

“In middle school, I went through an awkward insecure phase, like most middle-schoolers do. I wasn’t quite as daring then; it’s been a gradual progression up until now. I’m becoming more courageous with what I wear, and I’m more confident in myself.” (source)

Zoe doesn’t just put together creative outfits, but she is also an artist. She shares many of her photography concepts (like those googly eye images in her header), film projects, textiles she has designed, and handcrafted headpieces on her blog, and even has an Etsy store where she sells her unique headbands and other wearable art. She has been featured in Teen Vogue, Nashville Scene, the front page of Chictopia, and Metromix and I can bet that’s just the beginning of this fashionista’s deserved press.

I look forward to Zoe’s continued pushing of sartorial boundaries, and her inspiring mix of art and fashion. I was honored to have Zoe be a part of my True Fashionista series and asked her the same five questions I ask of each participant; her answers:

How would you describe your personal style? 
I cant really classify my style into one genre, but I like things that are colorful and patterned and shiny. I really love everything floral; I’m a big fan of flowers.

Where did you get your passion for fashion? 
I’ve always been really interested in visual art. My parents are creative people, and they’ve always been really supportive of my creative endeavors. I started getting into fashion when I was about ten or so, and I’ve gradually become more and more courageous in my fashion choices over the years. I got into fashion for the wrong reasons; when I first became conscious of my appearance, it was to fit in… to be like everyone else… to be beautiful to others. My passion for fashion has evolved into something more meaningful. Now, I dress for myself, and I wear things that make me happy. Additionally, my interests in visual art and fashion have coincided in recent years, and treat fashion like another form of art.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration? 
Recently, I’ve been interested in Japanese street style… everything “kawaii.” And I’ve been inspired by Frida Kahlo for a long time now. I admire her art, and I admire her ability to stand up for her unusual viewpoints.

What is the difference between fashion and style? 
Fashion is on runways; style is what’s in your closet.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style? 
Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t be afraid to go with your gut instinct when making clothing decisions. If you want to develop a personal style truly your own, you need to stop caring what others think of you. You have to do it for yourself- not for other people.

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Catherine

While I like reading blogs of women with similar personal styles as mine, I find the most inspiration from those who do not dress like me on a regular basis. It’s easy to follow a blogger and see how they styled the same blouse you own, or how they fit in a brand you have been considering, but bloggers with different personal styles can force you to think outside your sartorial box, encourage you to try new things, and refine your own look. A blogger who has a clear vision but sometimes shares an outfit that is not my personal cup of tea inspires me to think about WHY, to analyze my feelings on certain styles and trends and how that fits into my personal style. This is how I feel about Catherine of the fab blog Not Dressed as Lamb, and that is one of the reasons I asked her to be part of my True Fashionista series.

When I first found Not Dressed as Lamb, I found Catherine’s color and print combinations to occasionally be jarring, but as I read her blog I understood WHY she made such sartorial choices and grew to admire and adore them. Gosh, she even calls herself “Queen of Clash.” You can also see in the past year how I have made bolder choices in pattern and color mixing and I would have to say blogs like Not Dressed as Lamb gave me that confidence. I would bet that Catherine’s blog gives many women a boost of confidence. She regularly shares musings about age, the media, and her thoughts about fashion that make one think about society’s expectations for women dependent on their age.

Catherine is inspiring because she shows that current trends and fun with fashion doesn’t have to be limited to those under 30; she rocks the milkmaid braids, pattern mixing, neon pops, and shoe trends with finesse. Catherine doesn’t just share her personal style and thoughts on fashion, she’s also a blogger’s blogger offering photography tips and how to improve your blog. She writes these tutorials in a manner that a blogger of any level can understand, and usually has access to the tools suggested.

Catherine shows that fashion can be fun, and that fun isn’t limited to a certain age demographic. That color and patterns and play with lengths and silhouettes can be educational and inspiring. That the best way to rock your age is to dress for the woman within, not the date on your driver’s license. As with every other True Fashionista I asked Catherine to answer the same five questions; here are her answers.

How would you describe your personal style?
I’d describe my style as eclectic, but veering towards preppy with a twist. I also can’t get enough of pattern mixing and bright colour.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
I think by having much older sisters, I always wanted to emulate their music, their clothes, lifestyles, etc. I was ten when one sister was a stylish and beautiful 19 year old and I first noticed that she wore “fashionable” clothes, and, in my eyes, I didn’t. I always loved dressing up and role play; her beautiful clothes sparked my interest in fashion, so it seemed a natural progression from the dressing up box! Also my best friend at school from the age of 11 was also really into magazines and fashion, so the two of us spent our teenage years obsessed with clothes and make up.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
My number one inspiration is other bloggers’ style. I used to physically cut out images from magazines and keep a scrapbook for inspiration, but now of course there’s Pinterest to do that online for me! Most of my looks can be traced back to an outfit I’ve seen on a blog as inspiration, from the whole outfit to just the way a shirt’s been tucked in. The bloggers whose style I love the most are Kim of Eat.Sleep.Wear, Krystal of This Time Tomorrow and Sheree of It’s Not That Deep.

When I was a teenager I used to copy looks I’d seen in movies, for example Ali McGraw in Love Story, Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan, and Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink. In fact I watched Pretty In Pink not long ago, and I thought how I’d wear a lot of the clothes that she wore in that film now ;)

What is the difference between fashion and style?
I recently read a quote along the lines of Fashion is what you buy, Style is what you do with it – I wish I’d written that because I think that is the perfect way to describe it! But I always maintain that what is stylish to one person won’t be stylish to another: we should all embrace our uniqueness. And rather than trying to be someone else, take inspiration and work with what you’ve got. I think someone who’s put loads of effort into a crazy-ass (and arguably uncoordinated) outfit is, in my opinion, extremely stylish – much more so than someone who’s made no effort at all in sweats and unwashed hair, or someone who’s wearing all the current trends by copying a store or designer’s look from head to toe with no personality added to it.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Draw inspiration from what you see around you and in the media, online, on blogs, etc. Don’t be afraid to try unexpected combinations or try on clothes you wouldn’t normally touch with a bargepole. As mentioned above, work with what you’ve got: once you’ve accepted that you can’t make your legs longer or your boobs smaller for example, move on and highlight your best bits! Make a note of compliments you receive about any part of your body and make sure you draw attention to that area. And my best piece of advice for finding and perfecting your own style comes in two parts:

  1. Buy a full length mirror. It’s truly impossible to dress yourself properly without one.
  2. Photograph your outfits and upload the photos to study objectively on a monitor screen (don’t just zoom in on the camera). I guarantee you’ll see the outfit totally differently, and you’ll be able to get a feel for what suits you and what doesn’t very quickly. That’s how to develop your own style, because you’re not dressing anyone other than yourself.
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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Ariel

When I try to make personal style make sense to others, I often compare it to art. Fashion is a form of art, just a different medium, and many designers are inspired by art. You can admire Monet’s work without wanting to hang it on your wall, you can see the skill in a Renoir without him being your favorite painter… the same holds true for fashion and trends. And a good way to know what you like in regard to colors, textures, and silhouettes is to look at what appeals to you with art. Art and fashion truly go hand in hand, and so when I found Ariel Maile Adkinsfashion blog I fell in love.

“‘One should either be a work of Art, or wear a work of Art.’ This quote from Oscar Wilde describes my life’s pursuit–to express my artistic obsession from head to shoes.”
     – Ariel Maile Adkins

Ariel is the blogger behind Artfully Aware, one of the most addictive fashion blogs I have encountered over the years. Ariel uses works of art to inspire her outfits, and with each post is a mini art history lesson on the piece and the artist. I love when I see a new post and try to guess the artist just on her outfit.

“When in need of inspiration, I usually turn to an art book before a fashion magazine, because there are so many ways to interpret art via clothing, and I am able to combine the two things that I love!”
     – Ariel Maile Adkins (source)

Ariel wrote her thesis on “Clothing as a Cultural Medium in Contemporary Art,” (source) and attended FIT; her expertise in this subject shines in every blog post, and how she effortlessly connects her daily ensemble to her passion for art. She helps me see more not only into the clothes I choose to purchase or wear, but the art I love (and the artists I didn’t know of and now love and/or respect).

Not only does Ariel have an amazing mind full of art and art history, but she has such a zest for life. Her pictures show not only her creative and fabulous style, but her spirit and enthusiasm for life. She’d rather have a picture of her twirling with hair in her face than one of her posed just show to flatter her figure. By doing this, the clothes and Ariel look even more fabulous and draw you into Artfully Aware.

Ariel is a True Fashionista, a woman who wears fashion and never lets it wear her, who sees fashion as a way to express herself and her interests. She knows her body, her mind, her heart and chooses fashion to represent it properly. As with all other True Fashionistas, I asked Ariel to answer the same five questions, here are her answers.

How would you describe your personal style? 
The most important thing to me is expressing my love for art through what I wear. Bright colors, prints, embellishments, structural details: these are all things that I wear that reflect my appreciation for art. 

Where did you get your passion for fashion? 
My mother had a beautiful sense of style which was based on her understanding of color and form as an artist. She encouraged me to express myself artistically and ultimately inspired me to do so through what I wear.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration? 
I try to surround myself with visually compelling things; namely art of all different media, genres, and eras. I maintain inspiration by seeking out as much art as possible in my daily life; by visiting museums and galleries, reading books and blogs, and absorbing what I see on the street.

What is the difference between fashion and style? 
Fashion is determined by trends, i.e. what is “in vogue”. Style is a reflection of oneself. 

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style? 
Determine what inspires you the most and try to find a way to translate that enthusiasm into your wardrobe.

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday for the next few weeks. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments!

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True Fashionista: Monique

Fashion doesn’t have to be complicated. While it’s fun to see the creative and outlandish fashions on many blogs, it’s equally inspiring to find someone who has mastered the art of simplicity. Someone who realizes that a whisper may be more powerful than a scream. An edited closet, good tailoring, knowing her shape and lifestyle and dressing for it is a talent, and one of the many talents of Monique, the woman behind the blog Tipa Tipa. Monique’s perfect, simple, and easy vintage style inspires me on a regular basis, and that is why I asked her to be part of my True Fashionista series.

Style doesn’t come from quantity, but quality. Quality doesn’t have to mean designer labels, cashmere and silk, or high pricetags. Quality is not only in the construction of a piece, but it’s value to your wardrobe and personal style. Monique masterfully mixes vintage, thrifted gems, gifts from friends, and pieces from wallet-friendly chain store. She knows that any piece right off the rack (be it in the mall or the neighborhood thrift shop) rarely fits well and understands the importance of a tailor. What makes her wardrobe so perfect is how it perfectly fits her. Proper tailoring can make a $5 thrift store find look like a million bucks. In fact, Monique admits that her tailor was one of the first to know that she was expecting. I look forward to seeing more of Monique’s maternity fashion.

Tipa Tipa isn’t just about Monique’s personal style. She has an awesome feature – Film Fridays, where she delves into movies she has recently seen, providing images, trailers, quotes, and her personal opinion. Monique also regularly features different artists she likes or recipes she and her husband Josh have whipped up. Monique’s personal style is clearly seen through these sorts of posts as well – elegant simplicity, focusing on the personal and the detail, again showing that a whisper can more powerful than a scream. Tipa Tipa is like a cool breeze – calming, refreshing, a reminder that there is beauty in the small things.

As with every other True Fashionista in this series, I asked Monique to answer the same five questions. Here are her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as vintage, urban, feminine with a sprinkle of preppy.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
My passion for fashion, certainly comes from my mom and older sister. As a little girl, I remember every evening my mother would set out two outfits. She would ask me which one I thought was the better outfit. I would tell her my opinion and sometimes we’d mix and match the outfits to come up with one really good one. This evening ritual gave me a good sense of how to pair colors and decide what shoes are more flattering for a particular look. My sister who’s three years older than I am would take me thrifting in the West Village back in the 90’s when there were loads of great affordable thrift shops. She would pick up pieces that I would have certainly overlooked and then style them perfectly. She certainly nurtured the skill of finding treasures in heaps of second hand clothing.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
I live and work in Brooklyn, NYC. I am really inspired by the people around me. On the train or bike rides, I enjoy checking out how people put together their outfits.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
I see fashion as the umbrella that encompasses a variety of style.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
The key to finding one’s personal style is to figure out the dress cut that’s most flattering for one’s body and the colors that best compliment one’s skin tone. It’s important to appreciate and love your body. It’s also great to have fun exploring and being open minded when it comes to figuring out what works best. Finding one’s personal style doesn’t mean spending a lot of money, but building a wardrobe of pieces that look and feel fabulous. 

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Cammila

There are some bloggers that I just get attached to. A combination of their personal style, their blog voice, the peeks into their life… they become not just fashion inspiration but virtual buddies. That is how I would describe Cammila from the blog Dressed Up Like a Lady. I used to follow her blog, somehow lost her, found her again, and have loved catching up via her blog and Instagram. Over the years, Cammila’s personal style has evolved, but still with the same underlying themes. She knows her body, she knows her style, she has a unique perspective, and that is why I consider her a True Fashionista.

Cammila’s style on Dressed Up Like a Lady makes me think of how my style could have gone if I had a different college experience. In high school I was partial to what I would call feminine androgyny with parts of may head shaved, mixing masculine with feminine, grungy rock star with current girly trends. In Cammila’s style I see how that look could have evolved with time and current trends.

Cammilla’s inspiration is pretty clear in her ensembles as well as her poses. She and her husband MC are writers, they’re in a band together, Cammila is a major movie geek (one of my favorite recent posts about cinematic style) and all of this is seen though her choice of clothing and styling of her wardrobe. Heck, it was even clear in their fabulous wedding which took place this past summer. I love when she breaks down her style inspiration with images of retro advertisements or music videos; that added detail really helps one understand her sartorial message.

Cammila’s lean dancer’s figure is the complete opposite of mine, yet I am regularly inspired by her combinations and often think to her ensembles when creating weekend and social ensembles. Cammilla has the effortless ability to mix hippie with rock star, vintage with modern, casual with fancy; she regularly inspires me to also think outside the box . Also, as the temps are below freezing in many parts of the country, it’s great to see bloggers like Cammila show their cold-weather style and how they honestly dress each day.

Cammila makes fashion fun and is proof that you can have a clear and defined personal style without breaking the bank. I asked her to answer the same five questions I ask of every True Fashionista, here are her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
A sexy, androgynous, 11 ft. tall badass rock star, locked in a borderline-uncomfortable embrace with a tasteful, feminine sophisticate.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
I love stuff. The charisma of good stuff — books, movies, history, music, etc. — always seems to be the character behind it, whether it’s fictional Holden Caufield charming you with his biting, depresso snark, or real life front man Freddie Mercury channeling a great rock song through his giant voice. When I dig an album or a photo or whatever, I want to eat it up, I want to be it. That delighted desire to dress up in a costume that somehow abstractly (or sometimes literally) manifests the part of me that screams “OH YEAH!” when I see or read or hear something awesome is probably what motivates me the most.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
Vintage magazines from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. The the women in those pictorials convey so much swagger, confidence, and unapologetic sexiness. It’s partly because the effortless clothes from these eras seem to slide right through the page and into your head. But it’s also the overall attitude at play in the way these spreads are photographed, and the models chosen to appear in them.

You can’t deny that while Jerry Hall is no doubt a size zero beanpole, her body isn’t pubescent or emaciated, it’s athletic! As lean as it is, her body is muscular. And her poses, as well as the way she connects her gaze with the camera, are steady, present, and knowing, never vapid, blank, or coquettish. You see this again and again in the women on these pages from the 70’s-90’s, from Gia Carangi to Kelly LeBrock to Cindy Crawford, from the Glamazon fashion editorials of Vogue, to the teeny-bop advertisements of Seventeen, to the Patrick Nagel pin-up illustrations of Playboy.

MC and I have a nice vintage mag collection, but blogs like Sighs and Whispers and Get Some Vintage-a-Peel offer tons and tons of scans as well.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Well, etymologically, the word “fashion” comes from the Latin factionem, “group of people acting together,” whereas the word “style” comes from the Latin stilus, “manner of expression.” Word origins don’t always stick, but I think in this case, they do. “Fashion” implies trend, or groupthink, whereas “style” implies personality, or expression.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
It’s not so different from developing your writing or musical style. It seems daunting from the outside — how much of this is about my unique, personal style, and how much is about objective knowledge? How do I “train my eye?” How do I know if I’m getting better when there’s no accounting for taste? But if you just watch and experiment and keep at it, you’ll discover that what seems impossible in theory is actually not that hard in application. You’ll figure it out.

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Beth

There’s a part of me who wants to be preppy. To be that fresh faced, girly, outdoorsy, classic. To be that gal with the breezy highlighted hair, crisp chino shorts, who knows her way around a boat and a horse. As I was growing up, I tried to embrace this trend a few times (college friends can recall my blonde bob/sweater tied around my neck phase), but I realized it just wasn’t my true personal style. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still love it, and get very inspired by those who wear this look so naturally. Women like Beth, whose blog s e e r s u c k e r + s a d d l e s shows her effortless classic, preppy, and nautical personal style. Beth continues to inspire me with her clear vision, passion for fashion, and understanding of both fit and personal style and that is why I asked her to be part of my True Fashionista series.

Every outfit Beth features on s e e r s u c k e r + s a d d l e s is consistent to her classic style, yet exudes fun and nods to current trends. Be it pairing leather leggings with a plaid flannel, a neon satchel with a cargo jacket and distressed denim, or a trendy shoe with otherwise classic pieces, Beth adds edge to a colorful, clean, and sporty wardrobe. Thanks to talented photographer Kristen Tatem, Beth’s blog constantly features clear and inspiring outfit photographs

s e e r s u c k e r + s a d d l e s is a great resource for the woman who doesn’t have the lifestyle for flatforms and fishnets; Beth regularly gives me inspiration for my weekend and Casual Friday ensembles. She mixes sequins with denim, plaid with polka-dots, canvas with silk in a way that makes sense and looks fabulous. Beth is proof that that flats are quite chic and dress up nicely, and how a closet of well-chosen separates can give you far more options and style than a closet overflowing with current trends.

Like me, Beth finds leopard to be a neutral and I am always excited to see how she incorporates it into an ensemble, be it a skinny belt or a pair of brogues. She mixes colors like a pro, never looking like Rainbow Brite. As a working mother of two, she is proof that you can be stylish and still lead a very full life. One of the most interesting things I learned about Beth through this series, is as you’ll see in her answers, she too envisions herself at times with a different personal style!  As with every other True Fashionista, I asked Beth to answer the same five questions; here are her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
I would say my style is a mixture of classic & girly with a bit of quirk.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
I think I was born with this innate passion for fashion. There are pictures of me when I was 3 dressed up in my mother’s clothing, all accessorized from top to bottom, handbags, baubles, heels—you name it! It has truly always been my creative outlet.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
I think I’m just like all of us gals when I say I gather my inspiration from the mags, Pinterest, other bloggers, street style—I’m always looking for it everywhere I am!

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Sometimes I believe fashion to be unattainable for us everyday folk. Say for instance, if you don’t have an endless budget where you can drop a ton of cash at a time and have to be conscious of your spending. Or, if you’re like me, and don’t live in a bustling city with high end boutiques and designers on every other corner…that’s where Style comes into play. It’s about taking a play on the high end fashion and making it your own. Investing in the key pieces like handbags but playing with the of-the-moment pieces that you can find at your Targets, Gaps, J.Crews, etc. Style is defined by YOU!

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
I still struggle with not jumping on every trend bandwagon. I would totally love to do the urban, boho chic thing, but I would look & feel unnatural. Not to mention I’m no longer in my 20s, have two children, and live in the South–basically that aesthetic doesn’t gel with my lifestyle. So there it is, I think the process of finding your personal style is one that is ever evolving, but ultimately comes down to finding what YOU look & feel best in. I also think you need to be willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s with color, a print, or a new cut of pant–just TRY it. It will help you get a better sense of what works for you.

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!


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True Fashionista: Nancy

Blogger Fashion Trends. They do exist. There’s just some styles that bloggers latch on to, and the trend grows like wildfire. Some, I could do without, but many are so popular because they are just so darn wearable on many different shapes and ages of women, and adaptable on varying clothing budgets. While these trends are rampant across the blogosphere, I rarely find one who wears them in an inspiring way, a way that still shows the woman’s personality, who makes me feel that she truly dresses this way every day, and not just for her blog or because she is a blogger. Those who can adapt the popular trends in a manner that is true to their personal style and taking into account their figure, lifestyle, and budget… they inspire me. Nancy from Adore to Adorn is one of those very women, and that is why I asked her to be part of my True Fashionista series.

Pattern mixing, daytime sequins, Karen Walker sunnies, arm parties, the half tuck, the fur snood, that covetable 3.1 Phillip Lim bag… Nancy wears them, but they don’t wear her. It’s not a costume, these trends are done in a relaxed, realistic manner that makes me give the trends a second chance. Like me, Nancy loves to mix prints with stripes, and does it with ease, be it polka-dot tights or camo-print skinnies. She carefully uses color to add accent and not look like a bag of Skittles, and I adore seeing her re-wear pieces proving that the clothes are a purposeful part of her wardrobe and not just for pageviews.

One of my favorite parts of Adore to Adorn is Nancy’s Wednesday Whim series, where she shares art installations, inspiring photography and graphic design. In these posts, she provides not only context for the images, but her opinion of the art. I believe that fashion is a form of art, and love the marriage of the two on a blog. Sharing art that inspires her also helps understand Nancy’s thought process behind her own personal style, giving it depth and having her stand out in the personal style blogosphere.

Nancy of Adore to Adorn is as friendly and down to earth as she seems in her posts (hooray for another smiling blogger!); I was happy she was willing to be part of this series and asked her to answer the same five questions I have asked of all the True Fashionista; her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
I’m so inspired by different types of style that I dress like it too. I’m very eclectic in how I approach things. I love color and patterns as much as I love neutrals and minimalistic style.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
As I look back at my evolution in style I would have to credit my fashion to my mom. She loved to dress me up as a kid but I was such a “tomboy” that I just rolled my eyes at it. But, as I grew into my teenage years, I appreciated more of what she loved and what she had.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
Nowadays, I love looking at blogs and just people walking around everyday for everyday, street style. People have such a great sense and it’s more acceptable to display your personality than ever before. I also still love perusing good ol’ fashioned magazines for incredible high fashion and styling inspiration.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
For me, fashion is the industry and style is individualized. Everyone can have their own sense of style and maybe not everyone agrees with it, but that is what is so alluring about it.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
For anyone trying to find out what works for her the important thing to remember is everything is trial and error. You won’t know what pieces work well on you unless you try it out. There are a lot of things I wouldn’t have thought looked good and I was surprised they did and likewise, there were things I thought would work on me and didn’t. As I’ve gotten older, I have figured out more about my body and what fits well when it comes to clothes. I’m also realizing “never say never” when it comes to clothes. I think the same can be said for people finding their personal style. =)

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!


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True Fashionista: Angie

There’s some people who like fashion, and there’s some who live and breathe it, understand it, research it, and share their passion and knowledge with others. Those folk who understand proportion, why Emerald is the hot color of the year, how that Forever 21 dress was made and what designer inspired the print and silhouette, the history behind the styles we all love. A person who knows and loves all this and has fabulous personal style? That’s the epitome of a True Fashionista, and that’s a great description for Angie Cox of YouLookFab.

I’ve been blogging for many years, and through that time I have encountered many bloggers who have inspired me. But Angie has been one who has inspired me since the first time I found YouLookFab and still today. Without her knowing, Angie has been a mentor to me as a blogger, reminding me to be true to what I believe and not the trends, that not every blog reader desires the same type of blog, and that in the words of Coco Chanel, fashion fades and only style remains the same.

I can remember when YouLookFab was a traditional blog; I came across it soon after I started my own blog and felt as though I met a virtual kindred spirit who read the same style books, liked the same retailers, had the same thoughts about fashion and style. When Angie started sharing her personal style, it was awesome to see a woman with a completely different figure, different personal style, different lifestyle, but translate our similar thoughts in such a clear manner. Yes, I visited the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to revisit older versions of YLF when writing this, and many of her posts I can remember as though I read them yesterday, and still are good advice in 2013.

When the blogosphere gets a bit too crazy and trendy and competitive, I look to Angie and YouLookFab to remind me that you can achieve success and still be authentic and connected to your readers. Over the years, Angie (and her fab husband Greg) have taken YLF from a basic WordPress blog to an entire community. Not just blog posts of Angie’s clothes and style advice, YLF has shopping resources and one of the most interactive and helpful forums I have found online. YLF readers can create their own blogs, they have very active threads where members can even link series of photos and links and request advice. The YLF newsletter is one I don’t delete before reading as it breaks down the posts of the week into topic and Angie summarizes the themes that connect the posts. I could go on, but I know many of you readers are YLF readers and members and could better explain the YLF community!

Angie is a True Fashionista because she knows her personal style so well, yet is able to assist others in finding their own distinct style. She can wear things I would never dream of but make them look clean, crisp, and easy. As her community has grown, she has stayed true to her vision about style and truly cares about her readers and community members. I was so excited when Angie agreed to be a part of the True Fashionista series, here are her answers to the same five questions I ask:

How would you describe your personal style?
I’ve just coined the descriptor “Urban Prince”. With very short hair, I am a Ladylike Prince – not a Princess :). Lots of Refinement. Lots of Inner Punk. Minimal. Modern Classic. Graphic. Crisp. Strict. My look is equal parts Boyish and Ladylike, with a little Romance and Preppy thrown into the mix. No jewelry. Low heels or flats. I sometimes wear distressed items but I’m not a Rugged Warrior. I am Polished even when I scrunch my sleeves, faux tuck oversized tops or wear Dr. Martens.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
From home. I grew up with a very stylish Mum. I’m 42 and have been in the Rag Trade for twenty years, predominantly as a fashion buyer, but as a fashion stylist for the past seven years. Fashion and style is officially part of my soul.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
First and foremost, on the street. Nothing inspires my own style more than street style and blogs on street style. Also runway shows, retailers, and all the over 50 year olds on our forum

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Fashion is what you buy – style is *how* you wear the fashion that you buy. In other words, fashion inspires us, but style sets us apart. We are finally living in a fashion era that is accepting and encouraging of all sorts of outfit juxtapositions and silhouettes. That means that style plays a larger role than fashion ever has. Long may it last.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
You’ll find helpful guidelines on how to get started all over the show. From books, blogs and other great resources. The point I want to drive home is that you must have fun on each leg of your style journey because that’s the only rule you aren’t allowed to break. I am also continuously asking my clients how they feel when they wear certain outfits because the happiness-factor is as important as its fit, colour and proportions. Sometimes it takes a while to pinpoint what it is about an outfit that makes us happy, but it’s worth pondering this question for future reference. After all, a big part of life is about reaching a state of happiness.

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments you never know she may end up being featured!

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True Fashionista: Buki

Style seems to attract style, at least it seems that way here in DC. Through my stylish friend Alison I met the ever-chic Chelsea, though Chelsea I met the fashionable Rosana, and through Rosana I found Buki’s blog James1542. I loved her positive outlook, spunky style, and true knowledge of fashion and her personal style. Not only does she look fabulous in clothes, she designs and makes many of them! Because of this, I asked Buki to be part of my True Fashionista series.

While James1542 is primarily a personal style blog, Buki often discusses trips, home décor, and food. It’s surely what one would call a style blog for you can understand Buki’s personal style clearly through her posts. I love the little style tips she has at the end of each post. Each one is realistic, possible, and can add a touch of flair or style without much effort or money. She also is quite creative with her wardrobe, be it making a rice bag into a purse or belting a thrifted skirt and transforming it into a top. Buki doesn’t have a ginormous wardrobe, and it’s fun to see how she re-wears different pieces in different ways, giving them new lives.  She proves that you don’t need a lot of clothes to have a lot of style.

Buki’s positivity is infectious. She’s so grateful for her readers, sees the bright side of every situation, and isn’t afraid to grin from ear to ear in her outfit posts. Her smile is such a welcome change in a sea of serious-faced fashion bloggers and while Buki is expert in accessorizing, her best accessory is that wonderful smile. Her Grateful Four series is a non-materialistic twist on a popular blogger feature and often reminds me to see the good and the beautiful in the everyday. I also love how she blends Nigerian Ankara with current trends, thrifted goodies, and mall staples. She truly is a definition of personal style.

As with every True Fashionista, I asked Buki the same five questions; here are her answers.

How would you describe your personal style?
A Classic twist: I enjoy mixing tailored pieces with feminine silhouettes in textured fabrics and bold prints.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
I’d have to say, from my mother. She has impeccable taste so at young age, I enjoyed playing dress up in her closet with my and going with her to local tailors as she designed custom clothing.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
I get inspired by observing life in general: people, places and events inspire my style. I absolutely love to travel locally and globally. Experiencing new textures in food, different moods created by local musicians and unique colors and patterns in the artwork of different cultures fill my mind with ideas to interpret into my wardrobe!

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Fashion consists of curated items offered to the public seasonally while style is one’s translation and personalization of those curated items.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
First of all start with your greatest asset, Self Confidence. Then experiment with different silhouettes and trends to see what suits your figure and personality best.

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday for the next few weeks. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments!

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True Fashionista: Jentine

Sometimes I look at blogs and wonder what in the world that woman does for a living that she can get away with such style. It’s funny, when I came across Jentine’s blog, My Edit I thought, hey someone who really loves fashion, has a good time with it, and makes it appropriate for some office environments! And then I realized… Jentine is a landscaper. When I found that out, it made me love Yen and the blog even more, and made me truly respect her sense of style. Jentine knows how to dress her frame, is the most skilled thriftier, and makes fashion fun and for that, I consider her a True Fashionista.

Yen (I feel I can use her nickname because she signs her emails to me like that, LOL) is gorgeous and has a great body, so it could be simple for her to throw on a mall chain frock and call it a day. But what makes her blog My Edit different is that you can really see the effort she puts into her personal style. She budgets, she thrifts, she fiddles, she plays with belts and gathering and turning pieces backwards to see if she gets a better effect. I think a lot of people just put clothes on and go without really looking at how they work with or against their body, it’s clear that Yen knows and understands her body and how her wardrobe works with it.

Jentine also wears what she enjoys and what makes her feel good. Be it a cape that her brother jokes about being a blanket, sequins during the day, or a toque to cover up a bad hair day.  She’ll often discuss what she thrifted that week and the thought process behind it, showing how there’s no random willy-nilly additions to her wardrobe, though many purchases are emotionally-based.

Not only does Jentine share her style on the blog, but she also uses it for good. She recently partnered with Musana Jewelry and designed a necklace. Musana Jewelry’s goal is, “To connect women around the world through a social business that employs, trains and empowers Ugandan women to break the cycle of poverty and secure greater prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities.” Musana Jewelry is based in Lugazi, Uganda and employs local women to provide them with financial stability and education. All Musana’s supplies are locally sourced and the profits are all put back into the community.

Yen shows that you can achieve current trends, high fashion, and stick to your personal style and still shop on a budget.  She inspires me to give pieces in my wardrobe a new life with a belt, unexpected pairing, or even turn it backwards.  She also reminds me that it’s worth the time to pick the right pieces for your wardrobe and not just buy out of stress/frustration/boredom.  I was thrilled to have Yen be part of my True Fashionista series.  I asked her the same five questions answered by every woman in this series; here are her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
Evolving. I would like to have some impossibly chic uniform that included a Rick Owens leather jacket and the perfectly beat up pair of biker boots but I would get bored. And I can’t afford Rick Owens.

I’m definitely partial to vintage dresses, sequins and brown leather anything but I love trying new looks and taking chances. One day I’ll wear a sharp red suit. The next day I’ll wear mustard cords and a hand knit blue sweater. That’s the best part of fashion, you get to change it up.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
I’m not really sure. I mean my parents have always been into antique hunting at flea markets and garage sales so I certainly learned about pretty things from a young age. Though, on the other hand, my mom is the most down to earth, no fuss lady ever and I was raised in the same way. When I’m putting on make-up and agonizing over what to wear, we always chuckle over how different we really are. We do both cry over sad animal stories. That unites us.

I also know I spent much of my childhood staring at what people were wearing. And I wasn’t good at hiding my staring, so that made for some awkward moments…

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
The usual; blogs and magazines. I am curbing my magazine addiction a bit; those glossy pages are addictive. I also try to be inspired by my own closet, there is plenty of crazy in there and it’s fun to play around. 

What is the difference between fashion and style?
I think ‘fashion’ is the umbrella term for the whole industry and whatever relates to it. Style is a more personal term, it’s how you make fashion work for yourself.

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Just have fun.

I mean there is lots of important stuff to say about colour, fit, fabric and financial investment but that all comes second to enjoying your wardrobe.

I’ve been blogging for almost four years and I am still discovering my style. I think (I hope) I am better at editing and listening to my own style voice than I was four years ago, but my archives certainly have a fair share of bad outfits. I’ve made plenty of style mistakes. The only thing I consistently do right, is that I have fun getting dressed. 

I get that everyone has very different lives and that ‘having fun’ can mean completely different things. It’s fun for me to wear sequins to pick up Diet Coke and beef jerky from the grocery store. For my mom, it’s fun to wear a tiny mouse pin and a cat pin on the same lapel. A clever detail that often goes unnoticed but something she enjoys enough to text me a picture of. Sidenote- I’m talking about my mom a lot… 

It sounds a little simplistic but if you are trying to find your personal style, it makes sense to discover what you really like. Not everybody is going to like what you wear (trust me… if I had a nickel for every time someone carefully says ‘Um… I would never wear that but…’) and you are going to make mistakes but you might as well have fun.  :)

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True Fashionista: Chastity

I get often receive emails and comments from women stating that fashion is unattainable because of their size. That I don’t get it because I have never been larger than a size 18. That they can’t relate to fashion blogs because they never feature fashionable plus-size women. That they can’t wear current trends because they don’t work with a larger or more curvy frame. And in an answer to those comments, I send them to Chastity’s blog, GarnerStyle.

Chastity Garner is plus-sized, and not in that typical catalog model way where she’s just a voluptuous size 10. Chastity has a pear shape, she’s larger than an 18 on the bottom, she has curves… and she knows how to rock all of them and have fun with current trends. Leather? Check. Leopard-print pencil skirt? Check. Exposed midriff? Yep… Chastity does it and does it well. And for this, I find Chastity inspiring and a True Fashionista.

“Be fearless. You only live once, why not look fabulous while doing it. If nothing else, don’t let size dictate your style.”
            – Chastity Garner, GarnerStyle

I know that fashion isn’t as easy for those who wear double digit sizes. Selection, fit, quality, and trend is lacking and you can’t just waltz into your neighborhood mall or boutique and find a fabulous ensemble. But Chastity and her informative blog GarnerStyle show that plus size fashion DOES exist and it’s worth the search. While Chastity features her own personal style in outfit posts, she also provides tips on how to shop for her look. Be it considering chain belts for statement-making necklaces or how to shop plus size vintage, Chastity has you covered. She also does extensive reviews on plus size brands and collections.

Chastity is more than her blog; she is also a stylist who does in-person and virtual image consulting and styling. She even has a new book, The Curvy Girl’s Guide to Style. From the book’s purchase page, The Curvy Girl’s Guide to Style is, “Literally a crash course on having fabulous style at any size, this book explores several areas of style that the average curvy girl struggles with.”

I was honored to have Chastity be featured on Wardrobe Oxygen – she is fun, fashionable, and utterly fabulous. She reminds me that fashion should be fun, not just about trying to make clothes flatter. The most flattering thing a woman can put on is confidence, and Chastity has plenty of that and wears it so well. As with every other True Fashionista, I asked Chastity the same five questions. Here’s her answers:

How would you describe your personal style?
I have always stuck to saying I have a classic sense of style. I may get crazy from time to time and I am unafraid to try new things, but at the end of the day I love my classic pieces. I feel like you can achieve any look with your classics.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
My first memories of knowing how fashion can change the way you feel and look is when I was in Belk with my mom. There was a pair of peplum pants that I tried on, hot pink pants with a green peplum to be exact. I was eight years old. I knew then that clothes were magical. In those pants I felt like I could conquer the world. 

I have a few memories of things that I wore as a child that gave me that feeling, so I understood the power of fashion by the time I was four years old. Being a fat kid and teenager, I couldn’t express how I wanted to look because there weren’t a lot options out there for a girl over a certain size. Once the fashion started to change and plus size options began to flow it allowed me to unleash my inner stylish girl. I haven’t looked back since. 

So I guess to answer your question, I got my passion from something innately in me, the other part stems from being fashionably starved for so many years. 

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
I find it everywhere. You may say I’m a little addicted to Pinterest. Lately I’ve been seeking inspiration from home décor. Color and print combinations will be showing up in my spring looks. 

What is the difference between fashion and style?
If you’re broke, can’t buy the latest this or that, but can still look fabulous, you have style. In my opinion, it’s a personality trait. It can’t be taken away from you. 

Fashion is what you see on the runways. It’s what we are given every season. It’s physical. It can be bought. You can’t buy style. 

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Try different things. Being brave is the biggest part of developing your own personal style. I feel like a lot of women can’t achieve their style goals because they are too afraid to try new things. This generates out of fear of what other people will think. Who cares what other people think! If I cared about what others think, I’d be starving, cranky, and frumpy. I definitely wouldn’t be the girl that I am today. When you do that you really figure who you are as a person and what that girl looks like. Personal style is all about conveying to the world who you are. 

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday for the next few weeks. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments!


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