Style is one of those things that you can take as far as you want to. Some individuals don't give it a second thought, just tossing on whatever is handy and off they go. Others on the style spectrum obsess about the latest trend, have closets stuffed with clothes and might spend beyond their budget on things that are never worn.
As usual, the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. The goal is to pay enough attention to your look so that you are attractive, confident, and comfortable in what you're wearing, but not so much that you take it to an extreme level.
As I was writing the style story in the March issue, I had the pleasure of talking with three ladies about their approach to style. Lake Charles ladies Kayla Rigney, Nomica Guillory and Stephanie Ryder have different styles and different ways of expressing who they are, but they've each discovered their signature style along the way.
During my interview with her, Stephanie said, "When people tap into their style, it runs deep." She told me about a poem that she has hanging in her bathroom; she sees it as she gets ready for the day. "For me, this has everything to do with who I am and my style that comes through," she said. "I've learned to take care of myself. I used to depend on what others thought of me, but not anymore. I am important and I enjoy expressing my personality through my style."
After a while you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept defeats with your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child
So, you plant your own garden and you decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn you can endure
And you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And that with every new tomorrow comes the dawn
Nomica said listening to her intuition is important in every decision, even when it comes to fashion. "Spirituality is the core of who I am and I let God guide me every day. Listen to who you are. No one is the same. We have so many people competing to be other people. You can like Beyonce, you can love Beyonce, but you'll never be Beyonce and Beyonce will never be you. Be your wonderful self."
Kayla said when she's choosing what to wear for the day, sometimes she'll start with her shoes and then work up from there. "It depends on what I have going on that day, but I love having fun with what I wear. If I like it and it's fun, I'll wear it. Find what you like and go with it."
When you tap into your style, what you wear underscores how you feel and what you want to convey to others before any words are spoken. A well-dressed person will likely get better service than a poorly dressed person. It's not fair, but it's true. Realizing that people judge based on how you look can be frustrating, but use it to your advantage. Project your best image, treat people well, and notice that'll you'll receive good things in return.
As we discover more about ourselves, we can express it with what we wear, how we stand, what we say, and how we treat others. A person's signature style goes beyond the clothes that are worn, it's how we communicate.
I could have talked with Kayla, Stephanie and Nomica for hours, and there were many more ladies who could have added even more to the story. I think we'd all agree that getting to know yourself is a rewarding journey and expressing your personality through fashion helps streamline your closet, gives you clothing options that you truly enjoy wearing, and helps you project your best to others. It's an ongoing journey, and few have it all figured out, but come along for the ride and we'll learn together.