Cultivating a timeless look as your signature style
"In a world full of Kardashians, be a Diana."
If I had to sum up my style in a few short examples, I think I would say that it's Kate Middleton with a hint of Sophia Petrillo. "Picture it... Sicily, 1922..." Hopefully, you are a gen exer like me and you understand those references. If not, stick around, I'll teach you the ways (and style) of my generation. In other words, often you'll see me in professional attire with a blazer and a brooch and then occasionally you'll see me more casual with a straw purse. If my mother taught me anything, it was that good style was as much about your confidence and attitude, as it was about the actual clothing or their labels. Let me tell you, you have to be real secure in yourself to rock a brooch these days. Or a straw purse, for that matter. So, thanks mom for the lesson... it has served me well.
If your outfit and poise are united in harmony, then whatever accessories you add (no matter how old lady-ish they may seem) will fall into place. If you're finding yourself being drawn to a more chic or sophisticated look then might I suggest a few things to get you started...
1) A capsule wardrobe. Having a capsule wardrobe not only keeps me from having those "what to wear" moments but it also keeps my closet neat and tidy, which makes my minimalistic heart happy. Basically, the idea is that you invest in good quality classic and timeless pieces instead of the spending hundreds of dollars each season on the latest "it" trends. During an interview with InStyle magazine, designer Misha Nonoo explained "Streamlining your wardrobe streamlines your life. With a capsule wardrobe, you never feel as though you have 'nothing to wear.' It's assuring to know you only own pieces that can be paired easily and always look chic."
2) Heirloom jewelry. This doesn't mean that you have to run out and grab a Rolex in order to obtain a classic look or leave something of substance behind for your kids. Jackie O' unknowingly created an heirloom necklace with her iconic faux three-strand pearl necklace. These pearls made appearances during elegant dinner parties but also on some of her most casual days in the White House. Originally said to have been purchased at Nordstrom for less than $100, they quickly became part her signature look and in 1996 they ended up selling in a Sotheby's auction for $211,500! Proof that the price tag can have little to do with its effect on fashion.
Finding adornments that are of good quality with a timeless look can be what sets your signature style apart from the rest. In fact, my step-grandmother had a pair of inexpensive pearl drop earrings that she often wore with along with her Mikimoto necklace. Those earrings have become such a staple in my wardrobe that several of my friends have borrowed them for special occasions, including their wedding day as their "something borrowed". My point is, instead of spending a massive amount of money on bubble necklaces to go with every outfit, you could easily grab a good strand of pearls or maybe even a nice pair of stud earrings and instantly upgrade your look, while also having a cherished heirloom to pass down to the next generation.
3) Making your accessories count. When selecting your accessories like sunglasses, shoes, and handbags you'll want to make sure that they are time-honored pieces. Are you noticing a theme yet? For example, instead of 5 pairs of black heels, you could narrow down the pair that you wear the most, are the most comfortable, and also will still be stylish 5-10 years from now.
Personally, I chose a pair of Christian Louboutin black leather heels. They fit well, go with almost anything, and let's be honest... they're Louboutins. In my defense, I don't often fall for high end designers but these were a great deal on The RealReal. Again, don't run out and spend your money on something that doesn't speak to you. Good black pumps are everywhere. Find ones that are affordable, fit your style and that are comfortable. But those Louboutins not only spoke to me, they sang to me. They sang louder than a 2 year old with a microphone.
Another example would be my purses. I have two bucket style bags, two crossbody ones, and a straw hand bag that was my grandmothers. I rock that thing regardless of the season. It's precious. I don't care what anyone says... ;)
But that's kind of the point. I've set the tone that my personal style is more classic chic and people expect that from me. So when I add something vintage or maybe a little "old lady-ish", it fits right in. I have plenty of good friends who are more boho or super trendy and it looks great on them! It's just not for me... and that's okay.
Fun Fact: Estelle Getty's purse reportedly sold at auction for $9,150.00 in 2009. I hope it went to a good home. 🧡
*This post was not endorsed by The RealReal, I'm just a faithful customer. 🙂