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New Year, Same You—With Style

Every new year, like clockwork, we start planning our resolutions. We vow to have more gym time, drink more water, read a few extra books, and possibly curb the usage of a certain four-letter word.

Personally, I have several resolutions spinning around in my mind—my list keeps getting longer every day. I want to work on getting healthier for a possible addition to our family (wow, did I just say that out loud?). I’d also like to be more present for my family as we gear up for a possible deployment—to cherish the moments we have together.

Pretty solid resolutions, if I do say so myself.

But, there’s one resolution I failed to mention.

I vow to embrace my personal style this year.

You might giggle and wonder how I, or anyone, can combine getting healthy, being present, and embracing style in the same category…so bear with me as I explain.

Personal style isn’t the fashion you see walking the runway or adorning the the cover of Vogue.

It isn’t the wildly trendy garments that come and go from season to season.

It isn’t the labels and definitely not the price tags.

Personal style is you!

What you love.

What you believe.

What you want to show the world.

Personal style is purely based on your daily lifestyle—a stay-at-home parent, a milspouse, an athlete, a career-driven professional, a Sunday school teacher, or an experienced volunteer. It’s a tangible way to share your best self with those around you—a manifestation of your inner beauty.

Embrace it; embrace you! There’s grace in developing your personal style. There’s magic in celebrating who you are—your beliefs, passions, and inspirations.

Let’s get started!

It’s important to remember, our clothes are simply tools we use to represent who we are, a way to show our personality to the world, to say “hello” without speaking. It’s a piece we’ve chosen to represent who we are as people. You must feel authentically you in any outfit you wear.

1. Start with you.

You don’t have to be a fashionista, a blogger, or an LA or NYC “It” girl to have personal style. You—yes, you—deserve to feel confident and comfortable in your own clothes. Personal style is for everyone—any age, body shape, and size. Be true to you. You deserve a wardrobe that makes you feel great, and it’s important to remind yourself of that.

In this new year, start with you.

Style should be fun! Blazer from Loft Outlet; Jewelry and Tank by Stella & Dot

2. Hit that wardrobe.

First things first—don’t go out and start spending money before you analyze and understand what’s already in your closet. Spend a day looking at your wardrobe. Are there items you love? Do you have repeat offenders (pieces you wear religiously)? Do you own items that make you feel confident? These are the pieces you need to pay attention to and replicate. They are the ones you naturally gravitate toward.

Start asking yourself the basic questions: What do these pieces I love have in common? Are they casual? Preppy? Romantic and whimsical? Start gathering the data, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing your personal style.

3. Find Inspiration.

You don’t have to go digging through fashion magazines to find inspiration; it’s all around you. Observe your fellow milspouses, take a stroll through Target, search “daily style” on Pinterest. Again, take note of the reoccurring looks you’re attracted to and create your own style board (I always do this for my clients). Ask yourself, what are the similarities in the looks that you’re attracted to? Is there a notable person you keep referencing?

To develop your personal style, you must make note of these realizations and how they directly inspire you. Keep in mind, there’s rarely one easy cut-and-dry style icon or style type—don’t feel perplexed when you find you are a combination of styles.

4. Check your lifestyle. 

To feel most like you in your clothes you have to be honest with yourself—this means shopping for a lifestyle you have, not one you daydream of. I know… I can hear hearts breaking across military installations now. We simply can’t keep shopping for pieces we love that have no functionality in our day-to-day life. You want your personal style to be representative of the life you lead and love. This doesn’t mean that if you’re a professional you only buy tailored suits or that if you’re an athlete you stay in workout gear all day long.

This means you find ways to marry the style you love with your lifestyle. For example, you love a polished, regal, preppy look and you’re a SAHM—invest in a neutral colored blazer you can toss on over a basic T-shirt paired with your favorite jeans and ballet flats (looks you can easily find at Loft, for example). If you’re a business professional who likes an edgy look, then tailor a pair of slim, tapered black trousers with a fitted blouse, topped with a sleek leather jacket, with pointed black pumps, and an edgy arm party (looks you can easily find at a store like Express).

This new year, repurpose what you already have and make the most of your style.

Accessories are a great way to show your personal style. All pieces available at my Stella & Dot e-boutique. Photos by Rebekah Lynn Photography

5. Take note.

As you wear pieces in your wardrobe, pay attention to how they make you feel. You might find pieces that leave you uncomfortable or drag you down. Take note and remove them from your wardrobe (the local thrift store will be happy to take them).

You will also find pieces that lift you up, or as I like to say, “add a pep in your step.” When you find something that makes you feel great, record it! Knowing which pieces spark that excitement and joy in your personal style is key.

6. Check yourself.

You might not know this, but the clothing we wear has a real impact on our daily lives: Our mood, self-esteem, and confidence level to name a few. This isn’t just coming from your local military spouse personal stylist. Studies (several) have proven that our mood can be affected by what we wear.

Your mood and personal style go hand-in-hand, so on those special days that you walk out for coffee with your friends and you’re feeling great, stylish, and pulled together, snap a selfie, make a note, and watch how your mood completely transforms. It might be subtle at first. You might simply smile at yourself in the mirror or feel a little more comfortable in your own skin, but it leads to bigger things, like greater confidence and a love for yourself.

Style should be fun! Be true to yourself, and embrace your authentic self and personal style!


Follow my group, Style with MonicaB, on Facebook to join February’s Style Challenge



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