fashion love: discovering my personal style.

I have been thinking a lot lately about fashion and my personal sense of style. What do the looks I love have in common and what styles look best on me? I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted my wardrobe to be filled with only things that I love and that make me feel great. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of fleeting trends and lose sense of yourself – add to that a restricted fashion budget and it becomes more important than ever to make all of my clothing decisions count.

I am a clearance rack junkie and for a long time I let my style be dictated by whatever was on sale. My clothes often didn’t fit well because I was making due with a larger or smaller size for the sake of a low price. I had colors and prints I didn’t love but didn’t hate and my style ranged all over the place depending on what was in last season. So when I made the decision to overhaul my wardrobe, get out of the nursing mom uniform and clearance rack finds, I decided that quality would have to come before quantity and that the search for my perfect wardrobe would probably take a long time to master.

While I’m still very much a work in progress, I am starting to understand my personal style. One of my favorite fashion blogs, Ain’t No Mom Jeans, has a terrific post about how to determine your personal style. All you need are magazines, fashion blogs or pins from the women’s fashion section of Pinterest.

Using their tips and spending a little time on Polyvore, I was able to narrow my overall sense of style down to three basic qualities: classic, chic and cozy.

classic stripes

This classic striped look has been very trendy lately, but it’s a trend that always seems to be around. Not only do I love this look, but I’ve found it looks good on me. In general, I am very drawn to classic, timeless shapes and styles. Anything that makes me think of Audrey Hepburn or Coco Chanel, Jackie O or even Zooey Deschanel – a current actress and fashionista who knows how to rock that vintage classic look well. I tend to go more subtle than Zooey, but I love her vibe.

When it comes to dressier outfits and occasions, again I am drawn towards a classic silhouette. The little black dress really can’t go wrong and a well tailored, well draped dress makes me very happy whether it’s basic black or a fun print. I like small surprise details that are simplistic but eye catching. A little goes a long way. In regards to accessories, the idea of quality over quantity applies for sure. I’d rather have one piece that feels truly luxurious than a ton of chunky bling.

warm & cozy

Fall is one of my favorite fashion seasons because I love cozy layers and knitwear. Leggings, scarves and a great jacket can really pull an outfit together and keep me warm on cold Wisconsin nights at the same time. I also frankly love the idea of feeling comfortable and fabulous at the same time (emphasis on the fabulous). Clinton and Stacy might get all irked with me for saying that comfort is an essential element to my style, but I think we can all agree that comfy chic is a very good thing.

Here’s how all of this translates to my actual wardrobe:

my style

Classic stripes, cute a-line dress and classic ballet flats, cute striped sweater. While I may not love taking pictures of myself, much less sharing them with the world – I do love these outfits and figuring out my personal style has made it easier to have more outfits I love and as an added bonus, makes getting dressed in the morning much quicker so that I can spend less time thinking about what to wear and more time thinking about something else I love – my family. :O)

What’s your personal style?

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