When I worked as a stylist, I was always puzzled when I visited a client with a wardrobe full of lovely, current, perfectly-fitting clothing and a tiny mound of outdated, weather-beaten, unloved shoes that in no way align with their owner’s style. To me, appropriate, interesting shoes are an integral part of an overall look and I believe that knowing your preferred shoe types is absolutely essential to building personal style.
But not everyone feels that way. Despite the stereotypes about women and shoes, I think that many of us struggle to track down styles that suit our tastes AND lifestyles. Shoes get worn harder than clothing in most cases, and that makes buying them far trickier. A dress has to work with body shape … but shoes have to be comfortable, affordable, stylish, AND work perfectly with a multitude of outfits under a multitude of circumstances. So cultivating a lasting, useful, beautiful collection of shoes can be quite a project, and some women would rather focus on objects of style that require less versatility and research.
Originally posted 2010-10-15 05:15:00.
The messages are loud and painful and hard to ignore: Flat stomach required. Hair that resides anywhere other than atop your head is utterly repellent. Makeup is a must. Cellulite is Satan. The short and round and stocky are innately inferior to tall and angular and lithe.
We hear it from the diet ads, from “America’s Next Top Model” and “The Biggest Loser,” from catalogs and magazines full of cookie-cutter bodies, from the endless stream of movies featuring Barbie-esque heroines. Sometimes we hear it from our parents and friends and coworkers.
Originally posted 2009-10-07 06:02:00.
I’ve spent a long time refining my personal style. A loooooooong time, my friends. I first described my style as “arty-eclectic with a broad streak of retro influence” many years ago, and once I had that nailed, I decided to switch to badassery. I’ve defined how I want to look, accumulated a wardrobe full of pieces that align with my style goals, and cultivated an eye for items that will fit naturally with my established aesthetic.
But I also make every effort to remain flexible. I’ve successfully created a defined, personalized, and quintessentially “me” style and I love that. But I always want to be willing to absorb new looks and contemplate new styles. Establishing and becoming comfortable within my personal style parameters doesn’t mean I’ve ceased to evolve. I consciously branch out all the time to see what ELSE I can absorb.
Originally posted 2010-10-06 05:17:00.