Beauty and Fashion, OYou BootCamp 2012

Finding the Right Style for Your Life – It’s All Connected

OYou 2012 Boot Camp: Wrapping up Fashion Week – Week 8

Life brings lessons in surprises and sickness too. This past week when fashion and style were the focus of our OYou Boot Camp, I felt anything but glamorous. Coming off the tail end of the flu, I had forgotten how beautiful you feel carrying around a box of Kleenex and living on cough medicine and Tylenol.  But each day, I looked for that illusive “style voice” that has eluded me for years.  In all of the looking, I found something a little special…my journey.

Early on in the week I found myself doing something that I thought I would never do. In stuffy nose and fever desperation, I went out to the drug store in disguise.  I ventured out of the house “undone” – with no makeup and my hair pulled back, hiding behind my glasses and red eyes.  While I think that the PERFECT fashion must have is a full length mirror so that you always know what you look like before leaving the house, I did know and I still made the run and during the trip, realized my whole journey tells my style story.

In my 20’s, I never left the house without being ready for anything.  Ready to meet Mr. Right or even Mr. Right-Now, I looked great. You never know what the day will bring you, so I presented my best 2o’s self to the world and was on the go all the time and ready.  With boundless energy and style, I walked a little more confidently…and was a lot more curious.  Life was amazing and fun and there was never time to sleep.

In my 30’s, I relaxed…a little.  I was still always “ready” but I had redefined what that meant.  With a career in focus and designer suits and shoes in tow, I had work and play clothes.  I let my hair down a little…but worried a little less about being comfortable and more about being on trend.  I lived for Nordstrom sales and enjoyed a day of shopping with the girls.  I collected fashion and in turn, different looks for different moments.  My eclectic style of what my life was vs. what I wanted it to be showed from the color coded sections in my closet filled with work, casual, and a “new with tags” area of clothes that someday, I would wear.  I was searching for change… and I could feel it coming.

By the time I had reached my 40’s, life had already taken me to the opposite side of the world and changed.  Ditching the high-stressed, high-paced lifestyle and slowing down to see the world on my own time and without wearing a Gucci watch, my style voice fell a little silent…looking for how to respond to the change in lifestyle and the change in me.  So while a closet of designers hang in my closet in dust proof bags, I’ve left the world of classic lines and tailored jackets for a life less complicated.  A simple selection of “relax-ware” works well when working from home – the “peace” t-shirt for when you are making a statement of “no drama” to the world, a vintage Mickey Mouse shirt for those believe like me that you  “can’t have a bad day in a Disneyland shirt” and the classic black tee for all occasions works well on those hard to choose days.  With a great wedge or flip flop  …I’m set to go.

But this week, looking at this journey started me wondering…what does this all say about me? Where is that fashion hungry female who shopped the trends and looked for the perfect look for any moment? …Only to make me realize…she is right here.  Feeling a little more relaxed in her own skin, feeling a lot more confident than the 20-something me, a lot more focused than the 30-something me and understanding now that style and fashion are all part of your journey.  Your style voice comes from the life that you are in, the roles that you are playing and the place from where you operate.  Fashion and style confidence doesn’t come from a closet full of hangers or from the pages of magazine.  It comes from being who you are at any given time in  your life.  Your style is how you wear your life.  Clothes, shoes and everything else are just the accessories.

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