Recent Style Reminders

Style Reminders

A little while back, I was invited to attend a personal style and branding course. Despite the fact that I finished my styling course earlier this year, I still jump at every chance I get to understand more about style.

And, as so often happens when you decide to simply show up, I was reminded of a whole lot more than I thought I might have been. Yes, I’ll admit some of these style reminders were pretty random. But I was still struck by the fact that I walked out thinking about things that hadn’t crossed my mind in ages.

Four Style Reminders I Received Recently

Style Matters

There were women in the group were in tears while we were still doing introductions. Some because they’ve spent their lives feeling like they had no idea how to put themselves together. Others due to the fact that that they fully understood how much working on their style would impact their confidence. Regardless of their motivation, it was really moving stuff. In my heart, I’ve known for a while that, for we women, style is more than some frivolous thing. In fact, that was the primary reason I studied to become a Style CoachTM. Never, ever let anyone tell you how you feel about style is not important – because the link between style and women’s confidence is absolutely real.

High Waisted Pieces Look Good On All Body Shapes

Somehow I’d forgotten how universally flattering high waisted pieces are. I had joined a dozen participants for the two day course. Women of all sizes, shapes and ages. Whether they were placed on the broken hearted 30 year old, or on the (very cool) grandmother of seven, the high waisted pants and skirts worked. This was due to two things.

  1. The high cut skims over areas of the body that women sometimes find problematic.
  2. Legs look longer because the clothing starts from a higher point on the body.

Despite the fact that the cut worked on everyone, interestingly, most of the women in the room didn’t own anything high waisted. This was especially true of pants and jeans. This situation is undoubtedly due to some ‘Harry Highpants’ fashion disasters from the ’70’s or ’80’s. But regardless, it’s a wardrobe omission I think they will be addressing sooner rather than later.

Style Requires Intention.

Being aware and focussed on your style game has the same advantages as being intentional in other areas of your life. You not only get the benefit of that sense of peace that comes when you are doing something ‘on purpose’ but you also get that boost of confidence that accompanies putting in time and effort.

This is one area where I really think we can learn from French women. Their classic, understated style always looks pulled together.  The word unintentional is rarely associated with French style.

Personal Brands Don’t Have To Be Complicated

A brand can be built around something as simple as red lipstick. Or a certain accessory – say, belts or necklaces or perhaps shoes. Maybe a touch of floral. And don’t forget scarves, particularly if you are looking to add a dose of French flair to your look. But while branding doesn’t have to difficult, it does require consistency. If you want to build your personal brand around a particular element you have to make sure that you love it and it is authentically you because you are going to need to incorporate it into your look day after day.

But It Was Really Interesting…

While I and a number of other attendees were merrily adding to our knowledge bases, towards the end of the two days it became very apparent that several of the other women in the room were really struggling. Some of them seemed overwhelmed while others appeared more confused than when they had started the course.

It was at this point that the lead facilitator asked me if I had any thoughts to share. The first thing that sprang to mind was the fact that, when it comes to style, we are all on a journey. And for some of us, our style evolution only comes by taking one baby step at a time. The women I had joined had taken the first step by investing in their style education but it was going to take practice, application and experimentation for them to fully grasp some of the concepts that had been shared.

And all of that is absolutely ok. Which, if you think about it, may be the most important style reminder of all.

Have you received any style reminders recently? Or maybe you’ve been reflecting on your own style journey. Either way, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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4 thoughts on “Recent Style Reminders

  • Taste of France

    I love what you say about developing a personal style. I was out antiquing all day and so many people (men and women) looked great. Not dressy (rifling through dusty bins isn’t amenable to dressing up), but very stylish and very much wearing their personalities on their sleeves.
    I still have some high-waisted trousers from before the low-waisted trend began. They were from a tailor in Berlin and I refuse to get rid of them. (I wore them with shirts untucked during the low-waisted era.) I find they work OK because they are Katharine Hepburn-ish–tailored yet flowing. I’m not sure about some of the revivals of mom jeans.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment Catherine. I agree with your thoughts on Mom Jeans. I probably should have mentioned that the high waist idea works a whole lot better when the piece is stylish in the first place!

  • Wendy Stockton

    How timely is this post. Last year I bought a pair of black Mary Jane shoes because they would go with everything instead of the denim blue with brown accent pair I really wanted. Now I have just tried to change their colour with disastrous result. Instead of beating myself up on ruining a good pair of shoes I’ll just say I am on my style journey. They are flat and comfortable so I am going to wear them on my evening walks when it is too dark to see what I have done!

    • Janelle Post author

      Your comment really made me smile Wendy. Mainly because, while on my own journey, I’ve been right where you were – trying to turn the thing that I did buy into the thing I’d wished I’d bought. I think anyone’s natural first reaction would be to beat themselves up – but this is the sort of very human thing that happens when we lead with our head rather than our heart. After goes at buying something and then being disappointed I now let my heart take the lead. No, things don’t end up as practical. But in the long run, I think I’ve been happier and I’ve saved some cash along the way because I actually wear the things I buy.