Label me not

I’m still working on cultivating my own personal style. It’s a work in progress and maybe it will be one forever. It’s so easy to rely on ready-made outfits at your favourite stores and to stick to those tried and true brands (high end or otherwise) that always fit and always seem so “you” instead of taking the time to put together outfits yourself. Especially when you've slept through your alarm and you're rushing to make it to work on time.

I'm the first to admit that my personal style isn't always on the mark. However, the one thing I can't stand is people who wear designer clothing and claim to be stylish only because of the labels they are wearing. You know the type - the woman that gushes over the ugliest dress you have ever seen, simply because it has a designer name attached? The person in the department store who squeals in delight at a designer dress that is half off even though it is hideous. Just because something has a covet-worthy label on it doesn't mean it's worth wearing. Nor does it mean that just by wearing it, you immediately up the style quotient of your outfit.

Style to me is being able to mix pieces in a way that is uniquely yours. I don’t think just slapping on a whole bunch of designer clothing automatically makes you stylish.

That’s not to say I don’t covet some designer items (like this amazing blouse that was featured on Gossip Girl) or that I don't appreciate the art that goes into haute couture. I have pored over many issues of Vogue and marveled at the sheer creativity of fashion. Including this shoot from a few years back that was unbelievably stunning:

I love fashion. Am I always the perfect symbol of it? Absolutely not. But, I do know this: simply wearing (and usually flaunting) designer labels does not a style maven make.

How do you create your own personal style?


  1. Great post!

    I think personal style is something that happens easier for some than others.For some of us who are "style-challenged,"more planning is necessary. Perhaps the key is to be flexible, open to new ideas and the ability to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. It's always a work in progress for some of us...for others it seems easy as anything.

    Any suggestions for us less stylish folks that you can offer will be appreciated!Looking forward to reading your blog :)

  2. Love your blog! I have the same challenge (although I think you always look amazing whenever I see you!). My big problem is that so many pretty things need ironing and in the morning, I don't want to iron them, so instead, I choose the same easy clothes over and over. Do you have a solution to this?

  3. What is your opinion on knock-offs? I personally wouldn't wear/carry an item that claimed to be from a particular label but I'm all for pieces inspired by high-end fashion. There's nothing better than finding the hottest piece for a great price at a shop like H&M....

  4. Accessorizing is one of the fun (and more affordable) ways of making statements in style. A statement necklace does just that: makes a statement about my style and my mood. For example, this morning I felt frumpy, so I'm wearing black from head to toe. But I have a few meetings, and don't want to give a message of doom and gloom. So, I put on a a super chunky, happy, yellow necklace (Anthropology's Stormy Seas necklace). And I immediately felt happier, chicer and ready to take on my day.

  5. Great blog - and so true for most people. I can't think of a better way to describe personal style than as something that is continually evolving. One of the best things about fashion and your style is finding what works best for you. For me, hair and make-up are just as key to your style as a great outfit - the total package as they say. What are your thoughts?

    PS - so in love with that blouse too!

  6. Thanks for all the great comments!

    @Samantha - Cultivating style definitely takes a lot of planning. Those who are great at it make it seem effortless, but I bet if you asked them, they would tell you that a lot of thought went into planning their outfits. An easy way to add some flair to your wardrobe is to experiment with different accessories. Try a statement necklace (much like @Erin did in her comment below) or some fun, brightly coloured bangles.

    @Chantel - I loathe ironing. I'm definitely guilty of taking the really difficult to iron items to the dry cleaners. For the more straightforward pieces, I recommend using a small hand steamer. Rowenta makes a great one that it portable and affordable.

    @Zoey - I'm against knockoffs as well. I wouldn't feel right wearing them as it is stealing from designers' creativity and profits. I love stores like H&M and Forever 21 that reinterpret the trends for the mass market.

    @Erin - I love that necklace! I agree that adding a statement piece like that adds instant impact with minimum effort. I love the way a piece like that can make even a simple white tee look dressy.

    @Karen - Hair and makeup are a huge part of any outfit. Sometimes for big events, rather than spending money on a new dress, I splurge on getting my hair blown out. I instantly feel more stylish and put together (and it's a lot less pricey!).

    Thanks for all the input everyone. Keep it coming!

  7. Great post! I feel the same as you. As I was watching the Royal wedding some of the hats I loved and some I loathed. The outfits I loved "fashionistas" called boring and the ones I hated they called brilliant :P So I definitely do NOT call myself a fashionista. I think style is always evolving too so I pick general and classic pieces that I know will work for me such as a great pair of jeans and a well fitting blazer and then mix it will fun tops or accessories. For example there was a point where I was obsessed with flower pins and headbands! I still occasionally wear them but I'm always trying something new for me, but subtle.

  8. @Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews)

    I love the idea of building up a wardrobe of classic pieces and mixing in the more trendy things.

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