One of the things I enjoy most with my Evolve Your Style and 7 Steps to Style programs is watching women discover what they love and style recipes as they work through the information. To me this is the most important elements is finding what really suits you, beyond the body shape stuff. Now the other day over on the 7 Steps forum one lovely member mention that her style was a work of art in progress, and it made me realise that we are all, always only a work of art in progress, we are never finished (well not until we’re dead), and we continue to evolve over time (which is why my Evolve Your Style program is more than 31 days – that’s just the start of your style journey).
I always think that style is a journey not a destination. We change as people, fashions change, and so our style will change and morph over time. Some people will stick more closely to a particular style over their lifetime, others will change way more radically.
So when you apply this thinking of being on a journey rather than finding a never changing style recipe, I think it’s important to realise that the words you choose to represent your style will change over time, and some of us may even have multiple recipes, depending on how we feel on a certain day or which role or activity we are undertaking at that time. You will over your life create a book of style recipes, a bit like you will cook more than one recipe in your lifetime too (wouldn’t it be so dull eating the same thing every day your whole life!).
My style recipe has evolved from Dynamic, Unexpected, Vibrant, Unique to Functional Individualist because to me function relates to so many elements – being comfortable (I hate being uncomfortable), the clothes fulfilling the needs of the occasion
and being appropriate (they function how they are supposed to), and even to how the clothes make me feel – they need to function in a way that makes me feel good and feel stylish in a way that screams Imogen. Then Individualist is about being a little unexpected, vibrant or different. It’s about the piece of clothing being truly me. For me my wedding dress is a great example of my style recipe in action. It functioned as a wedding dress, but I wore it on a super hot day, so it was comfortable still (and also not at all constricting or binding as well as being not too hot). It suited my figure – so also functional in that way, but it had that individualist element of the asymmetry and 3d butterflies that made it so uniquely me.
Now that’s my style recipe today, but I bet in 5 or 10 years it will probably have changed again as I change and grow through my life.
So don’t get too worked up about finding the perfect style recipe, find some words that speak to you now (get out a Thesaurus if necessary to find other words if the ones you have aren’t exciting you). Remember that you are a work of art – in progress!
Now tell me, how do you define your current style recipe? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.
I have only seen one more beautiful bride, and that was my daughter (I’m slightly biased). Her gown also was functional, ivory silk and drapey. Perfect for the weather, appropriate for the solemnity of a church wedding and a beautiful extension of herself.
My style words are difficult for me to define. What I like is minimalist and classic, until I get a plan together and it just looks boring and hot. I very much like your definition of ” functional”. May I borrow it? Being comfortable really is my main criteria for clothing. I shall add “tactile” as I love the feel of fabrics. Then I also like colour. Working with my medium colour and value contrast is an absolute pleasure. So Functional, Tactile and Colourful are my style words. So nice not to have them set in stone.
Thank you for explaining so clearly these expressions. You make me happy and that’s a REALLY stylish thing to do.
You are too kind Judy! And yes feel free to steal functional – works for me may work for you too! Love your style words!
My style has changed so much over the years. Then again perhaps it’s meant to change more during one’s 20s, as we are properly growing up… (I’m 29 now.) I remember how rebellious it was at one point, then even sporty (unimaginable now), sometimes hippy-ish and flamboyant (much to the chagrin of my mum); then at one point v romantic and restrained (wearing beautiful pastel colours, which don’t suit me at all!). Then I think things changed dramatically a few years ago, upon finding your blog, Imogen! Initially you told us that brown hair counts as red, so brunettes with light eyes should wear at least two colours and those should be complimentary. There was a v colourful phase in my dressing as a result 🙂 Then I was inspired by your large-scale necklaces and have ordered a lot of new ones off ebay as a result, alongside colourful bracelets.
I feel I have come into my own style-wise only recently though, about a year ago and now it’s only mine. certainly it is at this moment when I feel most comfortable and knowledgeable about what works for me and I know why it does work. now my style is rather feminine in the way that I never wear jeans/trousers, but always skirts/dresses, but I don’t really like butterflies or floral pieces unless the flowers are big and bold/ stylised so gorgeous as you look in your wedding dress for instance- it simply wouldn’t suit me personally – I now v rarely copy someone else, as it were; I prefer slightly more elegant/ less casual clothing for all occasions; I never leave the house without wearing earrings and necklace/scarf (my signature piece/ often heroes); the clothes I wear are also bold and dramatic but not too loud if that makes sense, I am like that in terms of personality but also because am high contrast and bright colours suit me, but I would feel decidedly uncomfortable in something low cut or even mini skirts, nothing too revealing for the world. Finally, harmonious is so fundamentally important, not only that my clothes must harmonise with me and each other 100% (or as far as possible) in terms of colour, material, shape, pattern, scale etc etc. but also that I sometimes wear matchy-matchy earrings and necklaces…(and my bags and my shoes are almost always black/nude (in summer) so they by default match too).
I would like to once again thank you for providing all this fascinating info into how to look our best. It’s simply been so interesting and educational and I personally wouldn’t look the way I do today (which I think is great :)) without your cyber-help! Thank you so much!
Pleasure Susie – and I think it’s interesting to see how much you’ve changed in such a short time – yet you will keep changing over your lifetime too!
I really like your style recipe and see how it works for you! As I’ve been going through your 7 Steps program and enjoying the Facebook group members insights I have moved my style recipe. Lots of words initially – Bright modern polished casual that is fitted and linear – then turned into Vibrant modern casual with a twist. Now I am trying on Wine country casual as my style recipe. Since I live in the USA that is Northern California style and brings a specific image to mind to me that will make me look more polished but comfortable and not trying too hard. I had never thought about my style recipe before this program even though I am now 65. Glad to have an image in mind as I work to shift my wardrobe and appearance in that direction. Your help has been incredibly useful and the Facebook group is the most kind and supportive group I have participated in ever.
Thanks Juhli – I think spending some time thinking about your style – whatever your age – can be enlightening and also will help you decide if what you have been wearing is still working for you. SO many of us get stuck. Love your input into the groups!
Thank you for this beautiful picture, Imogen.
As I decided to go from brown to grey (the hair) this year, I have more questions than answers for the moment…
Your dress is beautiful!!! What an enlightening way to describe your style. I love it! I adore fashion and sometimes it makes me something of a chameleon, as I really enjoy and respond to several different styles. So my words would be modern feminine dramatic and slightly boho. It’s also become a bit more classic and definitely more conservative as I’ve grown older.
It’s interesting to see how our styles change over time!
Talk about a timely article! I just posted a picture collage in Evolve Your Style with my style recipe! I am learning so much going through the EYS and Seven Steps. Thank you for creating such a thoughtful program.
Your picture is beautiful, what I like about it the most is the happiness I see on your faces.
Looking forward to the journey…
Thanks Cathy! I’m so glad that you are getting a lot out of the programs!
Interesting thing is evolution. I have always, always dressed up and found it hard to dress down. I always felt overdressed for most every occasion, and would feel like I was unable to relax and join in, or my dress was to svelte for the rock and roll number that was pumped out at the end, etc., so recently, I came to the point where I was ready to casualise myself. I bought some great flatter and tone tum jeans from Just Jeans that really help the tummy and added some leopard skin sandals and a cool leopard skin shirt and finally bought a really nice cool brown toned leather watch. After it was all put together I felt happy with my purchase and had in mind to wear it to the baby shower coming up. Can you believe it, the outdoor baby shower come brunch was lined wall to wall with elegance; sparkling ornaments to their partners; sky high stilettos, bold lips, jazzy statement jewellery and gowns with split sleeves, sequins, chiffon draped elegantly over opaque toned thighs and here I was in sandals and jeans.
What the hell happened? I just don’t know. But for the first time I was able to sit back and see how comfy it was to help in the kitchen, hold the babies, and watch the struggling stilettos step gingerly over decking and slippery tiles & not feel like I should have applied double sided tape to my top and worn lower heels. It was the first time I have ever seen it from the other side and you know what, it was a really peaceful day. Evolving your style in the direction of comfort really is a great bonus. (Don’t worry I didn’t throw out anything gorgeous either).
My style recepie is:
1) intelligent and reliable = professional = classic style
2) individual and creative = individual = dramatic/colourfull twist
3) warm = cute twist, but not too much
4) functional = soft twist
Great recipe Ursula!