I’m really excited to be sharing the Stylish Thoughts of Rita Blanks. I got to know Rita as she spent time doing my Evolve Your Style 31 day Challenge and also doing my 7 Steps to Style program and it has been really exciting to watch her style evolve and I think she’s a great example of Advanced Style!
– How would you describe your personal style?
My style words are Creative Cosmopolitan Casual. The search for the words to identify my style did not come easy, but the time spent thinking about them was worth it. Whether actually shopping or simply “closet shopping”, these style words keep me focused. Retired now and living in a small community, my life is more casual – no more cocktail parties, big-city life or dancing till dawn – but I still want a smart, cosmopolitan edge to my look. And creativity has to be evident in my outfits, usually in the form of my own re-purposed vintage jewelry creations, or in accessories purchased from other artists.
– Who are your style icons?
No one or two people define my style. I prefer instead to look for my style inspiration in the work of other artists, designers and craftsmen. Color inspiration is often guided by gorgeous, color-filled photos I find and keep in a file on Pinterest, or in the inspirational rooms I find in interior decorating magazines and books.
– What is the secret to great style?
With help from a program like 7 Steps to Style, learn to see your body as it really is, right now, its pluses and minuses – we all have both. Study the rules of how to dress your body shape. Find the colors which bring sparkle and light to your face, your eyes and hair. And with this as your foundation, remember that personality – the YOU you want to project – should be considered first.
– What are your top tips for looking stylish when traveling?
I choose several pants and a jacket/sweater, and several tops, in a couple of my neutral colors – making sure they work together – on which to base my travel wardrobe. Depending on how long I’ll be gone, to add my sparkle, I include accessories in 2-3 colors, along with a couple of tops to go with these colors. Less is better when it comes to the amount of clothes I travel with now!
– What is your secret to making yourself stand out?
Learning what works for you wardrobe-wise gives you an innate confidence that makes you just “bloom”. Others notice it immediately!
– What is the one thing you would spend money on?
There are two things actually. One is well fitting shape wear to give my body a good presence and foundation for my clothes. And great fitting and looking shoes to give me a good foundation to stand on – I always feel better when my feet feel good – and look good.
-What is the one thing you wouldn’t spend a lot of money on?
If I buy new trends in clothes I spend little until I can see they really suit my body and work well in my wardrobe.
– How do you balance new trends with a more timeless look?
I’m always paying attention to what is trending and when I see an item of interest I’ll try it on while shopping. However, before buying I’ll ask myself if it is right for my figure shape and coloring. The ever-ready cell phone is a handy fashion tool, and I’ll take a photo of myself in the dressing room wearing the trendy item. Then I have that to refer to – photos don’t lie to me like the mirror does!
– The one piece of advice most women need but don’t get?
A friend once told me, “Clothes shopping is like grocery shopping – don’t go without a list.” I wish I’d taken her advice years ago!
– What is your favorite shortcut to style?
My scrapbook of photos of previously worn outfits – I take photos almost daily of what I’m wearing so I can really SEE what the outfit looks like. Photos give me the total picture so much better than the mirror does. And saving them in a photo album helps me in choosing what to wear when I don’t have time to plan an outfit for the day.
– Do you have a signature piece or style?
My round vintage glasses always get favorable comments and notice. I have the same style in 3 different colors. They are definitely my signature piece.
– What is the secret to looking polished?
Keeping my hair cut in an easy to care for style and wearing a bright lip color help to give me polish. The addition of accessories ALWAYS to any outfit is my other secret.