Disclaimer: I am not to be confused with Rachel Zoe, nor am I a style icon. But I am a mom, wife, and woman who values comfort over style, and recognize that image is everything.
Several years ago I had a deep longing to simplify my life. My closet, my calendar, my parenting, everything. I wanted to make things as simple as possible, and for lack of better words, I didn’t want to make one more decision throughout the day and wanted to trust my “go-to” items—or rather, for a more distinguished sounding realization, I entered into the Classic Phase that every women enters at some point of her life.
Here is how I accidentally found my signature style:
I cleaned out my closet. I kept only the clothes that fit, looked good on me, and had a function. I kept a few signature staples for business, glamour, and leisure. My signature black fitted sheath dress pairs well with different jewelry, scarfs and shoes and takes me from business meetings to after 5 drinks and trekking across town when I pack my white Cons and a jean jacket for traveling. My khaki pants or jeans and white button down stands in for my black dress on a more casual day. These outfits are always at the ready—laundered, ironed, and hanging so on busy mornings I don’t even have to think about it. During the pandemic, I’ve discovered a new love for loungewear. My favorite are jumpsuits that can take me from couch to out the door without looking like I fell out of bed.
Coco Chanel said, “No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.” I now have a signature scent that my husband recognizes without having to see. Talk about sexy! I also have two signature hair styles that are literally based on the wind conditions of Kansas. There are techniques all over Youtube that I learned to do and now have down in 5-10 minutes without hesitation. And a quality skincare regime more than makes up for the amount of make up that I now rarely use.
You may call this brand loyalty, however repetition in household items has become my style—making it easier to shop for deals! Our house now smells, looks, operates, and even feels the same day after day. Subscription based ordering isn’t boring, it is comfortable!
Connecting and Entertaining
People will always remember the way you make them feel. In an age of instantaneous gratification, I have a lot to contend with. So many times, I opt for personal human touches and prefer notes to emails, or porch drop offs opposed to delivery services like flowers. Since the launching of email and Pinterest, stationery and cookbooks are completely under appreciated. I love to write notes, collect stamps, and put a good pen to paper. I have a signature return address stamp and quality stationery that I love to send friends, family, and acquaintances.
I also love cookbooks, but I don’t love to cook. Over the years I have perfected signature dishes and keep my pantry stocked with their ingredients—side dishes, desserts, treats, casseroles, main courses, I have made these so often they are effortless and I am always at the ready to entertain, to help entertain, or to drop a dish or treat to a new mom or neighbor. (Secret style hack: I also keep a local pick up list from restaurants who have beautiful packaging for occasions when I don’t have time to prepare.) Beverages are also an important staple when entertaining. Wine can become overwhelming if allowed. My go to “house table wine” is anything Kim Crawford or Jenny Dawn—a fabulous local urban winery. We also always have Italian roasted coffee on hand for visitors of all hours.
All of this helps me to streamline decision-making and confidently embrace my own personal preferences. More importantly, it allows me to be present without the stress of feeling like I have to fit in. What is your signature style?