Thursday, August 02, 2007

Finding Your Signature Style:

While Emma's blogging about Feminity through the Seasons, I am going to do a supplementary post about Finding your Signature Style.

First, let me say that I don't believe that God means for us to spend too much time analyzing our ourselves in this context. For the Christian, the signature style is trusting in and walking like Jesus. So, if you aren't sure what your best colors are or if your decorating style is a hodpodge of hand-me-downs, that's ok in the grand scheme of things.

However, it can be fun and lovely to add a few personal touches to our life and to our appearance. One advantage to knowing your personal style is to bring some focus to your home and wardrobe. If you know what style you are aiming for, you won't be tempted to accumulate twenty items that strike your fancy, but that you don't really need. Instead, you will choose the one thing that you can really use.

Some people seem to gravitate to a personal style naturally. Without even thinking, they find that they are drawn to certain colors, certain activities, certain fashions, and certain home styles. Other people love variety and don't really know what their own personal style is. That's ok. You may find that you evolve into a personal style as you move through life.

Here are some ideas to think about:

1) What is your favorite little way of serving family and friends? Do you have something you love to do that isn't time consuming, yet brings joy to others? Now, we should serve in many ways. But, I'm focusing here on finding that one little thing that you can do to bring a smile to others. For example, I have a friend who takes her camera everywhere. She snaps a lot of photos. She gives those photos to people who were at an event. It's a special thing to have some of her candid photographs as rembrances of church events, birthday parties, baptisms, etc. My daughter's mother-in-law collects little gifts from yard sales and sends or takes them to people. I've gotten several packages from her in the mail that really made my day. The boxes contained something she saw a garage sale that made her think of me, and she sent them to me for no particular reason. My mother used to take one home-grown rose to someone who needed a bit of cheering up. I enjoy writing notes and cards.

Remember: The point isn't to call attention to yourself by getting people to notice your style. The point is to use something that you naturally enjoy as a way to make other people feel loved.

2) What is your style of dressing? Is there a color that always brings compliments when you wear it? Do you know what styles look best for your body type? How about dressing for your stage in life? Note: There are many different ways to achieve a modest and feminine look. Some women prefer ultra-feminine styles; others like a sleeker, more modern look. Some are sportier. What works best for you? A little understanding of your favorite and best fashion choices can help you build a lovely, coordinated, frugal wardrobe.

3) Do you have a signature accessory or style of accessory that you enjoy?

4) do you have a favorite scent? Or, do you prefer to wear a variety? Or, do you prefer to wear no scent at all, other than fresh and clean skin? Read an article about the different types of scents. See if one category jumps out to you. Note: You may find that the scent you loved at twenty isn't the scent you love at forty. Don't be afraid to change your favorite scent over a lifetime.

5) What is your favorite flower? Color? Food? Book? Movie? Some of us may not be able to narrow it down to one favorite in each category. But others will know right away what their favorites are. If you can't narrow it down to one, is there a category of colors, foods, books, movies you enjoy. For example, do you love pastels more or do you enjoy earth tones more. (I've seldom met a color I didn't like, but I know that I look best in softer colors.)

6) What is your favorite decorating style? Most of us who blog about home and family enjoy old fashioned styles. But, that may not be the case for you. Many people create comfortable and welcoming homes using modern styles. If you have no idea what your style is, check out a few books on decorating and art from the library.

7) What is one hobby or household activity that you really enjoy? Do you sew? Cross-stitch? Garden? Knit? Crochet? I know that I have a tendency to take on too many projects at once. The upshot is that I don't do any one of them well. I also have a stack of unfinished projects in my workroom. Busy wives and mothers may need to narrow down their focus to one or two hobbies or allow themselves only one or two special projects at a time.

Now, it's one thing to discover our own signature style. But, in creating a home, we also must consider the styles and preferences of our husbands and children and other people we live with. Sometimes, this is best learned by observation, although a few questions can help as well.

Do you know what your husband's style preferences are? What makes him feel comfortable?
Do you know the same for each of your children?
What about your friends? Do you know what types of gifts they would enjoy? Can you spot something in a thrift store or at a garage sale or on sale in June that would be perfect to give a friend for her October birthday? If so, you can buy when you see a good price and, thus, save money.



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Meredith said...

I wish I were as comfortable in my clothes as I am in my home. For some reason, I still have trouble finding a signature clothing style.

You've given me a lot to think about!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Meredith:

I'm sure you'll focus in on a style soon. The harder thing is to stick to it!


Elizabeth said...

Hi Meredith:

I'm sure you'll focus in on a style soon. The harder thing is to stick to it!


Mrs. U said...

Like Meredith, I don't have a clothing style, either. For that matter, my home doesn't really have a style, either!!! I simply have a hard time deciding which is my favorite and sticking with it!! HAHA!! I am the same way with perfume- I LOVE perfume and can't settle on just one favorite! I do think it's neat that some ladies have a scent that is "theirs", though! My mother has a perfume (Amazing Grace by Philosphy) that is "hers". I currently have some, too, and each time I spray it on, I smell my mother!! :)

Mrs. U

Sandra said...

I enjoyed this post Elizabeth. Finding your style can be difficult and can take time to develop.

In clothing, I seem to prefer classic pieces in solid colours and usually wear black, grey, white, blues and reds. I love earrings so I guess that's my "signature" accessory. :o)

In my home, I tend to like a "cleaner" look with touches of antiques, flowers, china and Victorian-type pictures. I also have tons of books, some plants and lots of dog hair decorating my rooms! I like different styles of decorating and have had in the past a more modern look as well as a more old-fashioned look so now I've settled somewhere in between and it feels like me. Does that make sense? :o)

Elizabeth said...

Hi Mrs. U.

For those of us who like lots of thing, narrowing down to a style can be hard!

Sandra, your style makes perfect sense and sounds quite lovely.