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Styling from the Inside

Photo of a woman in a floral top and a long skirt

This week, I’ve been thinking about the transition from summer clothing to fall and winter styles.  Because Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, I’ve always looked forward to the September issues of the fashion magazines, such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle.  In addition, beautiful home decorating magazines like Victoria and Romantic Homes offer gorgeous images inside the covers of their Fall issues.  As usual, the latest fashions shown in these magazines always feature many retro styles in clothing, accessories, and home decoration.  Loving vintage fashion does not lessen my excitement in seeing these historic nods to eras like the 1940s or 1970s in current sartorial suggestions for the season.  For example, the September issue of StyleWatch had a page of menswear-inspired shoes for women, similar to this image from At Nostalgia, we often sell vintage men’s shoes to young ladies looking for the latest trend in a very affordable, very well made vintage pair.  Foot sizes for women have changed in recent years, allowing for these girls to now wear vintage men’s styles.

Men's dress shoe

Brocade is showing this Fall, and I always enjoy seeing that fashion as it harkens back to some of my favorite time periods in historic dress, such as the Renaissance and the Victorian era.  In fact, brocade and other sumptuous fabrics have become quite timeless and are seen every Autumn in some way, shape, or form, often extended to accessories like shoes and handbags. ​

This Ralph Lauren jacket, for example could be worn with almost anything vintage or current and still remain stylish and elegant for years to come.

Vintage style jacket

This brings me to the theme of this post.  The wearer must not simply follow fashion, he/she must create style based upon mood, personality, preference, and self-image.  That said, I find that many people (women especially!) fear expressing themselves through their fashion choices.  Now, this is less common with younger folks, but for those of us over 40, we may feel intimidated to show any side of ourselves that may be different from what is believed to be “acceptable” in terms of style.  I will admit that, owning a store that includes vintage fashion and accessories makes it much easier to experiment with style and with different periods, but everyone can and should have fun getting dressed every day.  This is the magic of developing one’s own personal style.

How can I start, you might ask?  Take baby steps if you must, but make a change in your shopping and buying habits if you feel that you are in a “style rut.”  The following steps can help to get you started on small, but significant changes.

  1. Pick one favorite item of clothing that speaks to you on the “inside.”  Do you love the color, the cut, or is it a sentimental piece for you?
  2. Go shopping for an item that will match this favorite item, but that is different in some way from what you would normally choose.  For example, a favorite pair of jeans could be worn with a plain white tee and a “statement” jacket in a color or fabric that is new to you.  Be sure this new item “speaks to you.”
  3. Once you have discovered the magic of this new pairing, slowly add accessories, vintage or otherwise, that will express this new side of you while not taking you too far out of your comfort zone.
  4. As you feel more confident in your new choices, try shopping in stores that you don’t normally frequent.  You may go to a vintage clothing store or charity shop and discover something wonderful to add to that favorite skirt or dress that will mix things up a bit and express more of who you are NOW.
  5. Lastly, try these steps with other items that you own and see how many creative and fun outfits you can come up with.  Before you know it, your personal style will shine through and you’ll receive compliments like crazy!  Have fun!

Next week, I’d like to focus on health, fitness and style, so please stay tuned!