How To Buy What You Love

Personal Styling

A personal stylist's secret to buying what you love

A few weeks back I posted an IG Story about my 3 rules for shopping. I want to look at Rule #1 a little deeper.

Rule #1 Buy what you love. Leave behind what you like.

This might seem simple but how often to you find yourself buying what you like vs what you love? I have quite a few things in my home and closet that I thought I loved when I made the purchase but as I look at them I realize that they are really just a place holder until I find what I absolutely love. And when I do find what I love, those "place holders" are the first thing I pounce on to get rid of!

Here is my tip for learning to buy only what you love. When I run across something I want to buy, whether it is clothing or a decor object, I will carry it around with me for awhile in the store and ask myself that question. Sometimes multiple times. At some point, the answer will come as I will easily release the item or keep it. Answer received! This process really has worked for me and has given me permission to let go of things I only like (and save money) and demonstrate discipline in waiting for what I love. In this process I have learned how to choose things well over often. 

Try this on your next buying trip and let me know how it goes!

The Success of Becoming

How to define success

Have you ever thought carefully about your definition of success? I am sure, if you are like me, you have thought about it many, many times. We can easily get caught in the numbers game when we consider success. When it becomes measurable by numbers (instagram followers, sales, money spent on certain items, etc.) our definition becomes highly unstable as our success will always be tied to a number most often one we can work towards but not completely control.

This occurred to me today as I was trying desperately to take a good picture with my iphone. Every attempt failed and for an hour and a half I posed in different angles trying to work with the light. This was picture was the result. (I know... I know... not amazing.)

I was disappointed with working so long and not seeing any result. I had an idea of what I wanted to talk about on the journal and Instagram and then I couldn't get the right picture. Then I realized something better. You have to become a message before you have a message. What I mean is this- so often we see people around us with large followings and outward signs of success. It is so easy to compare ourselves now. Peel back the curtain and look- are they the people they say they are or that they present themselves as?

What if success actually looked like becoming? Instead of thinking "I will be successful when I have 100K followers on Instagram, make 250K annually, own a designer bag, etc." what if we switched our mind to think success would actually mean that I become the message that I am meant to carry. That I am fully present in my own person. That I own my mistakes. That I empower others around me. That my success isn't dependent upon the failure of another person.

Maybe that door, that dream, that wish that we have been waiting for hasn't happened yet because we haven't yet become. I am not suggesting that it is that far away or that we have to wait for perfection. I don't believe in perfect. What I am suggesting though is that in the waiting we focus on becoming more than succeeding.

So ask yourself today, what can I do today to get one step closer to becoming? Then ask how can I let go of my expectation of succeeding and realize that my becoming is the greatest success- even if no one sees it.

The Psychology of Style- Part 1


How your personal pain can reveal your personal style

I have thought about writing this post for some time now. There are many reasons I have not wanted to write it mainly because I have been afraid of being "too" vulnerable and for the reason that what I am about to share might be misinterpreted. However, all of those reasons seem insignificant now as what I have discovered opened my mind to an entirely new way of helping people identify their personal style- by helping them identify and relieve their pain. What on earth does pain have to do with personal style you may ask? Trust me. A TON.

A number of years ago I went through a friend breakup. Ever been through one of those? Not fun. My friend and I had a close connection for a number of years. She knew about my hopes and dreams, my business challenges and vulnerabilities and I hers. We offered each other support and encouragement.

At some point I started to notice things that made me a bit uncomfortable. I noticed that she started imitating me in different ways. At first it was subtle, like her desire for the same purse that I had (no big deal, right?) and signing up for the same design classes. Over time my concern grew as she began imitating my designs and selling them as hers and then she offered to buy my business. We had a conversation about it. She explained her behavior by saying that I was her "inspiration" and it was because of that she had been led to design the same things and want a similar business. She meant no harm.

For many reasons I chose to end that friendship. What became clear to me was that my friend did not understand the difference between inspiration and imitation. Because of this our relationship would always be based on comparison which would eventually lead to competition. If I had something she desired, she would do what she needed to do to get it, even if that meant betraying my trust.

Here is thing, as I have said before and we all recognize, we have so many opportunities to compare ourselves to others at this point in history.  When we use comparison (what everyone else has, what they look like, etc) as a tool to discover our personal style or our life direction, we will always end up imitating them. Why? Because we imitate what we focus on. The key to understanding our own unique style is looking inside first.

I used the pain of betrayal as a mirror to look inside myself and mediate on some tough questions. What did I have that was so valuable it was worth imitating? Did I not value my unique design or what I had built with my business? Through these questions I discovered that in some ways I had not valued myself enough or what I had built because I too had used comparison as a measuring stick of success often feeling like I came up short when I looked at other business owners around me. Consequently, I did not honor myself and work at the level I should have. I also reconsidered my own style. If comparison created insecurity, how could I identify what I really wanted my style to be? What did I really love? I dug deep and recognized desires that had always been inside me but had gone unnoticed as I was distracted by the style or trend of the moment. I took action and gave myself permission to dress the way I wanted regardless of what others thought.

As an image advisor and professional stylist, I tell my clients that if you want to discover your true self the first step is to throw out your fashion magazines, unsubscribe from fashion blogs and sit with yourself for a while. Totally unsexy answer, I know, but it truly is the only way. The problem comes when we spend our entire life looking at what everyone else has and then wanting what they have instead of looking inside ourselves and asking what we want. Focusing on what others have and then trying to take that or create that for ourselves comes from a place of comparison and competition which will ultimately lead to jealousy. Comparison will often make us feel like we don't measure up and when unchecked it can create pain. When we do the work of identifying our places of pain and insecurity, it will make room for us to focus more clearly on what we love and what we have been uniquely wired for.

That experience with my friend taught me so much. I see a much bigger picture and process to helping others create the style they want and have learned how to be aware of the trap of comparison in my own life. It has been essential to helping me clarify what I want and love.

Does this story sound familiar to you? How have you dealt with comparison in your own life? How does that translate to your style? Would love to hear your thoughts!