The Elements of Style + Taking Risks

A Few Notes on Style

When I graduated college from the University of Missouri in Columbia (holla!), I made it out with a degree in journalism, but also with a minor in psychology, which continues to be something that fascinates me. As such, I went to the Psychology Today website to do some research for this blog post and found an article on style that seemed to express (to a T), everything I feel about style, and how it's linked to creativity and confidence.

The author starts out with a bold but true statement: "Style is not a price. It is not an age. It is not a size. And it can be learned." (Preach it, sista!)

She goes on to make a clear distinction between fashion and style, stating that the former is about the clothes, and the latter about expression through clothes. "Fashion is IN the clothes. Style is IN the wearer."

And her last point, which I want to be crystal clear to you, my dear reader, is that style is an expression and a celebration of individuality! Her thoughts on this deserve a full paragraph reprint:

"Style is nothing if not a celebration of individuality, of individual variability. It glorifies the fact that we are all different. It exposes as preposterous the notion that there is an ideal body, an ideal woman — that there is only one perfect way to look, that any one way is perfect for all women. Style always delights because it is a revelation that the possibilities for originality are limitless."

So, Really...What's in Your Closet?

My closet
See that picture to the left? That's my closet...literally. From the lack of color coding to the lack of space for my ever-growing collection of shoes. Some things are hung on plastic hangers (gasp!), and others get the privilege of wood. Knits are (for the most part) folded on the upper shelf; dresses and skirts are messily hung on those multi-rack hangers; and all my pants and the two pairs of shorts I own are stuffed into a drawer on my husband's side of the closet since I don't have room on mine (a detail he's never shy to tease me about).

Why do I share this with you? Because I feel our closets can be pretty telling tales about ourselves. We look in there and we see old favorites that get 80% of our attention when it comes to choosing an outfit. The rest is either saved for more formal affairs, or when we're feeling daring.

One of my daring items is a pair of shorts I bought this summer to wear on my honeymoon in Italy (I only wore them once). I absolutely fell in love with the style of them: They have a high waist and a belt that ties around it; wide cuffs at the bottom; and, best of all, roomy enough for my rear-end! (Ah, here's where we're getting to the bottom of things [pun absolutely intended]). But, boy, are they ever...short!

You see, shorts are things I shy away from like vampires do sunlight. In my eyes, they emphasize an area of my body that I'm comfortable enough with, but haven't totally embraced: my pasty white legs and knock knees (thank you Irish heritage for the former and mom for the latter). I remember trying them on in the fitting room and just being paralyzed with what to do. My mind raced over all the reasons I liked the shorts, but my insecurities were screaming, "They're shorts! What are you thinking?" I eventually told my self-conscious side to bugger off (I'm not British, I just like that word), and brought them home. I asked my roommates and a friend from across the street to give me their feedback, which was all positive, but to this day they remain only worn once. I just can't seem to get past the idea that they're too risky.

So, today, I shall make a deal with you. I will wear these shorts before next Wednesday, and give a short recap on how things went in the next installment of "What's in Your Closet?". In exchange, I would LOVE some solidarity. What's that one item in YOUR closet you can't get rid of, but you won't wear, either? What are the risks you need a little push to take? Shoot me an email or leave a comment and we'll walk through it together!

Come on...I showed you mine. Show me yours!

To read the full article in Psychology Today, click here.


  1. Okay, see, here lies my issue. I don't have a clue what my style is. I *want* a style (and always have), but I feel like a lost puppy when it comes to figuring out how I want to express myself (in my house and in my clothing). Where in the world do I start? My closet is filled with plain t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops. So boring, and *so* not who I am deep down, but honestly...I'm not sure who I am deep down (lol - that was a little dramatic, eh?). I need some serious help!

  2. I feel the same as Ashleigh who commented. I know what I love, for me it might be guts to wear the things I love. Like color combinations, a certain style of shirt. I always seem to stall on shoes. This is my new years resolution. To purge things out of my closet that i haven't worn in 'Ages' and i mean ages...and try different looks. New year new look. thanks for posting!


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