“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”   – Yves Saint Laurent

And what is style exactly?

I would go with the classics first: Audrey Hepburn, Coco ChanelKatherine Hepburn. Their styles have stood the test of time,

but it’s about more than clothes. We needn’t all dress as designers and movie stars to be stylish. Style is about an expression of self. It may not always be timeless, but it’s yours and may last your lifetime, once you figure out what your style is. And just as being human is discovering meaning around you, it’s also about finding yourself – your style, your expression.

Depending on your profession and lifestyle, your personal style may be exclusively exercise pants or all black or just jeans and t-shirts or professional blazers with trousers and heels – anything at all really, but whatever it is, the quest is to find what makes you feel good about yourself. Oh sure, some days will be down-and-out-days or tired-days or nothing-feels-right days, but that shouldn’t be about the clothes themselves. On your (mostly) good days, you should be able to pick anything in your closet and feel better for it. At least, this is my clothing goal. I certainly haven’t quite reached it, but I definitely have a few go-to outfits. Especially for things like job interviews or meetings, or a special night out, it’s important to be able to wear something that can transcend my mood. I can say to myself, no matter how I might feel, I know I look good! An outfit like this allows me to bring presence to a meeting, or the day itself. And presence is part of our image – how we feel about ourselves or see ourselves, and potentially how others see us.

Do you know your style well? I don’t think I quite have it figured out. Once upon a time, a friend and I tried to label our styles – I went forClassique, Classic + Unique (whatever that means) and she went for a mix of bohemian and outdoor adventurer. And yet, I am sure if I asked someone they would be able to pinpoint my style, or at least the style of dress they most often see me wearing. Our personal style is influenced by our lifestyles, the activities, events and places we hang out, as well as where we live and work. Each of those may call for a variation of our style or something completely different. I don’t go to work in the same outfit I would wear going for a walk in the woods, but that is largely because my job calls for a different dress code. Which only makes sense; and yet, even then my style essence will likely permeate through the different aspects of my life.

With or without clarity on style, the first step is to find the pieces and outfits that make you feel best about yourself. Those are the key items from which to build style that lasts. If they aren’t in your closet, make a plan to find those pieces. Be specific about what you want and need, so you’ll know it when you see it. And in the meantime, clean out the items that don’t make you feel good. I don’t love shopping, but I am much more likely to do it with a plan.

Style is expression, style is transcendence. Style is forever.

Go on with your stylish self.

Written by Lia Robinson

*image via http://ow.ly/4nb3rp