The Only Style Rule

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One of the topics I get asked the most questions about, is in short, how one defines or discovers their personal style. We've all read the magazine articles with outfit flat lays depicting different personas (edgy, romantic, minimal, flirty, sporty) and tried to figure out which category we fit into. Most of the time, there are 3 or 4 out of the 5 that we identify with in some way. I always wish I could mix the looks together to create my own - the ruffly top from "romantic" with the moto jacket from "edgy," etc. So if we don't fit into the molds, then how do we put quick words to our own style?

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I've been thinking a lot recently about the rules of fashion. Everyone says "there are no rules" but sometimes it feels like that's not true. We put rules onto ourselves by saying things like "I can't pull that off." I think we sort of feel drawn to certain new styles that feel like a departure for us, but there's a 13-year-old girl inside of us worried that the other kids will talk about us if we wear something that's different from what they usually expect to see us in. It's so silly but I see clients and friends questioning things they love just because they're new and different, and quickly declare that they can't pull something off even when they actually look like a million bucks in it.

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The other day I was getting caught in some of these very self-judgmental feelings. I had purchased the dress I'm wearing in these photos and was debating whether or not to return it. There's a certain "earth mama" vibe that's very in right now - have you noticed? Linen smocks, un-styled hair... breastfeeding in a field of wildflowers. It's not the first description I would "assign" to myself when describing my own personal style. It's painful for me to admit but often times when I throw on a dress like this, it crosses my mind to ask, "just who do I think I am?" But there's something about it that I love that keeps me coming back to it. I think it's the fact that I'm a mother myself which still feels new and different for me, and I can draw a lot of inspiration from that comfortable, natural, laid back woman. I could take a few pages from that book. And you know what? That's reason enough to wear the earth mama dress. 

Catherine Sheppard The Life Styled Doen Dress.jpg
Catherine Sheppard The Life Styled Doen Dress.jpg

I talk a lot about incorporating intentions into your outfits. Taking inspiration from the life you want to live and the person you want to be, and dressing as that person. Sometimes these intentions last for a day, and sometimes they go on forever. Sometimes they become so much a part of us that they just ARE who we are from now on. This goes for everything from being more daring (fiery) in a mini dress to being more of a homebody (earth) in sweatpants. It doesn't mean you're dressing as someone else, it means you're further developing your own self, thank you very much. You don't owe anyone an explanation, and you can be "into" something new for as long or as short as you please. It sounds obvious, but I just want to remind you - you're the boss of your own style.

Catherine Sheppard The Life Styled Doen Dress

What is all comes down to is this: the only person who gets to define your style is YOU. Pulling something off means wearing it, loving it, and feeling confident in it - no matter how "different" it is from your go-to look. If you believe in yourself, so will the rest of the world. If you're someone who loves color but is lately really into all-black, start shopping for some new deep, dark staples! If you've always dressed conservative but you find yourself wanting to show off a feature you newly love about yourself, rock that revealing dress! If you're a self-declared stud addict but you're suddenly intrigued by soft ruffles, go buy a Rebecca Taylor top stat! The world is waiting to see you confident and happy in your clothes. No one is going to question you, and you'll be feelin' yourself too much to notice anyway.

Dress / Boots (sold out Jenni Kayne but I also have my eye on these) / Sunglasses

Photography by Ashley Burns
Hair and makeup by Melissa Bedi



Valentine's D-Day

The Life Styled Valentine's Day

Whether you love it or hate it, V-Day is upon us. It's never been my favorite holiday, simply because the bright pinks and reds nauseate me just a little. But who doesn't appreciate a holiday all about LOVE - love for our sweeties, our friends and family, and most importantly - for ourselves? It rarely falls on a weekend it seems, so it always kind of sneaks up and suddenly we're going "oh crap, what am I going to wear?" So today I thought it would be fun to round up some options - but not your typical ruffles, lace, and hearts (ok fine, maybe a few). These are all pieces that you could wear beyond the 14th, and will get you tons of compliments on your nuanced styling choices. A little hint of V-Day, but in a cooler, more unexpected way. I've got you covered whether you're going out, or staying in and cooking a nice dinner in your pj's. And if you hurry, you can have any of these items in time for Wednesday with free shipping or buy online and pick up in store. Have at it, ladies!




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Do you have a favorite pair of jeans? The ones you reach for no matter what, and you kind of have to convince yourself to give your other pairs a chance from time to time? I definitely do. It's a pair of Levi's 501 Japanese denim that look vintage but aren't, which means I can buy another pair and I'm probably going to. I love them because they hold their shape, look better the more I wear them, are just the right length for me, and they're the perfect fit somewhere between boyfriend and slim. But they don't work for every outfit. They're not super high waisted which means I have to recruit some other favorites from my closet when I want to wear a more cropped top, and they're definitely casual so they don't work when I need a sleeker pair. There are certain categories of items in our closets where the collection just has to be solid. The things you wear every day - your neutral tees, your jackets... but your jeans are the most key and we often overlook them or get overwhelmed at the thought of shopping for them. When your jeans are good, the rest of your outfit has an easy path to success. And when your jeans are bad, you're bound to feel off no matter how great the rest of your outfit is. So today I wanted to share with you a few key tips to assessing and updating your denim collection, and some of my favorite pairs out there to buy right now!


To start, I would encourage you to take out all of your jeans, including the ones you just straight up pretend aren't there, and try them on. Really look at how they flatter your body, see how they feel, and how they're fitting. Do this at a separate time from the rest of your closet because jeans take the most energy. Ask yourself these questions about each pair:

1. Does it fit me? Like... actually? This is the hardest one but it's the most important. If they don't fit you, especially if they haven't for a long time, get rid of them. If they washed horribly after several uses and now get super bunchy in the knees, you're never going to love them. I get wanting to save your favorite pair for when you lose the baby weight, but be realistic. I once had a pair of jeans that literally fit me for ONE WEEK at my skinniest while I was doing the South Beach Diet (remember that?? Me neither). I saved them for years after that and they only depressed me when I came across them. It was liberating to finally part with them when I got real about the situation. Remember, any hole you create in your wardrobe leaves room for new better things to come in.

2. When was the last time I wore them? If style has evolved greatly since you last wore them, it's a good time to part with them. I recently got rid of all my low rise jeans including ones I used to LOVE and it felt amazing.

3. Do they add or subtract from my look? If putting them on makes you just feel blah, they don't deserve to be here. They should add extra oomph, confidence, and spring to your step. 

4. Are they showing wear in the RIGHT places? There's a difference between worn in and worn out. If the fabric looks worn in a bad way (this especially happens with cheapy elasticy ones), is saggy and thinned out in the butt or knees, they should go. If they are faded and frayed and looking vintagey and yummy, KEEP.

5. Make sure you have some "dressy" ones too. There's always a need that pops up for jeans that are more elevated - date nights, a lunch meeting, girls nights where you want to wear a cute top with jeans for a nicer bar, etc. For me, it's this pair.

6. Note the current trends. The cool part about the current denim trends is that there isn't really a right or a wrong, and you don't have to spend $200 to get a good pair. BUT if we have to name a few, here are some to add to your collection: 

- High waisted (YES)
- Vintage (or vintagey). Think button fly, non-stretch, a little bit "mom jean." Levi's 501's, Wrangler, etc.
- Cropped flare
- Frayed hems
- High-low hems
- Ankle length
- Side stripe

Check out some of my favorite jeans out there right now, and keep in mind it always just comes down to fit with jeans. Be picky!!

Have fun with it, don't worry about the size number, and just focus on what really works for you. The goal is to have a stack of jeans in your closet that's only made up of pairs that make you feel like a million bucks. I promise you that with this part of your wardrobe updated and on point, everything else feels so easy and effortless!

Photography by Ashley Burns