How often do you evolve your style? Do you stick to the same look for years and years or do you like to reinvent yourself? Sometimes I think we feel beholden to a typical style that we at some point declared as our own. Everyone wants to have a certain level of consistency and ownership to how we dress, because it makes us feel like we know what we're doing. For the past several years, I have been the "black, white, and gold girl" who loves edgy details and has studs on all her handbags. If you've been here for awhile, you know this Catherine well. I'm still that girl in many ways, but when times change in our lives and the world around us changes, it's ok to try to be a bit different from your usual norm - try new styles on for size. We all get a little bit stagnant or find ourselves inspired by new things we never would have before, and that inspiration needs to be explored...
One of the questions I get asked the most in Fashion Feng Shui workshops or consultations is, "Can your essence change or does it always stay the same?" In my experience, the element that represents your essence doesn't really change. The essence part of Fashion Feng Shui goes DEEP into your character, even back to your childhood tendencies. However, the way the essence is displayed in your style or even in your personality CAN change. We incorporate all five of the elements in different times, working them with our essence in different ways. I'm a metal, but right now earth is having a big moment, both in fashion trends and in my life. I'm a mom now, I live in the suburbs, and some of the edgier black studded things just aren't feeling right at the moment. I've been really trying to connect with whatever trace of earth is in my personality to soften me and help me be a better mom, and one of the main ways I've been doing that is with my wardrobe. This is why you're seeing me in a lot of Doen and from Midland. Natural fibers, handmade things, boxy shapes, and warmer toned colors. I'm not totally sure if this style is going to really grasp on for eternity, but right now I am truly loving how it's helping my intentions to incorporate some nurturing earth energy. It's definitely a departure for me but that's why I always add something more pure and structured, like this bright white Janessa Leone hat, to metal the look up a bit.
It can be hard to put yourself out there in something that's a bit different from whatever you've been before, and wonder if people are seeing it, rolling their eyes, and going "Oh OK, so she's trying to be this person now?" Well in a way, yes, I am trying to be this person now. Isn't that the whole point of growing? Fashion is a great way of illustrating your journey. It's crazy how certain life changes can really make you take a good long look at your personality and question a lot of things about yourself. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever go back to the hard edged style that I had before, or if I'll go deeper into this new earthier personality/style. It's not that the edgy stuff doesn't still honor me, but I think it honors pre-mom me more. My studded bags are "me", but they don't make sense around Sailor (I mean, the sharp studs are literally dangerous to a child). This is the kind of talk that would have made pre-mom me cringe, but now that I'm here, I don't see it as losing anything. I gained something way more rewarding than a studded bag, and I am embracing the opportunity to explore who "mom Catherine" is.
Have you ever been through a life change that has made you rethink your personal style? Do tell. I'd love to know how your style has helped or challenged you to get through a life transition.
And come to my next Fashion Feng Shui workshop!
Photography by Ashley Burns