One Style Rule

I'm a 5' short, petite framed, but generously curvy lady. Translation: I'm very short, relatively thin, have a full chest, a booty, and ex-dancer size thighs. I'm not a 5'10" thin model, so I won't pretend I am by attempting to dress or write style posts like one. I do my best to dress for the body I have and express who I am each day with a mix of styles I enjoy.

This is the start of me documenting and sharing my style, not my choice of fashion. Although I will not be a fashion blogger, I am interested in fashion. It may even make a cameo. Fashion made a lasting impression on me in middle school when I was obsessed with reading my monthly Teen Vogue cover-to-cover. I love following, learning and being inspired by the designers creations. I even enjoy owning a few designer items too. But, style will always win over fashion in my life. Besides fashion being too costly for me, it is often anti-essential. It is designer pieces, prices, and opinions on what you should wear, that change with the season. Living 'in fashion' is a commitment. After seasons of purchases, it often results in owning a large quantity of clothing you bought to fit with what's "in". I view it as what designers create and choose for me. (Queue Meryl Streep's monologue from Devils Wear Prada.)

Style, however, is something you create for yourself. It is by following your own intuition and forming your own opinions about the variety of clothing options available to you, that you’ll start to form your own style. Developing your style is about taking pieces and pairing them together in ways that are unique, expressive, or comfortable to you.

Style is a daily interest and experiment of mine. My style doesn't fit into any one box. By allowing myself to remain undefined by one niche (preppy, boho, edgy, minimalist, etc.), it's easier for me for choose the pieces and trends I like, and experiment by matching them together. Then the process of getting dressed is fresh and interesting, because I can easily incorporate a new item with favorites, even if it is an unexpected match.

My style conforms to only one rule, it has to be essential.

To be clear, I do not have a minimalist or sesonal wardrobe. I’m not the jeans, two single white tee-shirts, and one pair of shoes minimal blogger. I love having a variety of options that will allow me to express myself each day. Some days I want to be more feminine and wear more color; some days I love wearing all black. Seasonal wardrobes don't work well for me either, because I live in sunny and warm Austin, TX. I've lived in Austin for almost two years and I've realized I'm able to wear most of my closet year-round. This makes it unnecessary for me to divide my clothes into seasons. Instead, I'll pair summer dresses with booties and a jacket like you see here.

Even though I don't consider my approach minimalistic, I do my best to be essential. I like to own a limited number of items which I love, feel great wearing, and am interested in. This makes the process of getting dressed simpler, because I already know how to work with what I have. But, as my favorites get older and worn out, I am then challenged with shopping for new or replacement items.

I'm not a regular shopper for as much as I enjoy fashion. While I love finding new pieces, I often do not make purchases because I need to be confident it is an essential addition. Admittedly and a little shamefully, I still browse a few of my favorite stores in-person and online. I still find myself pining after that new bag, this pair of shoes, or that dress. Wanting new items, despite my essentialist efforts, often makes me feel guilty. The two things are complete opposites! When I struggle with wanting more AND wanting less, I like to talk it through with B. He reminds me that a part of essentialism is the process of owning an item, using it for some time, and then discarding it when it has served its purpose. For example: If I were purchasing a jacket, the purpose would be to keep me warm. If I wanted to purchase a new dress, the purpose could be that I feel beautiful or it expresses something about me. Bottom line: If an item is causing me to feel good, happy, beautiful, warm, it's a replacement for an item I’ve worn out, , or it’s a style I want to experiment with, then (and only then) is it okay to add in.

Couldn't I use one of these purposes any time I wanted something new? No way! Having this guideline keeps me from making purchases without thinking it through. If an item passes my test, then I know it's going to be essential piece for me for as long it's wearable. Instead of feeling guilty for spending money on items I settle for (aka not my dream item but close enough) or something low quality that will quickly be worn out, I find comfort in purchasing fewer but better quality items. From experience, I know that when I make mindful purchases, I am more confident with my decisions and more confident when wearing the item.

"Less, but better." - Dieter Rams

My style posts will reflect my style rule: only items that are essential to me.

Being a “petite style blogger with an essentialist lifestyle” seems like a messy title, but it's what I’m working with for now.

Shift Dress: Madewell (2014), Fleet Jacket: Madewell, Boots: Sam Edelman, Clutch: Clare V., Sunglasses: Warby Parker