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Friday, January 23, 2015

To Thy Self Be True ... A French Girl Friday Post

One need not spend a lot to
channel their inner French Girl,
a bit of sparkly, a cup of fresh cheese, and a
great book like Madame Chic goes a long way.

Bien dans sa peau ... " comfortable in your own skin", would it not be a wonderful thing if that was how we felt day to day? I know for some it could be a lot of therapy that helps them get to that point, some never will feel that way ( that saddens me to think of) , and some it may just take a tweak in what they wear to make them suddenly feel that way. Now wait, before you call that shallow, but there is something for the old saying " clothes make the woman ( or man) " .  When one dresses true to who they are, from the inside out, it really can go a very long way towards how they feel... it can change their entire outlook on life. Yes, dressing to flatter yourself, your personality, and letting it shine outwards to the world is very powerful.  I do not mean just throwing on a jeans and T and calling it done because it is easy, or following the latest trends, or dressing how you think you should dress or how someone tells you how to dress, I do not see how any of us could be comfortable in our own skin if we are not comfortable in what we are wearing. I hear you, a jeans and a T can be very comfortable, I do agree, heck I live in pjs when at home when I know that no one but the cat will see me, but there are ways to take it a step further and have what you are wearing reflect who you are, even in simple, comfortable clothing. 

What one wears, if it is true to themselves, can be as impressive and 
stylish as if they were dressed in high fashion. Confidence that
comes from inside and is reflected by what they wear is powerful.
What do your clothes say about you?

In the book Lessons from Madame Chic, 20 stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott , in part two, chapter five, the author speaks to how while being an exchange student living with a family in Paris, and while out running errands with "Madame Chic", she first learned about finding her own true style. She received a wake up call while wearing a spring green sweater and she was told very bluntly by Madame Chic that it did not look good on her. After being rather confused and offended, she realized, after thinking about it, that even over and above a color that was not right for her, the sweater was not either, not in style or personality. This realization started her on this journey to come up with a style that would truly reflect who she was and also made her feel comfortable in her own skin. I got the idea, while reading this chapter that this was a powerful and of course style changing event in the authors life. 

It does not have to be black and
white on how you express
yourself style wise, what
your true style is can be a
lovely combination of touches that make a
beautiful, true to you and only you style. 

One key thing that was within this chapter that stuck out to me that we should reevaluate ourselves style wise once every ten years. I do this. Somethings stay the same for me, like my red or deep pink lips, my love of black clothing, and all things with a retro vibe ( no matter the era I am in the mood to channel at that time); how I express myself, my personal style, has changed and evolved.  I know that my life and in hand my style has gone through so many ups and downs and style changes, or at least variations of the same style, adjusting for life , I have more than likely given away, taken to thrift stores or sold at yard sales whole wardrobes many times over. Now, as I inch closer and closer to the age of 50 I am ready to once again evaluate who I am style wise, what my true style is now and even what I want it to be. It is based on a lot of things, my age, current lifestyle, my health of course, what interests me, and even how I want to be seen, conceived as being. Most of all my personality. I want my clothing to state who I am as well who I want to be.  I have often expressed this through costumes, of sorts, themes if you want to put that label on it.  I no longer feel that I need to dress in a theme or a costume to make it easier to reflect who I am , but perhaps bring elements in that gives a suggestion. I can wear my cloche hats, but perhaps with that jean and a T and a string of pearls and a great pair of jazzy shoes and evoke a modern nod at the 20's and 30's . If I want a Parisian flair, a striped T and a pair of ballet flats, but leave the beret at home... not that you will not see me in a beret, but just not with the striped shirt. I have always had a love affair with the 50's housewife look, but instead of how I once dressed in Rockabilly and or vintage clothing, I now will wear circle and midi skirts, and my ballet flats and pearls, but you will not see a poodle on my skirt or a bowling shirt and my hair would be styled in a more modern style, but you can guarantee that I will still rock the cat eye sunglasses. I am ready to have a more classic, timeless look, and even add back in the more feminine touches I once wore quite a bit of, but that is age appropriate , but not aging. I am ready to be more picky on what I wear and how I wear it, and embrace the second half of my style life, even with drawing upon what I liked about my style over the years as a way to add that personal only to me touch, and reflecting my personality.  

Recently, I posted a couple of blogs about my journey through the style programs Evolve Your Style and Seven Steps To Style, both can be found on Imogen Lamport's web page, Inside Out Style Blog, doing these programs, and connecting with women from all over the world, all ages and style personalities, it has given me the confidence to embrace who I am now, and also the confidence to express who I am inside and how I want that to look and even who I want to be. What I want in life. Some of that has bled into both my blog, and especially my Facebook fan page for it. I suddenly stopped trying to please others, trying to do what was expected or desired and got back in touch with me and who I really am and want to be. Even if I am at home most days, not feeling good, or in some level of pain, I could still be who I imagine myself to be, and bring some of that into my daily life, through my blog, through my FB page my attitude and finally how I look. Now even if I am in my pjs, I pop on a bit of lipstick, spritz on that perfume, and put in my pearl earrings .  I take time to prepare myself a nice meal, I savor life more and more each day, even if in just tiny ways, and all of that started with deciding to be true to myself and as I have done this I have been feeling more and more comfortable in my skin. All of that really started with a journey to find my own true style. 

I can dress like Audrey, with a
modern flair in timeless pieces,
and not have it be dated.  Classic and
timeless can be a great base to start with
and expand on, adding in touches of
my own personality to it to make it my true to
me style. 

So what does this have to do with French Girl Friday? Well obviously even before I realized it, I was channeling my inner French girl both style wise and attitude wise, and in reading "Lessons" , and coming upon this weeks chapter in the book it was confirmed that was what I had done. I highly suggest that you take your own little fashion journey either through online programs such as those mentioned above or through great books with simple tips such as "Lessons" where you could channel your own inner French Girl if that appeals to you,  or one of the many great style books out there channel who and what inspires you, remember to let your personality shine,  it will go a long way towards you being comfortable in your own skin and above all else, to thy self be true. 

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