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Personal Style: Use The Tips, Ignore the Rules.

June 13th, 2010 § 0

I’m often asked where my own personal style came from.

It’s probably because my schooling/training is in design rather than fashion, but I don’t believe my “personal style” to be that I wear a lot of black, wear black eyeliner or make most of my clothes. I actually look at personal style from it’s structure first. The most basic structure you have to work with is your body (it’s like the building’s site).  The first thing I usually tell people when they want my help on personal style is not what they were expecting. I tell them to ask themselves “what body type do I have” and then secondly “what do I want my body to look like”.

There are many beauty tips out there on how to accentuate certain features (I’ll talk more about some of these in my next blog).  That doesn’t mean though that you should follow these as RULES of beauty.  It’s important to remember that what they are telling you is correct, if you want to look “standard” or fit a predetermined definition of feminine or masculine.  I personally though, don’t EVER want to be standard.  So if you want to look thinner, taller or more hour glass shaped then use the tips but don’t believe that you HAVE TO follow the tips they give for your specific body type.  Fashion is about looking like everyone else, personal style is about your uniqueness. Use the tips, ignore the rules.

Some ways that I use the tips and ignore the rules

- I have a really long face and every “beauty expert” says that women with long faces should add bangs and keep the volume on top down in order to make their face seem shorter.  So, because I don’t want to look ’standard’, I did the oposite.  I love my mohawk.  I love that it makes my face even longer and that gives me a unique look (personal style) that is not very common. (see image above)

- I also usually just accept that nature just made me thin and no matter what I do to try to change it that’s just who I am, for right now at least (though that doesn’t mean I give up trying to achieve the most healthy body weight I can).  I’ve chosen, for the most part, that I don’t want to try to over emphasis curves like the rules say I am supposed to for my body type and instead often play with androgyny or being long and flowy (which is still feminine but not the epitome of it, which is curvy).

(Shane of The ‘L’ Word is super androgynously HOT)

- Being 5′-8″, I’m on the tall side and being thin makes me look even longer, but lately I’ve been wearing this one black skirt (on top of all my flowy pants as well) that extends my torso (kind of in the flapper style).  Fashion consultants would definitely warn against this, the rule for long torso’s is to wear high waisted belts, but in the world of personal style I choose that I like playing with the flapper style and have fun doing it.

(Flapper cuts)

This doesn’t mean that you have to break all the rules. That’s not what I’m saying, just use them (by following or not following them) to help you achieve your own personal style.


Personal Style

June 8th, 2010 § 1

If you’re looking for inspiration into your own personal style, one thing that has really helped me is that each year (usually after Burning Man which is not only my internal ‘New Year’ but also the place where I get the most inspiration each year) I create a folder on my computer called “Inspiration” or “Style” in which, if I ever see an image of something that I like, that I feel is expressive of the way I feel, that exemplifies the direction I want to go with my personal style, that I think would look good on my body type, or for some reason just speaks to me, I’ll just throw it in my folder.  My best method of finding these images is to find other peoples blogs that I share similar taste with or that I just find inspirational.  I’ve bookmarked 4 or 5 of my favorite fashion blogs and every few days (or couple of weeks if you prefer) I’ll read (or just quickly look at) their newest posts.

Then, anytime I’m going shopping or about to sit down to make something, I’ll just open my folder, select all the images and open them in my Preview application. Then I just scroll down the images quickly not thinking too much about them. Your brain will do that on it’s own and hence you won’t end up necessarily copying what you see but allow your brain to translate what it sees and interpret them into new things. I believe this is part of the reason why they made us memorize thousands of slides in Architectural History class. Being exposed to many different languages (of design) will help your brain create it’s own (don’t reinvent the wheel, use it in new ways).

The blogs I follow regularly are:

And here are some of the images from my “Inspiration” folder…



June 8th, 2010 § 4

I never thought that I would have a blog. 

I’ve always been a person of few words, bringing all of the long hours I spend in human observation and inner contemplation (that I almost never share) to the world solely through the spaces that I design as an architectural designer.  I know there are many architecture blogs, but to me, architecture is not something you can write about, nor show in a picture; its something you experience, its the way a space makes you feel and how it effects your actions, quietly influencing your life through your routines, your human comfort, your perception of self, your rituals, your feeling of safety, your bodies mobility… when it comes down to it though, what are the clothes you wear but the first layer of human architecture?  Unlike architecture today (versus tribal times) most western humans no longer have the ability to take control of their built environment because the basic framework of design is just not a shared cultural knowledge anymore. Architecture is mass produced for the lowest cost (in so many ways) and pumped out as a universal solution to everyone needing structure. Unfortunately our clothing has followed the same trends away from personalization and towards mass production and distribution.

Unlike architecture though, most of us have the basic knowledge of how clothing effects us through our routines, human comfort, perception of self, rituals, feeling of safety, bodily mobility etc leaving personal style as an easy(er) first step in taking control of the built environment we live in, hence, no longer accepting the universal solutions of design our society is trying to feed us.  And so, if I want to always wear layers of loose cotton blends that could easily be worn to bed then rolled out of (wrinkle free) in the morning (to get a bowl of ice cream which I then go back to bed and eat) and spend my day working and sitting on the floor, rolling over to my low couch to cuddle with my love until I leave the house when I’ll throw on a long cotton blend coat because it fits my frame well… then so be it.  I love my life, I love my clothes, I love myself enough to just be me.

As in architecture, I don’t believe one can fully express their ideas of personal style and the experience of clothing solely through a blog but since people have been asking me for years about my personal style, how I make my clothes and will I make them something, I’ve finally decided to take the step and share myself and my experience with anyone who wants to go on this new adventure with me.  This blog is my way of sharing my new adventure of designing clothing not only for myself but for all of the beautiful and inspirational women in my life and in our community.  You are the new abundant inspiration in my life and these are the creations you bring out of me.


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