One of the key things I’ve learned about confidence is the unlock that occurs when a woman owns “her style.”
As a style coach, I see so many women drawn to the classic style because that kind of clothing (sheath dress, clean trousers, crew neck sweaters) is the most common. But too often, we look to others for inspiration on how to dress - our friends, a Nordstrom edit, social media - never feeling fully aligned with how we show up in the world and frustrated when we look in the mirror.
But here’s the good news: Rarely does anyone ever fit into one particular style or “archetype.” We women are more complex, and hallelujah for that!
We all have many layers to who we are, layers that come from our unique experiences in life. Those layers influence how we see the world and, in turn, how we want to express ourselves.
And those layers—my dear—are the recipe for personal style: it is a way to tell our story through the choices we make in dressing ourselves.
Today I want to help you find your style by talking about a common style archetype blend many women love: CLASSIC x ROMANTIC. Adding a touch of romantic pieces to a classic style is a charming and accessible recipe for how to make a classic style more exciting. (If curious about all of the archetypes, check out this article.)
Here are 3 different outfits, picked for winter, in the CLASSIC x ROMANTIC style.
I love this very classic yet romantic weekend look because it feels intentional yet casual. The straight-leg pants, the Burberry-inspired field jacket, the turtleneck, the vest, and the ballet slipper-styled shoes are all classic elements.
We see the more feminine and softer romantic elements in the details - the ruffles on the collar and sleeves of the turtleneck, the sheer swiss dot socks, and the floral motif in the soft mohair sweater.
Throw out plain Jane. The combination of patterns - both stripes and floral - give this outfit a bit of excitement.
BEENIE: EVERLANE ($50)
JACKET: J.CREW ($178)
TURTLENECK: J.CREW ($24.95)
MOHAIR VEST SWEATER: COS ($95)
PANTS: EVERLANE ($108)
SWEDISH KNEE-HIGH SOCKS: J.CREW ($25)
FLATS: EVERLANE ($125)
Featuring a classic suit, this outfit is wonderfully approachable yet is softened with the color combination of pale pink, metallic, and gray and the draped shape of the blouse.
This metallic boot, in particular, is unexpected and modern, but it’s also way more feminine than a solid, non-metallic boot. Having a modern element in any outfit is a great way for women, as we age, to feel fresh and of the moment without feeling trendy.
EARRINGS: MONICA VINADER ($135)
SCARF: COS ($120)
TUNIC BLOUSE: COS ($99)
BLAZER: COS ($225)
PANTS: COS ($135)
BOOTS: JEFFREY CAMPBELL ($174.95)
HANDBAG: KURT GEIGER LONDON ($285)
It's always fun to dress up but getting gussied can be a lot of pressure. Oftentimes we feel we need to buy an outfit that we may wear only once or twice. My advice? Forget subscribing to an expected holiday look and instead choose something with more intrigue that can be dressed up and down.
I love this outfit because the classic elements (a shirt dress, pumps, classic colors) are all softened by romantic details–the dress has a mandarin collar and pretty volume, along with puffed, exaggerated sleeves. Soft texture and lines and warmth show up in the velvet clutch and silk scarf (warm, autumnal tones), and floral cuff (delicate and feminine).
EARRINGS: KARINE SULTAN ($34)
CUFF BRACELET: KARINE SULTAN ($85)
EYESHADOW: MAC ($21)
LIPSTICK: CHANEL ($42)
SCARF: SALVATORE FERRAGAMO ($470)
DRESS: COS ($135)
PUMPS: MARC FISHER ($96-$160)
HANDBAG: LOEFFLER RANDALL ($295)
If you loved this article and are curious to learn more about how to find your style, read about the primary style archetypes in this article.
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