Write Your Own Style Statement

I recently wrote about having a personal mission statement. The process brought me so much clarity that I remembered a book I read a few years ago called Style Statement: Live by Your Own Design. While a mission statement might define our style to some extent, a style statement is all about it. I’ve never considered myself to be particularly stylish, and I don’t follow trends, but I do hope to express a consistent and authentic presence. Joseph Campbell said, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”


Authors Carrie McCarthy and Danielle LaPorte created their style statement to be a two-word compass that directs all of our style choices. The first word is our foundation and represents 80% of our style. The second word they call the creative edge, that extra 20% that makes our style unique. Some examples are contemporary + organic, refined + playful and classic + creative.

The book is filled with stunning photography, real-life examples, a long list of possible style words and a bunch of soul-searching questions. In one section, there are dozens of word pairs from which you choose the word that most resonates with you. Let’s try a few:


Questions like these really get you thinking. Once you come up with your two words, the authors ask you to consider, “What is the spirit, look, and feel of my style statement?” They further guide you to imagine it in different areas of life. Based on your style statement, what would your jewelry, stationery, couch, and hair look like? A style statement extends to non-material things, too. For example, what type of music, exercise, entertainment or vacation best expresses your style statement?

My own style statement came to me quickly: simple + significant. I stole it from Don Draper, a flawed character if ever there was from Mad Men. I liked the concupiscent advertising executive a little more when I heard him say, “Make it simple, but significant.”

I find a two-word style statement to be an effective decision-making tool. It helps me decide what to buy and what not to buy, what to keep and what to give away. It also helps me make decisions that have nothing to do with physical possessions. Having a style statement simplifies life and makes me feel more confident and composed.

You don’t really need to buy the book to get started on your own style statement, but if it sounds interesting, I highly recommend you do. It’s available on Amazon in hard-copy and Kindle versions. I’d love you to leave a comment about your own style statement. Even if you say you don’t care about style, you’re still making a statement.

Five Simple Steps to an Inspiring Spring Closet

The only place in the world we might be able to create complete peace and harmony is our own clothes closet. Overwrought by the chaos in the world, I decided this week to tweak my closet so opening its door would bring me a fresh boost of organization, color, and inspiration.

I spent most of a day and just a few bucks creating my happy place. I’m not offering extravagant ways to design a celebrity dream closet, but I do have a few specific ideas that can help you turn an ordinary closet into one that inspires your own brand of elegance.

Five Simple Steps to Creating an Inspirational Spring Closet ~

  1. Take everything out and clean every nook and cranny.
  2. Take stock of your clothing and accessories and pull out those items you know you will absolutely love wearing this spring.
  3. Store everything you won’t be wearing this season. I stored all off-season and less-than-loved items in bins on the top shelf or in a bedroom dresser.
  4. Display your spring wardrobe in your closet as if it is your own little boutique.
  5. Now, here’s the most important part. Carve out a little space for inspiration. Depending on your closet, this could be a shelf, a wall, or door. I used the back shelf and wall area. Here’s specifically what I did to add some personal inspiration.

First, I cut thick foam poster board to fit the wire shelf and create a sturdy flat surface. (This is also a great way to prevent folded clothes from getting indentations.)Then I decorated the shelf with things that inspire me.

I included a weekly calendar, a daily devotional, a vase of flowers, a necklace holder, and a floral reed diffuser. There’s also a tray to hold earrings. On the top shelf, I arranged decorative boxes to add a dash of spring color and charm. Just for fun, I tied grosgrain ribbons on my plastic storage bins.

In what is probably the nerdiest feature of my closet, I printed out and framed my personal style guidelines. After getting dressed for sixty years, I should know what colors and styles work best for me, but I still get woefully confused. So I compiled a checklist to use before I hang something in my closet more suitable for someone else. I’m certain this guide is going to save me loads of time, money, and frustration, and help me step out of my closet each day feeling my most authentic self.

Finally, I hung a framed poster titled Making It a Lovely Day. It happens to be from the book Lessons in Loveliness which my friend, Natalie, and I wrote and published a few years ago. The section outlines simple ways to make the most of each day from morning until night. (Please come back next Wednesday when I share more about this.)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened my closet door the past few days just to get a peek inside. Hopefully, there are some ideas you can use, too. Creating an inspiring closet isn’t going to change the world, but it just might bring a little joy to your corner of it. §

“Opening up your closet should be like arriving at a really good party where everyone you see is someone you like.” ~ Amy Fine Collins