Tuesday, August 11, 2009

creative nostalgia

If you got my newsletter this morning, you already know that I've been working on my style. I journaled my way through the book, Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design and came to the conclusion that my style is called Creative Nostalgia.

Since finding an official label for my style, I've felt a renewed sense of self-esteem and my artwork and business have been flourishing. Why? Because I know what it means to be authentic to myself. Yes, I'm talking about style, but style doesn't stop with your clothes and home decor. It's how you live your life. I know it's silly to think finding two little words would make a difference, but you would surprised by how liberating it is. If you think about it, the most successful business people and celebrities all have a very distinct style. There's got to be something to that. Rachel Ashwell built an entire empire out of her style, Shabby Chic.

So what is Creative Nostalgia? It's all about being creative, resourceful and comfortable with change, all while maintaining a sentimentality for a begone era (in my case, the 1940-50s). You can see it in my art. I use bright contemporary colors, but there's always a little bit of nostalgia in my work too. (I could write paragraphs about this style, but I'll spare you.)

I highly encourage you to your hands on a copy of Style Statement and find out what your style is. I can guarantee you that it's not Shabby Chic or Creative Nostalgia. We are all individuals and there are about a million descriptive word combinations available. Once you get your style down, why not start incorporating into your life? I've been doing just that and I have to tell you, I've been feeling like one slick chick lately. Here's how I've purposefully started integrating my style into my life:

-I got my haircut and colored. Thicker bangs that are reminiscint of the 1950s, yet the cut doesn't scream Rockabilly (cause I've got that whole creative thing going and I'm updating a classic). It's also much redder. It's funny because my hair was red in my early 20s and I used to feel great about myself. Then I decided I had to get conservative and grown-up and started going more auburn and I felt much less happy about myself. Proof to me that my whole theory about style=authenticity=happiness is true.

-I'm really concentrating on buying clothes that reflect my style better. I'm not shopping at thrift stores, but I do look for styles that are mildly reminiscint of days past. A great example of Creative Nostalgia in clothing is the resurgence of aprons. They are an old-fashioned concept, creatively renewed in bright colors and modern fabrics. I also love anything that looks handmade. I'm hanging out in Anthropologie a lot more (waiting for sales!). Since staying home with my daughter, I've had a really hard time dressing myself. Mainly because I was always dressed up for work or fancy dinners, so this casual thing eluded me. Now that I have a jumping off point, I'm feeling more confident about dressing myself.

-I made a playlist on my iPod and call it Creative Nostalgia. From oldies like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to newer music like the Puppini Sisters (they sing like the Andrews Sisters, doing covers of old Smith songs!).

-I'm even applying my style to my weightloss schemes. I have faced the facts that I'm just not built to be model thin. I've posted photos of my movie idols from days past as my inspiration instead. I'm curvy and so the idea of working towards a 1950s starlet type of "ideal body" takes a lot of pressure off me and seems much more realistic.

-A friend of mine is currently figuring out her style and once she does, we are each hosting a girl's night out that reflects our individual style. There's a restaurant around here that does the whole old-fashioned, night club thing, complete with a floor show and I'm thinking that might be included in my night out.

So, what's your style? How have you incorporated it into your life? I'd love to know!

Don't forget to read my newsletter about this subject too! I talk about branding your business in relation to your style.