Yesterday I purchased the book, Style and the Successful Girl, by Gretta Monahan. The tagline of the book is: “Transform your look, transform your life.” Right off the bat, this book hits home for me. In the first few pages we read that Successful Girls “… stick[s] to their look and never let fashion trends control their clothes” and “… buy[s] repeats of the successful items?” This is so me!
The first chapter, “Fake it till you Make it”, introduces key ingredients to becoming a Successful Girl. First, Gretta introduces us to what she calls “The Gotta-Haves“: lip color, pumps, signature accessory, dark jeans, a fabulous bra, leather belt, tailored jacket, boots, shape wear (think spanx) and a bright dress. (I am kind of surprised a classic, go-to, designer handbag didn’t make the list.) She also talks about using a style inspiration board as your guide to expressing who you are and to capture looks you love including color choices, jewelry, bags and shoes… because we are tech geniuses, we know Pinterest is the best options for this and I bet many of you have a (private) board called “My Style”, right? Adding photos will help develop your “brand.” Whatever you wear, stay true to your brand and you’ll be able to pull the look off every time. She then mentions pieces that “save you” every time. For me? My camouflage hat, gold hoop earrings and black sparkle Uggs. Works every time to make you feel fabulous even when you may not really be! What are yours?
Gretta says that when it comes to fashion there are 4 style routes or 4 kinds of girls. She calls these: The Weekend Girl, Sophisticated Girl, Girly Girl and Sexy Girl. She also lists style icons for each type (you can read about mine here). While the book does a good job pointing out the staples of each, I’m not so sure this is the best way to define your personal style. Rather than pigeon holing yourself into either of the above categories, why not decide for the occasion? For example, I like clean lines and I’m not into competing prints or loud colors: I can still pull that off no matter what the occasion. I think you only need one statement piece in every outfit: a necklace, shoes, whatever you like. If I’m looking for a work outfit, I may decide to go with go with The Sophisticated girl or if I’m headed out for a night on the town with the girls, I may try sexy girl. Either way, I can stay true to my style. Whichever method works for you, use it. The worst thing you can do is try to look like someone else.
Finally, Gretta talks about The OMG! Moment, which is the realization that you don’t need a lot to be fashionable: “Less is More“. She suggests weeding down to a few “successful” items. These are your go-to pieces. I do this every season. Out with the old, in with the new. Again this hits home for me. A few weeks ago I decided to get rid of all of my handbags except 4. You only need a few critical, high quality pieces to build your wardrobe around Again things that you absolutely love and positively represent your style. I call my style classic elegance. Call yours whatever you like. In fact, make up a name for your style. Whatever you do OWN IT.
I’ll leave you with a few quotes from the first chapter that I absolutely live by:
By editing out the losers, you are doing exactly what top stylists do for their clients.
“The more ‘wrong’ clothes left in your closet, the harder it will be to put together successful looks, and this is your goal every single day.”
“[Style] icons are super consistent in what they select to wear”.
“De-friend from your closet and detach from clothes that won’t help you achieve your inspiration board look”
I highly recommend you buy Style and the Successful Girl for yourself. The remaining chapters are equally as helpful. This book is also a great gift for one of your girlfriends and has been added to Bri’s Favorite Things 2013. You can purchase the book here.
Signed, The Sophisticated/Girly Girl